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Beef Curry

Serves 4-6

© by Figure 1 Publishing

Back home, my mother would stretch out this fragrant stew with lots of potatoes or plantains, to feed our large family on a limited budget. For a Sunday night supper, eaten with chapatis or parathas, it was a favorite of mine. At Coconut Lagoon, we use tenderloin tips for this dish, but stewing beef in a pressure cooker works very well.


  • Coconut Oil 1/4 cup
  • Onions 6, coarsely chopped (4 cups)
  • Salt 1 1/2 tsp (divided)
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste 1/4 cup
  • Indian or Thai Green Chiles 3–4, coarsely chopped
  • Curry Leaves 20, plus extra for garnish
  • Ground Turmeric 1 Tbs
  • Red Chili Powder 1 Tbs
  • Ground Coriander 1/4 cup
  • Coarsely Ground Black Pepper 1/2 tsp
  • Ripe Tomatoes 2 large, chopped
  • Stewing Beef or Beef Tenderloin Tips 2 lbs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Coconut Milk 1 cup
  • Garam Masala 1 tsp

Cook It

  1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and 1/2 tsp salt and sauté for 7 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste, chiles, and curry leaves and cook for another 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in turmeric, chili powder, coriander, and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add tomatoes, mix well, and cook for 2 minutes. Add beef and the remaining 1 tsp salt and stir for 3 minutes, until beef is well coated. Pour in 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until beef is tender.
  3. Pour in coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2–3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Sprinkle with garam masala and scatter curry leaves on top and serve with chapatis or parathas.
Excerpted from Coconut Lagoon: Recipes from a South Indian Kitchen (C) 2019 by Joe Thottungal. Reproduced by permission of Figure 1. All rights reserved.