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beef fry in a shallow bowl

Kerala Beef Fry

Tender chunks of beef are slow roasted in a mix of spices, coconut slivers, curry leaves and onions to make this Kerala style dish of beef fry.
Course Sides
Cuisine India - Kerala
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 709kcal
Author Manju


  • 2 lbs beef cut in 1 inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium red onion sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup coconut slices
  • 8 curry leaves

For the meat masala


  • Marinate the beef with turmeric powder, salt and cracker black pepper for about an hour.
  • Add ½ cup water to this and pressure cook in a traditional pressure cooker for 15 mins and 2-3 whistles (pressure releases). If using the Instant Pot to do the pressure cooking, set to MANUAL for 15 mins. Close and seal the lid and start. Wait for 10 mins of natural pressure release and then do a manual pressure release by turning the pin to release.
  • Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan like a Dutch oven. Add the curry leaves, onion and garlic to this. Sauté till onions soften.
  • Add the beef to the pot with the water it cooked in. Reduce heat to medium and let it cook in the liquids for some more time.
  • Meanwhile, get the meat masala ready. Toast the spices over low heat till aromatic and fragrant. Be careful to not let it burn. Let it cool a little and grind to a fine powder.
  • Also, in another skillet, lightly toast the coconut slices till some of them are golden brown.
  • Once the liquid has halved in the pot with the beef, add the meat masala and mix well.
  • Add the toasted coconut to it as well and mix well.
  • Cook for a few more minutes till all the liquid is gone and the masalas stick to the beef chunks.
  • Garnish with more curry leaves and serve hot.


  • Chuck roast is best but beef for stew is an easy and accessible option.
  • Use fresh ground spices for the best flavor. You can buy store bought Meat Masala from any Indian grocery store. But since this dish does not have a lot more other than the meat and spices going on, fresh spices make all the difference.
  • Pressure cooking helps cook the meat to tender pieces, so all you have to do is roast it on the stove top with the spices. Otherwise it will take hours to make this recipe.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 709kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 740mg | Potassium: 791mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 76mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 6mg