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Keralan Coconut-Beef Curry Recipe

Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.

Keralan Coconut-Beef Curry Recipe

Keralan Coconut-Beef Curry Recipe

Indian food has a pleasant vitality, and this recipe—which incorporates a wide variety of spices, flavors, and seasonings—is no exception. It produces a spicy and hearty beef curry that has a nice twinge of sweetness and a smooth curry sauce that flavors rice particularly well.

While not integral to the meal beyond a small amount of flavoring, plain yogurt is nearly mandatory, going divinely with the curry to produce a wonderful contrast between the spicy curry and the cool, lemonish-flavored yogurt. I find this to be a very comforting and hearty dish (especially with all of the onions).

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I have adapted this recipe from The Essential Kerala Cookbook by Vijayan Kannampilly.


  • 1 1/2 pounds beef
  • 6 shallots
  • 3 onions, (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 green chillies, (I recommend removing around half the seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups shredded or ground coconut, (sweetened coconut was used in this recipe)
  • 12 dry red chillies, (the version I have is not particularly spicy, so be aware of your preferred spice level)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1 cup yoghurt, (optional but heavily recommended to serve with it)
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup beef stock


  1. Peel and dice the shallots, then combine them with 1 cup of shredded coconut, the 12 shredded red chillies, and 1 teaspoon curry powder, and fry with 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan/skillet until the coconut turns brown. Then add in the coriander, turn off and remove from the heat, and allow to sit briefly while it cools.
  2. Add in another tablespoon of oil, 3 cloves of garlic, chopped and peeled, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3 cloves, 2 star anise, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and 1 peeled and diced onion.
  3. Add in water, 1 cup or so, and proceed to blend the ingredients until they are smooth.
  4. Place the beef, green chillies, ginger, salt, beef stock, and remaining 2 onions into a large casserole dish, bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 30 minutes with the top closed.
  5. Add in the blended spice paste, boil until it is of gravy thickness, then add 1/2 cup of yogurt, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and the remaining 1 cup of coconut. Serve over rice or Indian breads, with 1 cup of yogurt as a side dish for flavoring and cooling.

© 2018 Ryan Thomas

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