Butter Croissants and Coffee

One of the most best aromas on a beautiful morning

Samosa Chaat

Snack a little

Seekh Kabab

Try something different!

Decadent Chocolate

Do not forget to indulge once in a while

Steamed goodness

Various cooking methods bring variety in your palette

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Naadan Beef curry (with coconut milk)

Porotta and beef curry. Some of the combinations that is synonymous with Kerala cuisine.
I haven't dared to make a porotta at home yet. It really is such an ordeal, even back in Kerala, families buy them from the local thattukada (food stall). Beef curry on the other hand, is best made homemade, with freshly ground spices.
Previously, I made beef curry using chuck stew meat, which was good. This time I tried sirloin tips, and it turned out ah-mazing!!


Sirloin tips (beef cubes) - 1 lb (1/2 kg)
Homemade garam masala - 2 + 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tspp
Red onion - 1 large, sliced
Ginger - 2 tsp, chopped finely
Garlic - 2 tsp, chopped finely
Coconut milk - 1 cup
Bay leaf - 1
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mint leaves - a handful
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste


Dry roast the coriander powder, chilli powder and turmeric in a wok for a couple of minutes on medium heat till it just starts to smoke. Keep aside on a small plate.
Wash the beef cubes in some warm water and a small amount of vinergar (optional). Drain and store in a bowl. Sprinkle salt and 2 tsp of garam masala, half the roasted powder mix of coriander, red chilli and turmeric. Rub the beef cubes in it. Let it sit for marination for about half an hour.
Meanwhile prep the other ingredients - chop onions, ginger, garlic. Wash the curry leaves and mint leaves.
In a wok, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add bay leaf and curry leaves. Then fry the sliced onions for 5 minutes with some salt till its softened to a nice pink. Add the ginger and garlic, fry for another couple of minutes. Add the remaining 2 tsp of garam masala and remaining coriander powder, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Fry for a minute. Then add the marinated sirloin tips and fry for about 5 minutes. Add a cup of thin coconut milk and mint leaves. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Check for salt, add half a cup of thick coconut milk and let simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve hot with porottas or steamed rice and kachiya moru. Remember it tastes better the next day, when the spices have really blended into the meat. This is heaven!!

Note: I bought a can of coconut milk. I scooped out the top part which was the thick coagulated coconut milk into a cup. Then I mixed the rest of the thin coconut milk in the can.

Garam Masala - Homemade goodness!!

When I was a newbie at cooking, I always resorted to using store bought spice mixes, especially garam masala. As I progressed, I realized that the secret to getting that authentic taste in curries, is freshly roasted home ground spices, just like mom made it.

The recipe of garam masala varies in every household. The basic ingredients in any garam masala would be the 3 c's - cinnamon, cloves and cardamom (green ones). Then you can add some other spices of your liking such as nutmeg, cumin seeds, fennel seeds (this is especially good for non vegetarian curries), black peppercorns, star anise, mace, etc. Some even add coriander seeds and red chillies, but I add them separately in my curries. Here is a recipe that I made today, the measurements is a guesstimate. You can look at the photo above and understand the proportions too.


Green cardamom seeds - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon stick - 2 inch stick
Cloves - around 20 of them
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tbsp
Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
Mace - 2
Star Anise - 1
Black cardamom - 1


Heat a wok to medium heat, and then reduce it to medium low. Put in all the spices into it.

Gently roast the spices for a couple of minutes, constantly stirring so as not to burn them. The smell will start to emanate from the spices. Once you start to see a light smoke appearing, stop the heat. Keep stirring as the wok is still hot and the spices underneath can burn. Once the wok's heat has reduced significantly, wait for it to cool completely.

Then roast all the spices in a spice grinder.

Store in an air tight container, in a cool dry place.