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.