Kerala Varutharacha Beef Curry
This is my version of thenga varutharcha beef curry, for a lazy Sunday lunch. Scraping coconut, roasting it, then grinding it can be a little too much work sometimes, so I found and easy way out. Instead of using freshly grated coconut, I simply use Maggi Coconut Powder. The taste surely is good for the little effort you have to put in.
Beef – 1/2kg cubed (fatty meat)
Onions – 2 finely sliced
Tomato – 1 roughly chopped
Ginger – 1 inch grated
Garlic – 3-4 pods grated
Curry leaves – 2-3 sprigs
Chili powder – 1 tablespoon
Kashmiri chili powder – 1 tablespoon
Coriander powder- 1 tablespoon
Garam masala – 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric – 1/8 teaspoon
Fennel Powder – 1 teaspoon
Star anise -1 whole
Whole pepper corns – 4-5
Coconut powder – 3 – 4 tablespoons
Vinegar – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil- 4 tablespoons
Pressure cook the meat for 10-15 minutes with 1/2 cup water, whole pepper corns and salt to taste.
In a non stick pan dry roast the coriander powder, chili powder, fennel powder, and garam masala powder along with the coconut powder until fragrant. (till you begin to sneeze) Be very careful while dry roasting as the coconut powder might burn easily. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add about 4-5 tablespoons of water to make a paste and keep aside.
In a earthen pot or wok add some oil, when the oil turns hot drop in the star anise, followed by the onions and a pinch of salt and saute till the onions turn golden brown. Add the grated ginger garlic and curry leaves and continue sauteing until the raw smell goes away. Add the turmeric. Then add the prepared masala paste to the pan. Lower the flame and cook oil oozes out of the masala. Add the tomatoes and enough salt. I like the tomatoes to be chunky, if you like a thicker gravy with the tomatoes blended in, cover and cook till the tomatoes are soft.
Add the boiled meat along with the stock to the pan OR You can add just the meat to the pan and reserve the stock. Then add the stock in small quantities every 5 minutes. Which is what I usually do so that I have control over the thickness of the curry. Check seasoning. Cover and cook on a low flame for 10-15 minutes, so the meat absorbs the spices, stir occasionally. Serve with chapati or rice.