Beef Ularthiyathu (Slow Roasted Beef with Shallots, Spices and Coconut)

This dish has a rich culinary history and has become almost synonymous with the Syrian Christians of Kerala. The beef is slow roasted in a spice mixture and coconut shaves which gives it the rich, dark colour, texture and flavour. The ideal way to cook this would be in an earthern pot but since I do not have one, had to depend on the good old non-stick kadai.

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Good quality beef is an absolute must for this dish or you will end up with extremely tough meat pieces. Traditionally teamed with tapioca – but today, this one is eaten with just about any thing. A real treat if you are up for authentic Kerala cuisine!

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Recipe courtesy – Dr. Lakshmi Nair

Ingredients:

1. Beef – 1 kg
2. Ginger – 3 tbsp, chopped finely
3. Garlic – 5-6 cloves, chopped finely
4. Curry leaves – as much as you care to have
5. Coconut – as much as you care to have, cut into small pieces (shaves)
6. Curd – 1 – 2 tbsp
7. Shallots – 1 cup sliced
8. Salt – to taste
9. Coconut oil (no other oil can impart the true flavour) – 3-4 tbsp
10. Coriander powder – 1 – 2 tbsp
11. Red Chilli powder – 2 tbsp
12. Pepper powder – ¾ tsp {you can add more if you want to}
13. Saunf – 1 tbsp
14. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
15. Bay leaf – 1
16. Cinnamon – ½ bark
17. Cloves – 2
18. Cardamom – 2
19. Star anise – 1
20. Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Method:

• Heat a little oil in a pressure cooker and sauté the coconut pieces till golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
• In the same cooker, add ginger, garlic and shallots. Saute till translucent and then add all the masalas and mix well.
• Add the beef pieces to this and then add curry leaves and curd. Add salt to taste. Mix well and pressure cook till the beef is 3/4ths done.
• In a non stick pan or earthenware pot, add oil and then crackle mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and the cooked beef along with the stock.
• Cook on low flame till the beef turns brown. (A time-consuming process but worth the effort!)
• Garnish with the coconut pieces and curry leaves.

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