Authentic Kerala-Style Beef Fry Recipe: Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

If you’re craving a dish that bursts with rich, spicy flavors, look no further than Kerala-style beef fry. This traditional South Indian delicacy combines succulent pieces of beef with an aromatic blend of spices and herbs, creating a mouthwatering experience that’ll transport you straight to the lush landscapes of Kerala. It’s not just a meal; it’s a culinary journey steeped in culture and tradition.


For this Kerala-style beef fry, you will need a variety of fresh ingredients and aromatic spices to achieve the authentic flavors. Gather all the items listed below before starting.

Beef and Marinade

  • 2 pounds beef, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste

Spices and Seasonings

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • Water as needed
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Tools and Equipment

To create an authentic Kerala-style beef fry, having the right tools and equipment is essential. Here’s a detailed list of what you’ll need:

Essential Tools

  • Heavy-Bottomed Pan or Kadai: A heavy-bottomed pan ensures even heat distribution, preventing the spices from burning.
  • Sharp Knife: For cutting the beef into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Cutting Board: To provide a sturdy surface for chopping ingredients like onions, garlic, and ginger.
  • Mixing Bowls: Various sizes for marinating the beef and mixing other ingredients.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: For stirring the dish without damaging your cookware.

Measuring Tools

  • Measuring Spoons: Accurate measurements of spices are crucial to achieving the perfect flavor balance.
  • Measuring Cups: Useful for measuring liquids like coconut oil.

Other Tools

  • Mortar and Pestle (Optional): For freshly grinding whole spices if you prefer not to use pre-ground versions.
  • Tongs or Forks: Handy for turning meat pieces during cooking to ensure they brown evenly.

Ensure you have these tools ready before starting your Kerala-style beef fry preparation. The right equipment makes all the difference in crafting this flavorful dish authentically.


To create an authentic Kerala-style beef fry, follow these detailed steps to ensure your dish is flavorful and perfectly cooked.

Cleaning and Cutting the Beef

  1. Rinse the Beef: Rinse 2 pounds of beef thoroughly under cold running water to remove any impurities.
  2. Pat Dry: Use paper towels to pat the beef dry. This helps in better marination.
  3. Trim Excess Fat: Trim off any excess fat from the beef using a sharp knife.
  4. Cut into Cubes: Cut the beef into small cubes, approximately 1-inch pieces.


  1. Prepare Marinade: In a large mixing bowl, combine:
  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  1. Add Beef Cubes: Add the cubed beef to the marinade mixture.
  2. Mix Well: Use your hands or a spoon to mix well until all pieces are evenly coated with the marinade.
  3. Rest Time: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight for deeper flavor absorption.

Following these preparation steps closely, you set a solid foundation for creating a delicious Kerala-style beef fry that bursts with traditional flavors and spices.

Cooking Process

The cooking process is crucial to achieving the characteristic flavor and texture of Kerala-style beef fry. Follow these steps carefully to ensure a delicious result.

Frying the Beef

  1. Heat Oil: In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat until shimmering.
  2. Add Marinated Beef: Add the marinated beef pieces to the hot oil in batches, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan.
  3. Fry Until Browned: Fry each batch for about 8-10 minutes or until the beef is browned on all sides and slightly crispy.
  4. Drain Excess Oil: Remove the fried beef with a slotted spoon and place it on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Adding Aromatics

  1. Heat More Oil: In the same pan used for frying, add an additional 2 tablespoons of coconut oil if needed.
  2. Add Curry Leaves & Green Chilies: Once the oil is hot, add a handful of fresh curry leaves and 2-3 slit green chilies; sauté until they release their aroma.
  3. Sauté Onions & Ginger-Garlic Paste: Add thinly sliced onions (about 2 large onions) and stir-fry until golden brown, then mix in 1 tablespoon ginger paste and 1 tablespoon garlic paste; cook for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Spice Mixture:
  • Ground Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red Chili Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Garam Masala – 1 teaspoon
  1. Cook Spices: Sprinkle these spices over the sautéed mixture and stir well; cook for about 2 minutes or until raw smell dissipates.
  2. Combine Beef & Spice Mix: Return the fried beef to the pan, mixing thoroughly so that each piece is coated with spices.
  3. Simmer Together: Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes allowing flavors to meld together.


In this section, you will combine the fried beef with the aromatic spices and give it those final touches to make your Kerala-style beef fry truly exceptional.

Combining Beef and Spices

  1. Once your beef is fried to a crispy perfection, transfer it to a large skillet.
  2. Add the sautéed onions, green chilies, curry leaves, and ginger-garlic paste into the skillet with the fried beef.
  3. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of garam masala and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper powder for an additional layer of spice.
  4. Stir everything together over medium heat until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Make sure each piece of beef is evenly coated with the spice mixture by gently tossing them.


  1. Lower the heat and let the dish simmer for about 5 minutes so that all flavors meld together beautifully.
  2. If desired, add a splash of coconut oil to enhance richness and aroma.
  3. Garnish with fresh curry leaves for a burst of color and flavor right before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Kerala-style beef fry is a versatile dish that pairs beautifully with various accompaniments. Here are some serving suggestions to enhance your dining experience:

With Rice

Serve the flavorful beef fry alongside steaming hot rice. The rich, spicy notes of the beef complement plain rice perfectly, allowing you to savor each bite.

With Parotta

Pair the beef fry with flaky Kerala parottas for an authentic regional experience. The soft, layered bread mops up the aromatic spices and enhances each mouthful.

As An Appetizer

Present the beef fry as an appetizer at gatherings or celebrations. Arrange it on a platter garnished with fresh curry leaves and lemon wedges for added zest.

With Chapati

For a lighter option, serve the beef fry with whole wheat chapatis. The subtle flavor of chapati balances well with the robust taste of spiced beef.

Accompanying Side Dishes

Complement your meal by adding side dishes like cucumber raita or onion salad. These cooling sides provide a refreshing contrast to the heat of the beef fry.

Serving Suggestion Description
Rice Plain steamed rice
Parotta Flaky Kerala bread
Appetizer Platter presentation with garnishes
Chapati Whole wheat flatbread
Side Dishes Cucumber raita, onion salad


Mastering the Kerala-style beef fry recipe brings a rich and aromatic dish to your table. By following key steps like marinating, frying in coconut oil, and using fresh spices, you achieve an authentic flavor that stands out. Whether served with rice, parotta, or chapati, this dish pairs perfectly with sides like cucumber raita or onion salad. Dive into this culinary journey and enjoy a truly exceptional meal that’s sure to impress your family and friends.

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