Mangalorean Spicy Beef Curry

By Published On: 29 Jun '22Last Updated: 14 Apr '24

Hungry for an authentic Mangalorean Spicy Beef Curry? Here's one packed with flavour from a blend of heady roasted spices, green chillies, fragrant fresh ginger and a dash of coconut.

A simple and versatile beef curry that was a firm favourite in my house and it still is. This Mangalorean Spicy Beef Curry can be prepared with or without coconut. It is packed with flavour from a delicious Mangalorean flavour base of heady roasted spices, fresh green chillies, fragrant fresh ginger and just a dash of coconut (adding coconut is optional). An ultimate Mangalorean beef curry when served with hot steamed rice, or any variety of Indian breads, including Mutlim (round rice bread) or bhakri (rice flat bread). If all fails, you may serve it with white bread as white bread soaks up this spicy curry perfectly!!

I was not a fan of beef when I was growing up however, my parents and grandma loved beef and this spicy beef curry frequented on the COELHO dining table along with bhakri or boiled rice, both of which are great combinations with this curry.

The only time we bought beef was, when a Muslim beef seller came to doors with a few different cuts of beef in a little metal box that was layered with ice. My mother’s favourite cut of beef was what he called ‘halva’, which essentially means boneless beef. I am not terribly certain of the equivalent of that cut over here, I have therefore used Blade Steak, which works well for this curry.

My mother cooked beef only in a handful of ways. Some of her favourite beef curries included, Beef Green Masala, Beef Sukka, Beef Cutlets (these recipes appear in my first ever cookbook, Deliciously Indian, available to buy on Amazon), Beef Jeere Miri and this Spicy Beef Curry, which she simply called “Beef Curry”. I recall this curry to be spicy, slightly tangy (all credit to a combo of tamarind and white vinegar), had a deep earthy colour (from dry roasted whole spices) and very flavoursome. She would add very little coconut from time to time however, on most occasions this curry was prepared without coconut.

She also made Beef Tongue on rare occasions however, as it involved a lot of prep time, this was only as a treat! The tongue tasted rich with a delightful texture. It was cooked first, marinated and finished off in a shallow frying pan. The depth of flavour from the marinade brought out the earthy flavours of the tongue, which was loved by all at home, but particularly by my grandma Alice Coelho.

My taste buds were craving for a taste of this Spicy Beef Curry from a very long time and when I spoke to my hubby about this curry, he seemed to also recall his mother making a similar curry in his house. It sounds like a recipe that many Mangalorean households used to prepare as it was simple enough to be cooked in all kitchens.

As I had not made this curry for several years, I simply could not recollect all the ingredients that went into this curry. I was determined to recreate this curry as the taste of my mum’s curry was still lingering on my tastebuds. So, a few days back, I tried this curry with a combination of different spices but failed to match the exact taste of my mum’s curry. My tasting team reluctantly gave me the go ahead subject to me fine tuning the recipe.

My hubby suggested to ring his sister and check out the ingredients. What a great idea that was!!

Bingo! She mentioned she makes this curry quite regularly in Mumbai. Thank you Thelma for enlightening me with the necessary spices and method to make this curry. I followed the ingredients and method to the ‘T” and was thrilled to achieve close enough taste to my mum’s Spicy Beef Curry. I have made this curry several times since then to ensure its authentic taste and I am thrilled to share this recipe with you and I hope you will enjoy preparing it. Sharing is caring, right guys!!

There’s a decent amount of spices called for in this Spicy Beef Curry, given the flavour of this delicious curry but it does not call for any hard to find ingredients. In fact, most of these ingredients are commonly used in an Indian pantry.

If you do not have the whole spices mentioned in the recipe, you will be able to find them at your local Indian supermarket. Although you can buy coriander and cumin powders at your local Coles stores in Australia, the real flavour for this curry comes from a blend of dry roasted coriander seeds, cumin seeds and roasted Kashmiri and long red chillies.

You may serve this curry straight from the stove to the table, however, this curry tastes better if served after a day of two as the flavours of the spices permeate through the meat.

If you like beef and want to try out an authentic Mangalorean style spicy beef curry, this is the perfect recipe just for you! And when you prepare it, please leave a comment right at the bottom of this page, as it keeps me motivated and helps me a lot!!

If you like red meats, feel free to try out the following recipes:

Indo-Chinese Beef Chilli (Indian and Chinese fusion beef dish), Beef with Vegemite (umami rich beef dish) and Aussie Steak with Creamy Chimichurri (an Australian classic pan fried beef steak with chimichurri).

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

When you are cooking this recipe, read the recipe first carefully. Gather all your ingredients and then start cooking. The ingredients below are commonly used ingredients in an Indian pantry. So, let’s get started!!

Coconut is optional. I have used a tablespoon coconut in this recipe. I have tested this recipe without coconut also. Coconut gives a certain thickness and taste to this curry. Little coconut is more for this recipe so, do not overdo with coconut!!

Soak tamarind in ¼ cup hot water. Squeeze out pulp. Discard seeds and fibre. Set aside.

Ingredients

1kg cubed beef, oil, 1 sliced onion, salt, beef stock powder, green chillies, ginger and coriander leaves (for garnish)

For the Masala

Kashmiri chillies, long red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, garlic cloves, cinnamon powder, turmeric powder, tamarind, cloves, 1 onion, fresh or shredded coconut (optional), and white vinegar

Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add one sliced onion. Saute for 4 minutes or until translucent

Add salt, stock powder, green chillies and ginger. Stir to combine.

Add cubed beef. Sauté for 4 minutes. No need to brown evenly. Add 400mL water and stir to combine

Pop the lid on and pressure cook beef until tender. I pressure cook for 15 minutes in my TEFAL pressure cooker. As pressure cookers vary, pressure cook in accordance with the instructions of your pressure cooker. Remove from heat and set aside till all the steam has escaped!

While the meat is cooking, heat a small frying pan on medium. Dry roast Kashmiri chillies and long red chillies until you see fine tendrils of smoke rising to the surface (only a minute or two). Remove to a plate/bowl.

Dry roast cumin seeds and remove to the bowl (only takes a minute as the pan is hot). Do not burn the spices!

Dry roast coriander seeds. Remove to the bowl/plate (only takes a minute or two)

Dry roasted ingredients

Place the dry roasted ingredients into a blender or similar appliance. Add garlic, cinnamon, turmeric powder, tamarind pulp, cloves, coconut (if you are using coconut) and onion

Add 200mL water and blend to a smooth paste. I used my Breville blender and blended it for 4 minutes at 1 minute intervals. Set aside

Heat a medium size saucepan on low-medium with remaining oil.

Add the remaining one onion

Sauté till the edges are light brown (approx. 4-5 minutes)

Add the ground paste from the blender. Wash blender with 125mL water and set aside

Combine the ground paste with onions and sauté for 3 minutes

Open the pressure cooker when all the steam has escaped. Opening the pressure cooker before the steam has escaped is dangerous and harmful

Ladle all the stock from the pressure cooker into the saucepan. Stir in vinegar and the reserved blender water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the curry has thickened slightly

Add cooked beef along with all the other contents from the pressure cooker

Stir well to combine. Simmer for a further 3-5 minutes for the flavours to incorporate into the meat. Taste and season with salt and vinegar, if required.

Do not overcook beef!

Remove from heat. Garnish with coriander leaves

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

  • A spicy curry like this, marries well with hot steamed white/brown rice/boiled rice.
  • Great served with any Indian breads.
  • Pairs well with Bhakri (Mangalorean rice flat bread) or Mutlin (Mangalorean round rice dumplings).
  • It’s delicious served on top of flat pasta such as cooked lasagne sheets. Cut each lasagne sheet into 3 pieces. Cook al dente in boiling hot water, and serve this spicy beef curry on a bed of this pasta! It’s mouth watering!!
  • If all else fails, this curry pairs equally well with white bread. This is the most common way Mangaloreans in Udupi used to have this curry. We like to mop up every bit of that curry and bread does just that!!

If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback. Please be sure to rate the recipe and/or leave a comment below. If you want to see more recipe inspirations, you can follow me on Instagram @lavina_mendonsa.

Mangalorean Spicy Beef Curry

Catherine Lavina Mendonsa
This Spicy Beef Curry is packed with flavour from a delicious Mangalorean flavour base of heady roasted spices, fresh green chillies, fragrant fresh ginger and just a dash of coconut. An ultimate Mangalorean beef curry when served with hot steamed rice, or any variety of Indian breads, including mutlin (round rice bread) or bhakri (rice flat bread) or pan polay. 
Prep Time 40 minutes