Jan 27, 2014

Spicy Beef Curry with Spinach...easy Pressure cooker method

How many of you make New Year’s resolutions? I never make b’coz for me they just end up being January resolutions…yeah, hardly ever stick on to it beyond a month. But I know I used to make resolutions when I was a kid, like ‘this year I’ll improve my handwriting’, or ‘this year I’ll top the class’ and all such kinda stuff but it just lost its charm as I grew older I guess.
Now 'This year' there are few things that I plan to do and hopefully I’ll see if I can stick on to them. Some people believe in not sharing their wishes to others thinking it might get jinxed and not work, and I belong to such a category, so I won’t share them here now but if they work I’ll definitely be sharing them :-) They are not resolutions or anything but few things that I learnt from mistakes made last year which I want to correct and get better at this year…Opportunities that I missed/lost/foolishly did not take up last year which I want to this year….and the list quite goes on, but I don’t think they are un-doable ;-)

This year I want to also include several different cuisines to my list of recipes. I love trying out all sort of cuisines as long as everything I’m eating is fully cooked…NO raw sushi or rare cooked meat for me plssss! And I do cook/experiment with a variety of cuisines at home, but most of my experiments are done at night either after I come home from work or weekend dinners, so photographing them is a challenge. I’m trying to find a solution to this as living in Minnesota, especially during winters, getting enough light after 3pm can be a challenge and I want to be able to click whenever I want and not just when the dear Sun decides to show up. So that’s one or two agendas on my list. 

Anyways, enough of my ramblings for today. Today’s dish is a simple, quick to cook and yummy to eat naadan (homestyle) Beef curry. I don’t cook much beef or pork at home, though we eat them at restaurants etc, we are more of the chicken and fish eaters at home, but occasionally I do buy beef and I like cooking them in our typical Kerala style preparations with roasted spices and coconut slices  and to make it a teeny bit healthier I added lots of baby spinach. 
I prefer to buy the stew cut meat as they cook easily and are soft. And a pressure cooker makes life so much easier :-)

The Beef curry is spicy and flavorful, go ahead and check out the recipe

Kerala style Beef curry with Spinach

You’ll need
Stew cut Beef meat – 1lb or ½ kg (cut into smaller pieces)
Baby Spinach (roughly chopped) – 2 cups
For tempering:
Oil – 2 Tblsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig (8-10 leaves)
Dry red chilli – 1 or 2 broken
Coconut thinly sliced – 1 Tblsp
Remaining ingredients:
Red Onion (thinly sliced) – 1 big or 2 medium
Green chillies (slit lengthwise)- 1 or 2
Ginger (thinly sliced or grated) – 1” piece
Garlic cloves (sliced or grated) – 5 or 6
Tomato (chopped) – 1 medium
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Corriander powder – 2 Tblsp
Garam masala – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Black pepper powder – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste
Water – as needed for gravy
Corriander leaves – for garnish (optional)

1. Heat oil in your pressure cooker and crack mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, dry red chilli and coconut slices and fry until coconut slices are mildly brown.
2.  Add Ginger-Garlic-Green chillies and sauté for a minute, then add Red Onions, a pinch of salt and cook until the Onions soften.
3.  Add tomatoes and sauté again for a minute.
4.  Add all the spice powders: Red chilli powder, Corriander powder, Garam masala, Turmeric powder, Black pepper powder and enough salt and mix and cook everything until the raw smell of the spices wear off (2 mins)
5.  Mix in the beef and enough water as per gravy required (I added ¼ cup water) and cover the pressure cooker, put on the whistle and cook for 3-4 whistle blows.
6.  Turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker cool down and then remove the whistle and open the cooker. Add the baby spinach and mix everything. Garnish with coriander leaves if desired.

Few suggestions:
1. You could use Ginger-Garlic paste instead of fresh ginger & garlic.
2. If using regular raw spinach, sauté it separately in a pan and add it to the beef. Baby spinach can be eaten raw so it doesn’t matter if included without cooking it separately.
3. I prefer a thick gravy so added only ¼ cup water, you can add more if you want a runny gravy but note that the beef will release a bit of moisture while cooking which adds to the gravy content.
4. I use Kashmiri Red Chilli powder which is milder in spice but gives a gorgeous reddish-brown color to your dish. 

Look at that lush gravy...yumm! We ate this with some kerala matta rice, beetroot thoran and moru curry and it was a quick and yummy lunch. But the curry pairs very well even with Appam, Idiappam, Chapathi, Porotta, Naan, Basmati rice...even bread etc.
My lil’one wasn’t very keen on trying the spicy dish but I hope he will develop a taste to it as he grows :-)



  1. That is a yummy beef curry...with spinach...that was a great twist to make it healthy.....I too cook beef in pressure cooker to minimize the cooking time...allengil chorum curry'um okke ayallum beef akkula.... But it tastes better if cooked otherwise...

    Hmm...sunlight venno...phoenix'il pore...we have sunlight all year round

  2. In fact a wonderful combo.I have the practice of preparing something with spinach whenever I am into meat.Makes the digestion too smooth.This one is a revelation.would definitely try Manju.Thanks.

  3. looks so droolworthy, manju... love the color of the curry... awesome!

  4. Yup...I too used to take many resolutions but always fails.......really drool worthy beef curry with spinach.......This is a new info to me dat spinach works well with beef..........Will surely try this.... :)

  5. Wow, this is wonderful! I love a nice spicy curry to eat with rice. I like how you combined the beef with the spinach like this. I also made a New Year's Resolution to be more challenging in the kitchen by baking breads and things I was afraid to try. January is almost over and I have not gotten to it yet. Yikes! Well I have been concentrating on some themes these last few weeks like Kale week and Super Bowl week. Maybe I'll have to do two in February to make up for it. :)

  6. This curry looks delicious Manju. I do add spinach to chicken sometime but never tried with beef. Like you said its not cooked often here too... :-)

  7. i saw this on foodgawker and was curious to see more when i saw the name :)

  8. That looks delicious Manju and I love the use of spinach. We don't eat beef very often, but I love it and this looks super tempting!
    I broke my resolution on the first day of the year and thats how it usually goes:)

  9. It looks absolutely fabulous!

  10. I never tried spinach with beef. Like you mentioned I rarely buy beef, we are chicken and fish people :)...I would say more fish.. But I liked the curry style. I make the beef ullarthiyathu only. Will try your version too. Looks really yummy and I am imagining them to have with some warm stuffed chapathi...mmmm....

  11. Hi Manju... I have been following your blog for a while but this is the first time I am commenting on this. This curry looks super awesome and am sure it tastes as good. We do not eat beef at home either. But the next time I get it, I'm sure going to try this recipe

  12. Hi Manju, I'd love to try this tempting recipe, but I don't have a pressure cooker. Considering that, could you recommend how to alter the cooking instructions? I have a Crockpot and a Dutch Oven. Could I use either of these instead? Thanks so much! Jen

    1. Hi Jen,
      Although I haven't made this in a slow cooker, I'm fairly positive you could prepare this dish in a slow cooker. Use stew cuts of beef and cook on low for 8hrs. It should turn out great. (I would recommend doing the initial masala making etc separately first and then adding the beef and masala with enough water to the slowcooker and cook until done)


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