Indian-Inspired Kerala Stir-Fried Beef and Rice

Beef Stir-Fry (9069)The other day I posted one of my favourite entries in C&T on my Facebook page. It was an assignment for a Blogging University course (which has now ended) that included a quote. I remember not knowing what quote to choose, but being a creature of habit, and thus feeling like a hobbit most of the time, I decided to go for one from Tolkien’s masterpieces. I got loads of positive feedback for that piece and the recipe I included in it is one that I make again and again. I’m sure you’ll agree that a walnut and banana loaf cake is one of the most comforting bakes around. That and a scrumptious cup of thick hot chocolate.

So you won’t find many recipes on this blog that venture too much out of my comfort zone. C&T started out, and still is I think, a place to share what I cook at home, primarily in a small kitchen, as the ones I had back in the UK. Now I have a somewhat larger room to play in. I am lucky and I like the space, though it wasn’t easy to adjust to it.

Beef Stir-Fry (9068)I like a good stir-fry and we made so many different versions that never make it here. Somehow I never have my camera to hand when we do so frankly I don’t know how I managed to capture this one! It’s a delightful recipe, very simple and once you have your ingredients to hand, you’ll be eating this in half an hour. It’s also a good one to include in your repertoire if you hate bland foods. This will strike the right balance between aromatic and spicy. Good luck!

  • 700g lean beef, cut into strips
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced or crushed
  • ¼ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls of green beans or peas
  • 1 red pepper, cut into wide strips
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • around 150ml water
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ cups cooked rice

Cut the beef into thin strips and put them in a bowl, together with the garlic, ginger, turmeric, pepper, coriander, cumin and chilli flakes. Toss the ingredients together until you have coated the beef with all the spices. Season with a pinch of coarse salt, toss once more, cover the bowl with cling film and leave the meat to marinade for around 30 minutes. If you live in a warm climate I would advise to leave it for at least 15 minutes in the fridge.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan or wok on a medium to high heat. Pour in the oil. Tip in the onion and let it sweat until it turns translucent and has slightly softened. Add the marinated beef to the pan and mix it in with the onion. Cook for around 5 minutes, making sure to give everything a good stir once in a while. Add the chopped red pepper .

Pour in the water and coconut milk and add the tomato and green beans. Mix and bring the mixture to the boil, then down to a simmer for around 25 minutes, until the beef is cooked and the sauce is slightly thickened.

Serve immediately with the cooked rice. For 2-3 hungry people.


For more tips and tricks take a look at my easy stir-fried pork and rice recipe.

(Recipe adapted from Leemei Tan’s Lemongrass and Ginger, Duncan Baird, London, 2012.)

One year ago: Raspberry Eton Mess

Two years ago: Chocolate Olive Oil Cake (GF)

Three years ago: Dublin Coddle

Four years ago: Butternut Squash Curry


4 thoughts on “Indian-Inspired Kerala Stir-Fried Beef and Rice”

      1. You know a couple months ago I had the exact same problem! I finally found dried curry leaves, I’m hopeful that I can use less and still get some of the flavor (like some other herbs). Now I need to find lime leaves…

      2. I have no idea what kind of flavour they give. It’s very frustrating not being able to find specialist ingredients and it happens so often in my neck of the woods….

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