about all things hot'n'spicy , sweet'n'crazy

From my Father’s Food Memoirs

Stir fried Beef with shallots.

This is the story of a young boy who lived in a small town in Kerala. He was the youngest among his six brothers and this earned him special privileges in the family. One of the privileges of his life then was that he would always get a portion of  special dishes cooked for the elders of the family. It was very common in those days to save the best dishes for the head of the family and to be able to have a taste of those was a rare treat. He would wait to have dinner with his dad when ever his mother prepared this special beef fry and his dad never disappointed him. Days and years went by, everything around him changed but his love for the beef fry his mother made  remained the same.

This young boy is my father and every time he narrates this story to us he would be beaming with joy. You would be surprised to know this beef fry has proven to have medicinal powers and works better than antipyretic in treating fever in the case of my dad. Every time he falls sick my mother makes sure he gets a dose of his mom’s beef fry along with the tablets. This is definitely the ultimate comfort food for him not just for taste but for the flood of memories it brings back.

I am excited to share the recipe with you and you would be amazed to know a beef fry recipe can’t get any simpler.

Serves 3


  • 500 gms of Beef cut into bite sized pieces
  • 5-6 Green chillies split lengthways
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped Ginger
  • 1 cup Indian Shallots halved
  • 1-2 tsp of White Vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Sprig of curry leaves
  • 1-2 tsp oil


Wash the beef and place in a pressure cooker. Add 1/2 cup of water and salt to taste and cook for about  10 minutes after the first whistle. Alternatively, you can cook the beef in a regular pan with enough water to cover the beef for about 30 minutes until the meat is soft. Make sure there is at least  half a cup of stock remaining in the pan at the end of cooking.

Add  the chopped shallots, chopped ginger, slit green chillies and vinegar to the beef and cook until all the liquid in the pan is gone.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan .Transfer the contents of pressure cooker to the pan. Add curry leaves and fry it on a low flame until the meat is browned as seen in the picture.

Serve it as side for rice or even better use it as filling for your tortilla wrap.


6 responses

  1. viji

    super photo with the light

    January 17, 2011 at 10:55 am

  2. sharath

    ya she is true about the medicinal powers of this fabulous dish .. i can vouch for that apart from being a superb dish this can some time be used as an anti pyretic tooo …:).. no offence meant to my collegues in the field of medicine

    January 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm

  3. shirly

    ya my daughter is right .. and i think she has inherited the culinary genes from her grand mothers who were famous cooks of their time specialised in syrian christian dishes ..all the best for u ponnu mol in ur new venture..

    January 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm

  4. thomas roy

    ya she is right.. infact when i was down with viral fever the only food i took was this dish .. infact when ever i taste this dish made by my daughter i ‘ll be transferred to my good olden days.. so this dish fills my mouth and my mind too with the love and care and those sweet golden memories of my mother…

    January 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm

  5. shirly

    ya my daughter is true about the medicinal value of this dish .. infact she cooks this dish just like my dear mom in law .. its been testified by both her father and his elder brothers .. so whenever there is a family get together this dish is the favourite starter of people from 70 to 7… and the burden of cooking this dish falls on saumya’s shoulder and she always relishes the challenge.. in fact i can say that she has inherited the culinary genes of both her grand moms who were renouned cooks of their time specializes in syrian christian dishes .. al the best mol for u in this new venture.. may god bless u

    January 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm

  6. sharath

    mousi awaiting impatiently for ur next dish and the story… and balaji ur a genius, the photos re awesome .. man u should think seriously about becoming a professional photographer … keep the good work going

    January 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm

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