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Slow-roasted beef with coconut and spices before frying in curry leaves and onions in Kerala. Learn how to cook this simple Kerala-style ularthiyathu today.

Kerala beef fry is a simple pressure cooker dish that enhances the naturally rich tastes of beef with traditional Indian spices, coconut slices, and curry leaves. The final product is a spicy, tender beef meal that goes well with white rice, Indian parotta, or naan bread.

The meal, also known as ullarthiyathu, is unique to India’s Kerala area and is usually made with cubes of beef slow-cooked in a combination of spices and coconut. It is then sautéed to caramelize and eliminate moisture, resulting in an incredibly rich platter of meat. It’s ideal for serving as part of a platter or cooking in bulk for the week.

Quick Tips

If you’re making Kerala-style beef for the first time, here are a few pointers to help you get the most out of this aromatic and flavorful meal.

  • For your beef, go for boneless chuck roast or top loin. These slices cut easily into cubes and absorb spices and flavors effectively.
  • For superior flavor, use fresh, locally cultivated herbs, spices, and veggies.
  • Cut the meat into one-inch cubes or smaller to let it absorb the spices and other ingredients while marinating.
  • Extra virgin coconut oil is preferred, however any sort of coconut oil will suffice. Because coconuts are abundant in Kerala, coconut oil is utilized in the majority of Kerala-style cuisine. Sunflower oil is a wonderful replacement for coconut oil for frying without sacrificing scent or taste.
  • If you don’t have fennel seed but want something comparable, crushed anise seed or caraway seeds are also good substitutes.

If you wish to save the beef fry for later, it will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for up to three months. You can easily reheat leftovers in a pan for a few minutes on the stovetop or in the microwave for two to three minutes.

Side Dish Ideas

There are several wonderful sides to consider if you’re serving Karala beef fried as a main course. A common option is basmati rice or pilaf. Another great choice is naan, or flatbread. If you don’t have naan or rice on hand, freshly baked buns or bread are a terrific substitute. These alternatives absorb the luscious tastes of beef fries, making them an excellent choice. People also enjoy 15 Best Budget Instant Pot Recipes [Cost-Effective Pressure Cooker Meal Ideas]

In addition to rice, naan, and bread, you might serve it with grilled veggies, a side dish of black lentil curry, sautéed spinach, or a fresh salad. In contrast to the intense spices and aromas, a small bowl of yogurt with mint or cucumbers is a terrific way to chill your palette.

Kerala Beef Fry

Kerala beef fry slow-roasted in coconut and spices before fried in curry leaves and onions. Find out how to make this easy Kerala-style ularthiyathu today.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10mins
Cook Time 40mins
Total Time 50mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • pressure cooker


  • 1lbbeefcut into 1-inch cubes

To Pressure Cook

  • 2clovesgarliccrushed
  • 1tbspfresh gingergrated
  • 2shallotschopped
  • cupcoconut chunks
  • 1 tspgaram masala
  • tspturmeric powder
  • 1tspfennel seed
  • 3tspred chili powder
  • 2tspcoriander powder
  • 1cinnamon stick
  • tspkosher salt

To Fry

  • 2tbspcoconut oil
  • 3curry leaveschopped
  • 2white onionschopped


  • Combine the meat cubes, garlic, ginger, shallots, coconut, and spices in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the cinnamon stick and kosher salt to the pressure cooker. Add 1-2 cups water, just enough to cover the meat. Cooking time is 20 minutes.
  • In a pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Stir in the curry leaves and onions. Cook until the onions are golden and transparent.
  • Add the steak to the pan, along with any remaining water. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the meat has gone dark brown and begun to dry up.
  • Serve with white rice or naan


How long does it take to cook beef in a pressure cooker?

As a general guideline, when cooking beef roasts in a pressure cooker, allow 20 minutes per pound of meat. The addition of bouillon cubes or a bouillon mix to the cooking broth provides a lot of flavor. If you don’t have any on hand, use a rich beef broth in the recipe.

How do you make meat tender in a pressure cooker?

Cook for 20 minutes at maximum pressure over medium-high heat. Release pressure slowly and carefully according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Make sure the meat is fork tender. Allow 15 minutes for the meat to rest.

How much water do you put in a pressure cooker for beef?

2 cups liquid (such as water or stock). Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes (per pound of meat) for big pieces and 15 minutes (per pound of meat) for little bits. Make use of a rapid pressure release technique.Add 1 1

How many whistles for beef in pressure cooker?

If using a pressure cooker, after mixing the beef in the spice mixture, shut the cooker, set the whistle, and cook for 3 whistles on high heat. After that, turn the heat to low and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.

Do you need liquid to pressure cook beef?

When using a pressure cooker, you must have enough liquid in the pot for it to come to pressure and adequately cook the food. Unless otherwise specified in the recipe, the rule of liquids in pressure cooking is to always add at least 1 cup of liquid. The liquid will assist in producing enough steam to cook the dish.

Can you overcook beef in a pressure cooker?

Yes! In the pressure cooker, it is possible to overcook a pot roast. More than anything, overcooking a roast will cause it to dry out. The sauce will absorb the majority of the meat taste.

Does liquid need to cover meat in pressure cooker?

Instead of covering the meat nearly entirely as you would for a traditional braise, use just enough liquid to bring the cooker to pressure – during pressure cooking, the meat will release its own juice and braise in that tasty liquid.

Why is my pressure cooker beef tough?

The more connective tissue (collagen) a piece of meat possesses, the harder it will be. The longer a piece of beef is cooked in a wet atmosphere, the more connective tissues are broken down.

Does beef get more tender the longer you pressure cook it?

In a pressure cooker, all cuts of meat may become more tender.

This is where a pressure cooker really shines. Meat (and anything else you toss into your pressure cooker) may cook incredibly rapidly compared to other techniques due to the high-pressure environment established within the cooker.

Is 2 cups of water too much for pressure cooker?

2 to 1 cup of liquid is required for well-cooked pressure cooker meals; too much liquid will draw the taste out of dishes. Use just enough liquid to bring the cooker to pressure, unless specifically indicated in the recipe.Follow this advice: while at least one

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