Kerala Beef Vindaloo
Vindaloo is often synonymous with fiery, bold, pungent curries. It is one Indian curry that needs no introduction. It is lip-smacking delicious, tenderly cooked meat in a spicy gravy. It is almost pickle like with flavor of vinegar and ground mustard. But again, the perfect vindaloo curry strikes the right balance with chilies, aromatic spices, and vinegar- a perfect balance of acidity, spicy heat, and flavor of earthy spices.
Authentic Goan Vindaloo is made with pork, but you can also use beef or mutton. Vindaloo may sound complicated, but it is an easy recipe. You can make a restaurant-style curry right in your kitchen. Today I am sharing two ways to cook this recipe. The traditional slow-cooked stove top recipe and an Instant pot recipe. Recently I have been making this curry in Instant pot and it comes out perfect each time.
Beef Vindaloo is a quintessential dish for Christmas feasts in Kerala. It is popular among Christians and the Anglo-Indian community. I love the simplicity of Kerala style vindaloo. It is often called Vinagiri Curry or Vinagiri Irachi meaning meat cooked with vinegar. It varies from region to region and each house has its signature dish. There is a noticeable tang of vinegar and the acidity is beautifully balanced with spices. There is no blistering excess of chilies. It is only added for color. Chilly powder like Kashmiri is preferred for the color rather than heat. It has the spicy kick of black pepper and the earthy flavor of mustard, fennel, fenugreek, clove, and cumin. It tastes divine with soft lacy appam.
So do you love indulging in spicy food? Do you enjoy pickle sourness and taste? Well, then this recipe will be perfect for you. It tastes best with soft appam but you can also serve this steamed rice, or even better the old fashion way with toasted bread. So get your ingredients together and try this recipe. Let me know how it turned out for you:)
How Vindaloo became an integral part of Indian cuisine?
Here is a little peek into the history of Vindaloo- a classic dish that has strong European influence. It took elements from the Portuguese and English cuisine to create something uniquely Indian. It is an Indianized version of popular Portuguese dish Carne de vinha d’alhos in which meat is marinated in wine vinegar and garlic. It made its way to India in the 15th century along with Portuguese explorers. Carne de vinha d’alhos was a dish that was usually carried by travelers and sailors. It had liberal use of vinegar and garlic and can be preserved. Indian cooks of Goa used local ingredients like palm vinegar, tamarind, black pepper, and spices. With the introduction of chilly to the Indian cuisine by the Portuguese, it adapted itself to a fiery rich curry. British took up Vindaloo and made it their own and became an integral part of Indian cuisine.
Kerala Style Beef Vindaloo
Vindaloo became popular in Goa, Konkan, and Kerala because of the Portuguese and Anglo Indian community. Cochin was a onetime Portuguese stronghold and their influence can be seen in the local cuisine. This dish is a must among Christians and the Anglo Indian community of the region, for special occasions and celebrations. Vinagiri irachi has the spicy kick of black pepper and the earthy flavor of mustard, fennel, fenugreek, and cumin. Chilly powder like kashmiri is preferred for the color rather than heat. Black pepper was the spice of choice for generations in Kerala cooking. Goan Vindaloo uses the pungent liquor feni but the Cochin recipe uses a milder local coconut vinegar. A small piece of drumstick or Muringa trees bark is also added as meat tenderizer. There is no tamarind, tomatoes or vegetables in vinagiri curry and is made with both beef and pork. There is also liberal use of coconut oil and curry leaves.
Now coming to the recipe…
Spices soaked in vinegar
Marinate the beef with the spice mix
Recipe for Kerala Beef Vindaloo- Vinagiri Irachi
Cooking time- 30 minutes
Prep time- 25 minutes
Recipe Type- Meat curry/side dish
Beef cubed- 1 kg
Onion finely chopped- 1 large
Curry leaves- a few
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1 tsp
Coconut oil- 2 tbs
For the marinade
Dry red chilly- 4-5
Kashmiri chilly powder- 1 1/2 tbs
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Black pepper- 1 1/2 tsp
Ginger- 2 inch thick piece
Garlic- 6-8 pods
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds- 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds-1 tbs
Cinnamon- 2 pieces
Vinegar- 1/4 cup
To make Vindaloo- Stove top method
Remove the seeds of dry red chilies if you want it less spicy. In a bowl add the chilies, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds, cumin, cinnamon, clove, and cardamon. Add vinegar and let it soak for 10 minutes.
Make a fine paste of this mixture along with ginger and garlic. Mix Kashmiri chilli powder.
Marinate the beef with this paste. Add finely chopped shallots and curry leaves, salt and a teaspoon of coconut oil and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate and let it marinate for at least two hours.
Note- The longer the marinade the better it tastes. It is good to marinate it overnight. If you plan to marinate it overnight make a marinade paste with water instead. Mix vinegar one hour before cooking.
Heat coconut oil in a pan and add sliced onion, green chilly and curry leaves. Saute till onions turn golden brown.
Add the marinated meat and stir fry it for about 8-10 minutes till it gets slightly browns. Add one cup of water cover and cook till the beef is soft and tender and till the oil separates. This will take about twenty minutes in medium heat. Add a teaspoon of sugar to bring a balance of taste. Check the salt taste and add a few curry leaves. Allow the gravy to thicken. Serve this with rice or naan or chapati.
How to cook Beef vindaloo in Instant Pot
Follow the same instruction as mentioned above to marinate the beef. I use Instant Pot duo.
Set Instant pot to saute function high mode. When it is warm add coconut oil and add sliced onion, green chilly and curry leaves. Saute till onions turn golden brown. This will take about 5-6 minutes.
Add the meat and saute the meat for another 7-8 minutes or till it is slightly brown.
Add half a cup of water. The meat will release and cook in its water.
Close the lid and check the steam release handle. Turn it to sealing position.
Press manual or pressure cook on high. Set the time for 20 minutes. Once cooked allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. It is ready to serve.
If you find that the gravy is not thick enough, cancel and set again to saute mode for another 5-6 minutes. Serve with rice, appam, naan or bread.
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Hope you will all enjoy!