Monday, August 19, 2013

Beef Ularthiyathu (Beef Dry Fry) ~ Kottayam Style

Writing this post is going to be a difficult task. My mouth is watering and leaving me craving for these. I should have drafted this post much earlier when I had made it and still leftover. Well there was no such moment. It just vanished from our plates in no time.

I got to know that there are different ways of getting this dish done. But I am used to making it the Kottayam style. Even though I would so love to try out other versions, whenever I start making them, I end up making it this way, as it is very dear to our hearts.

In Kerala, this is a must serving in Kallu Shappu/toddy shops (at least I was told so). Well, I didn't have toddy to serve with it :P but when we had lunch we did have buttermilk(little over fermented to have the tanginess) to go with it.

During my hostel days in Kerala, we weren't supposed to have food from outside. But we had secret sources of getting it. We had a hotel that shared its boundary with our college campus. We used to get to the hotel ( standing on our side of the boundary) and climb up a rock pulled up already, just enough to peep to the other side ( i.e. the kitchen of the hotel). With a stick we would beat on the boundary so that the aunty in the kitchen could hear us. Sometimes it used to take long before aunty would appear as an angel offering us food. She would then come out and we could order for some beef fry and Kerala Porotta. We used to have it as if in heaven. Our seniors taught us and we followed it and hope our juniors are also doing the same. Fingers crossed and hoping that this post never gets to the warden :P. Lets move on to the recipe now. Hope you like it.

                                                                                                                                                    Got this badge at a sampling event.


To cook the Beef

  1. 1 kg of beef, washed, drained and cut into cubes
  2. 1 cup of finely sliced shallots/ onion(preferably red onions) 
  3. 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  4. 1/2 tbsp of chilly powder
  5. 3/4 tbsp of coriander powder
  6. 1/2 tbsp of fennel seeds/ perumjeerakam
  7. 1 sprig of curry leaves
  8. 1 tbsp of finely chopped ginger
  9. 1 tbsp of finely chopped garlic
  10. Sliced coconut/ Thengakothu
  11. Salt to taste
For frying
  1. 5 -6 shallots finely sliced
  2. 1/2 tbsp of pepper powder
  3. A sprig of curry leaves
  4. 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil

  • In a pressure cooker, drop all the ingredients from 1 to 11. Drop in 2 tbsp of water and give it a thorough mix with you hands. Let it marinate for about half an hour.
  • Now cook it. For me, it took, 1 whistle on high heat followed by 4 whistles on medium heat. It would truly depend on the quality of the beef. The beef would be almost cooked(not fully cooked) by now. Do not over cook it.
  • Remove it from heat and let the pressure release on its own. Only once the pressure has come down, open the cooker. 
  • In a thick bottom skillet, drop in the oil. Once the oil is hot, drop in the sliced shallots and curry leaves. Saute it till golden brown. Drop in the pepper powder, stir it. 
  • Drop in the cooked beef and give it a mix. Now turn down the heat to medium and let the gravy thicken and get dried. Keep stirring them in intervals so that they don't burn and stick to the bottom and get roasted well to get the dark colour.
  1. Do not cut the beef into very tiny cubes. Else they would break and would not remain in shape.
  2. Do not use too much of onion, else they might leave a sweet taste to the beef fry. Traditional recipe calls in for use of shallots. But using red onions is equally good. 
  3. Do not use too much water while cooking the beef. The water content in the beef is enough to get them cooked.
  4. Use chilly powder and not paprika/kashmiri chilly if you need the dark colour to your beef fry.
  5. Do not over cook the beef in the pressure cooker, else they would fall apart and loose its shape while frying.
  6. If you feel the beef is getting too dry, you could use a bit more of oil.

Recipe courtesy : My Mom


  1. Can you see me?I am dying here!!:((
    A-w-e-s-o-m-e!!!I feel like eating some right now.Donoo why I am seeing so many beef ulathiyathu posts today..
    He hee hostel tales are classic sambhavamkal etra ketallum matiyavulla :)
    Beef love badgeum undo enikku vyaa:))

    1. Thank u Meena :)...Hostel jeevitham oru sambhavam thane alle...The more we talk the more we get nostalgic...if at all there were time machines ...**sigh**... Beef badge pande oru sampling event'ine poyapol kittiyathayirunnu..:)

  2. Anupa, I should try your version now as I am still wanting to have them... :-) trust me they vanish in no time here too heee

    1. he he ...I guess its the same story everywhere..they vanish in no time :)

  3. Ur post made me to take a journey to my hostel dayz tooo.... valiya sambhavam thannaya hostel lyfe....super delicious, mouthwatering.....n nice badge :)

  4. This is drool worthy...the other day it was Rekha, now it's u!!!! Beefethra kazhichalum mathiyavilla...

    1. We would love to have beef anytime but when we think it is red meat , we kind of stay away :(

  5. I dont eat beef dear, but looks yummy may be I can try replacing them with chicken. Love the flavour and the spices...

    1. I have never tried this recipe with chicken...but do give a try.....the cook time for chicken would be less though.

  6. Nice Recipe Anupa , with beautiful clicks..... Lovely badge too...

  7. anu blog header enthengilum changes cheyithu? ah simply the way it looks well stirred...

    1. yeah...played around with the blog header a little... :)... Thank u

  8. Hi Anupa..
    Nice clicks...and drooling recipe...Miss hostel days...Me and my husband have had beef only at hostel,as both of our family dont eat beef ..Friends used to bring it from home and shared it :p
    What type of cut do you buy for these kerala recipes and from where do you buy it ? I guess you are in US ...

    1. Thank u :)....ahh...sunday evenings when roommates would be back from home was one awaited moment, right ? :P

      I buy stew meat to make these...personally I have found that stew meat from angus beef taste better and taste much closer to the beef that we get in india... You could find them in any grocery store in the meat aisle... I stick to buying it from Sam's club after having tried it from other grocery stores ...might be a mental block but I think they taste good.

  9. Yeah..!!!golden days....
    Thank You for the info... next grocery shopping listil angus beef stew meat undeee.. :)

  10. I love beef ularthiyathu. we don't cook beef so much at home, but take us to a kerala restuarant and beef ularthiyathu with appm is our muts-order item :-) Loved the last shot too :-)

    1. Thanks Manju ....well, we too don't eat beef that often, bcoz its red meat..... even though we love having it

  11. Beef ularthiyathu looks delicious. I won't eat meat but this one is tempting.

  12. Very very tempting and mouth watering recipe Anupa.. Beautifully presented as well :-)

  13. Yummy.. Looks so tempting.. Sadly seeing it in lent.. will try it after easter... Loved it.. Happy to follow you.. Would be happy if you follow me back.

  14. wow....njan naatil ethiya feeling..mouthwatering dish :-) thanks Anupama :-)

  15. I tried it out today and came out awesome..thanks for the recipe.. I usually don't make beef cause it's red meat..but this one was good...

  16. This recipe will be tried today. Thanks a lot..


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