This fiery, dark and intense beauty will definitely have you craving more in no time! With that darling black pepper to spice it up, the black pepper beef gravy South Indian style | beef pepper curry will fire up a cold night, exhilarate your taste buds and satiate a hungry you.
Extremely filling and warm, the black pepper beef gravy South Indian style | beef pepper curry goes perfectly well with rice, any Indian or Middle Eastern bread, even just plain bread, and dosas too. I’m sure it will taste great with appams and tortillas and finger millet balls too. It’s quite versatile, you see. The flavour intensifies as time passes, so it is a great make-ahead dish. Make it the previous day, and let it sit in the fridge for the night. You can even try mutton — the masala is well suited for mutton as well.
I set out to actually make my usual beef curry, but on seeing that I had only bread to eat it with, I thought I’d use more of pepper and see how it turns out. Also, I had run out of coconut, so that’s not in this recipe. In case you’re wondering, yes, we sometimes eat bread with our gravies if there’s nothing else. We treat it like any other Indian bread — we break a piece, and either dip it in the gravy or gather up some meat with the bread piece and put them in our mouths as quickly as we can. This beef pepper curry was an experiment that turned out to be a hit! And I couldn’t wait until dinner time to eat it, so I let it sit for 2 hours and then supped at 6 o’clock in the evening — not waiting for it to get dark even! I paired the dish with red wine, and sat out and enjoyed my meal, not minding the cold in the least bit as I had both the beef pepper curry and red wine to warm me up.
- 1/2 kg beef or mutton (1 lb) cut into small pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves
- 2 teaspoons black pepper corns
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed cinnamon sticks about 2 g
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 cup coriander fronds
- 3 small tomatoes 150 g or 5 oz
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil sunflower or sesame; use 2 tablespoons if you have lean meat
- 2 dry red chillies
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 medium onions about 220 g or 7.5 oz when peeled
- 20-30 curry leaves optional
- 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
After you wash the beef (or mutton), rub the turmeric powder and salt all over.
Roast the cloves, pepper corns, cinnamon, fennel, coriander and cumin over medium heat for 2 minutes, then cool.
Grind the spices along with the coriander leaves and tomatoes. Your masala is now ready.
Add oil to a heavy-bottomed vessel or a cooker, and let it get hot.
Add the bay leaf, red chillies, curry leaves and onions.
When the onions turn light pink, add the ginger garlic paste and let it fry till the raw smell dissipates. From the time you added the onions, it should take you about 8 minutes over medium heat to reach this stage.
Now, add the beef pieces in and let it fry for 5 minutes.
Then add the masala in and mix it with the rest of the ingredients; let it stay for 5 minutes.
Add 2-3 cups of water and cover with a lid and let it cook until it’s done. In my cooker it took me 40 minutes. Let it sit for long in the heavy-bottomed vessel or croc pot, until the meat turns tender.
Check to see if the gravy has thickened every now and then. Add a little water if the meat starts sticking to the bottom and sides of the vessel. The gravy must be thick.
Whenever I make beef curry, I always steer clear of the lean cuts of meat. I always buy it with the connective tissue and some fat — you will get a tastier beef pepper gravy this way (plus it’s way cheaper!). Also, it tastes better when eaten the next day, so I’d suggest making it the day before.