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Kerala Nadan Beef Curry-How to Cook Beef Curry in Instant Pot



Nadan Beef Curry/ Kerala Style Beef Curry

Nadan Beef Curry and Kerala parottas is a popular favorite in thattukadas or fast food outlets. Tattukadas are makeshift eateries that are flocked by local people throughout the day, and they serve local delicacies. If you like to try a classic comfort food, try this ever-popular combo. Beef curry is also a homey dish and is usually served during weekend meals in most Christian homes of Kerala. That is also the reason I am sharing this recipe today. Christmas feasts in Kerala is incomplete without this lip-smacking delicious curry. 

Beef curry is a local delicacy that brings out the authentic taste of Kerala. The curry is so aromatic and flavorful you will be coming back to this dinner recipe again and again! The curry is a perfect balance of acidity, spicy heat, and the flavor of earthy spices. Roasted coconut paste, fried onions, and coconut oil do all the magic!  Roasted coconut slices, fried onions, fried ginger, and curry leaves are added as a final tempering, and it just elevates the flavor profile of this beef curry. Fried coconut bits add a crunch and a little sweetness to every bite. It tastes divine with Kerala parottas or with soft lacy appam, you can also serve this steamed rice or chapati. So get your ingredients together and try this recipe. Let me know how it turned out for you:) 

How to make the perfect Beef curry/gravy

The secret to making a luscious flavored beef curry is the time! The longer it gets to cook and simmer, the better it’s going to taste! The curry is slow-cooked, for a delicious, velvety sauce, and tender texture for the meat. For this recipe, I will recommend the stove-top slow cooking method, like making a stew, so that the flavors get time to develop and the meat is succulent and tender. It takes some time to make but it’s well worth the effort. But I am also sharing a quicker version, with no compromise to taste. You can use a pressure cooker or an Instant pot, and it is easy to put together in under 30 minutes. Recently I have been making this curry in Instant pot, and it comes out perfect each time.

About the Ingredients
This beef curry recipe is versatile, and you can add vegetables like potatoes, raw plantain, or make beef curry with koorka/ Chinese potato. It is best to marinate the beef for at least an hour. The marinade has ginger and garlic, the spice kick from pepper powder, garam masala, and vinegar. This marinade will enhance the flavor of the meat. 

As for the spiciness, you can adjust as per your liking. Black pepper and the chilly powder was the spice of choice for generations in Kerala cooking. But for this recipe, I have used black pepper and Kashmiri chili powder. It is less spicy and has a good color. You can soak chilly and make a paste or use the store brought Kashmiri chili powder. If spicy food is not your thing, you can skip adding black pepper.


Nadan Beef Curry/ Kerala Style Beef Curry Recipe

Beef - 1 Kg
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder- 1/2 tsp
Vinegar- 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp

To make the gravy
Shallots/pear onions sliced- 1 cup
Red onion medium-2 sliced
Tomato -2
Chopped ginger-1 tbs
Chopped garlic- 8-10 pods
Vinegar- 1 tsp
Coconut grated- 1/4 cup
Chilly powder- 3 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/2  tsp
Meat masala- 1 tsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- a few
salt to taste
Coconut oil- 2 tbs

For tempering
Sliced coconut/ coconut bits- 3 tbs
Sliced shallots- 3 -4
Thinly sliced ginger- 1 tsp
Curry leaves- a few
Coconut oil- 3-4 tsp

Clean and wash beef and cut into small pieces. Marinate the beef, with ginger garlic paste, vinegar, pepper powder, turmeric powder, fennel powder, and salt. Set aside for one hour. Heat oil in a pan and sear the meat, and fry for another 4-5 minutes or till it is slightly brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. If you want to cook the beef, in a pressure cooker, add a half cup of water, and cook on medium flame till three whistles. Reduce the heat and continue cooking for another 5-6 minutes and switch off the flame. Allow it to cool down a bit.

Heat coconut oil in a pan and add chopped shallots, chopped onions, and curry leaves and saute till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry till the raw flavor disappears. Add chopped tomato and saute till it turns soft and mushy. Add chilly powder, coriander powder, meat masala, and garam masala and mix. Now add in the meat and one cup of hot water. Cover and cook on low flame for 25-30 minutes ( If the meat is already pressure cooked simmer, for another 6-8 minutes). In the meantime, add a teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan and roast grated coconut, till it turns golden brown. Make a fine paste of this roasted coconut, along with a teaspoon of vinegar and add it to the curry. Mix well, cover, and simmer for another 5-6 minutes or till the gravy thicken to desired consistency. For the final tempering, heat oil in a pan and add sliced coconut, and fry till golden brown. Add sliced shallots, chopped ginger, and curry leaves and fry till crispy. Pour this over the curry and cover with a lid. Let it sit till it is time to serve.

How to cook Beef curry 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, chopped shallots, and curry leaves and saute till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry till the raw flavor disappears. It will take about 5-6 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes chilly powder, coriander powder, meat masala, and garam masala and mix. Now add in the meat, saute the meat for another 3-4 minutes and one cup of hot water. 

Press the OFF button to discontinue the SAUTE function. Close the lid and check the steam release handle. Turn it to the sealing position.

 Press manual or pressure cook on high. Set the time for 20 minutes. When it is cooked after 20 minutes, allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. It is ready to be served. If you find that the gravy is not thick enough, cancel and set again to saute mode for another 5-6 minutes. 

For the final tempering, heat oil in a pan and add sliced coconut, and fry till golden brown. Add sliced shallots, chopped ginger, and curry leaves and fry till crispy. Pour this over the curry. Serve with rice, appam, naan, or bread.


You might also like,

Kerala Beef Fry
Kerala Beef Vindaloo
Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry
Ellum Kappa/ Kappa Biriyani
Persian Kotlet
Erachi Choru- Kerala Style Chicken Pulao

Try it,

Hope you will all enjoy!


  1. o this is a CURRY! That gravy looks to die for and I would lick the whole bowl clean!

  2. luscious gravy, would love to dig in the platter with kerala parotas..super yummy!!


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