Nadan Beef / Kerala Beef Curry

Nadan Beef / Kerala Beef Curry

I have served this dish at my PomPom Indian Pop-Ups and it is a real crowdpleaser amongst red meat lovers. Easier than you might imagine, it requires not much effort to put together a pot of flavourful, tender Nadan Beef curry. Familiarise yourself with the ingredients in this curry and you’ll soon begin to understand the backbone of Kerala and its cuisine which is revered as the “Spice Capital of India.”

This dish in many ways defines Kerala. Hinduism is the largest population in India, with close to 80% of the population defining themselves as Hindus. Cows in Hinduism are sacred symbols of life that are protected and revered. Due to the majority of the population, most parts of northern, central and western India, hold a complete or partial ban on cattle slaughter and beef consumption.

Kerala however is one of the few states in India that does not have a ban on beef and its beef dishes are loved and devoured by people of all religion and caste. This dish then is not only a statement of Indian cuisine, but it is a statement of Indian politics.

Nadan Beef / Kerala Beef Curry

Nadan Beef / Kerala Beef Curry

5 from 2 votes
Course: Dinner, LunchCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 800 g beef rump, cut into bite sized pieces

  • 4 banana shallots

  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste

  • 1 tbsp garam masala

  • 1 tbsp curry powder

  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder (less if you don’t want it so spicy)

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 5-8 curry leaves

  • 4 large tomatoes, diced

  • salt & pepper

  • fresh chopped coriander, to serve

  • limes, to serve


  • Heat half of the coconut oil in a large saucepan. When fully melted and hot, add the beef cubes and brown for 2-3 minutes. Depending on the size of your pan, you will probably want to do this in batches. Coking too much meat at once will resulting in the beef sweating as opposed to browning.
  • Remove the beef to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the remaining coconut oil to the pan and add the mustard seeds when the oil is hot.
  • When the mustards seeds begin to splutter, add the onions. Season with salt. Turn down the heat and fry for around 10-15 minutes until soft, translucent and slightly browned. Add a splash of water if they begin to catch.
  • Add the garlic and ginger paste along with the garam masala, curry powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric and curry leaves. Stir to combine and cook for 30-40 seconds.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and browned beef along with enough water of beef stock to cover everything.
  • Turn the heat right down and allow the mixture to simmer slowly until the beef is very tender. Don’t rush this step and cook over a low heat – it could take up to an hour.
  • Taste and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime and garnish of fresh coriander leaves.
CategoriesIndian Meat

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