My Kitchen Antics: Meat pattichu varuthathu

Adapted from Mrs K. M Mathew’s book Flavours of the Spice Coast

 Beef- 1 kg*, cut into medium size pieces

To roast and grind

Fennel seeds- 1 1/2 tsp

Cinnamon stick- 2 inch piece

Cloves- 6

Peppercorn- 2 tsp

Kashmiri chilly powder- 2 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1 tsp

Coriander powder- 3 1/2 tsp

Ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp

Vinegar- 2 tsp

Salt- to taste

Coconut oil- 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds- 1 tsp

Curry leaves- 2 sprigs

Shallots- 10 to 12, roughly chopped

Ginger- 2 tbsp, sliced

Garlic- 5 cloves, sliced

Dry roast all the ingredients in the roast section for about 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat. Keep stirring continuously or else you will end up burning the spices.

Once slightly cool, grind them finely.

Remove 1 tsp of this powder and to the rest add the ginger garlic paste, vinegar and salt.

Marinate the meat with this mix, and keep aside for an hour or so. 

Transfer the meat to a pressure cooker and cook with about half cup water till done. 

(I close the lid and cook on high till steam comes after which i put on the weight and wait for the first whistle. Once the first whistle is out, i reduce heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes. For the beef we get here, this method works well).

Open the pressure cooker, and if there is a lot of liquid, evaporate most of it on high heat, leaving about a quarter cup of liquid with the meat.

Heat coconut oil in a large wok and add mustard seeds.

Once they splutter, add curry leaves, shallots, sliced ginger and garlic and cook till slightly brown and the raw smell from the ginger and garlic disappears.

Add the reserved tea spoon of masala powder to the onions and saute for a few minutes.

Finally, tip in the beef along with the gravy and fry on medium heat till dark and semi dry. I dont like my beef too dry, but with some wet masala smothering it.

The masalas will start leaving the sides of the pan, and there will be some oil visible around the pan. At this point, you can add some more fresh curry leaves, give a final mix and take it off the flame.

Serve hot with Kerala porotta or rice and moru kachiyahu.

Notes: The preparation is just moderately spicy, you can increase the pepper and red chilly powder to suit your taste

*The beef i used here is a roasting joint which has a nice layer of fat. Please do yourself a favour and use beef with a bit of fat, for this recipe. Trust me, it makes a difference.

I also added a few beef short ribs just to see what its like. I personally think it didnt make too much of a difference, however if it was a curry i was making, it would have amped up the taste. 

You can do the entire prep in a normal pot, but cooking time is longer and also make sure you add at least 2 to 3 cups of water to the beef while cooking, so it doesnt dry out.

You can try the same with mutton as well, and it tastes great.

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