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Spicy Beef Curry

Spicy Beef Curry


Spice Mix

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 1 1/2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom seeds (from 2 whole green cardamom pods)
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt

Curry Paste

  • 10 small dried red chiles (such as chiles de árbol), stemmed
  • 25 long fresh cilantro stems
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 1 1/2-inch piece fresh galangal or peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped or grated lemongrass


  • 1 long mild yellow chile (such as banana chile)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 1-pound pieces beef shank (each about 2 inches thick)
  • 6 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 25 long fresh cilantro stems
  • 1 1/2 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 2 4-inch-long bottoms of lemongrass stalks
  • 1/4 cup fresh tangerine or tangelo juice
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts, crushed, plus
  • 1/3 cup whole salted roasted peanuts for garnish
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons coconut cream

Recipe Preparation

For Spice Mix

  • Combine first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Add cold water to cover, then drain. Place spices in large wok or skillet. Dry-roast over medium-low heat until dry and fragrant, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to spice grinder. Add salt and mace; grind to fine powder. DO AHEAD Spice mix can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

For curry paste

  • Place chiles in small bowl; add cold water to cover. Let soak 30 minutes. Drain, reserving soaking liquid.

  • Combine cilantro stems, onion, garlic, galangal, and lemongrass in large wok or skillet. Dry-roast over medium heat until slightly charred and fragrant, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add 3/4 cup water. Cover wok and cook until galangal is tender, about 35 minutes; cool in wok.

  • Scrape galangal mixture into processor. Add drained red chiles. Blend, adding enough reserved chile soaking liquid by tablespoonfuls to form smooth paste. Stir in spice mix. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Transfer to bowl, cover, and chill.

For beef

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Char yellow chile directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and slice chile.

  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Add to pot; sear until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer beef to plate. Add coconut milk, cilantro stems, fish sauce, palm sugar, and lemongrass to same pot. Return beef to pot and bring to simmer. Cover and place pot in oven. Braise beef until tender enough to pull away from bone, about 2 1/2 hours. Transfer beef to plate and cool. Strain braising liquid from pot into bowl. Thinly slice meat.

  • Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add curry paste. Stir until heated and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups reserved braising liquid and bring to boil. Add roasted chile, tangerine juice, and crushed peanuts, then beef. Simmer until sauce coats beef, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Transfer beef curry to shallow bowl. Garnish with whole peanuts and cilantro leaves. Drizzle with coconut cream.

Reviews Section

Sri Lankan Beef Curry

This is the best Sri Lankan beef curry recipe I’ve ever tried and I’m so excited to share the recipe with you all.

Beef curry is not something that my mom cook so often. She was never a beef fan. She wasn’t fond of any meats tbh. I’d consider her as more of a pescatarian. But on the other hand, my dad was a big meat lover and because of him, we got to eat a lot of meat varieties and different meat dishes. When we were young we lived in an area where the Muslim population was high. So we often got to have their beef samosas (still one of my favorites), curries, beef kottu, and all kinds of beefy food. I still remember the taste of their yummy food.

I’ve been in a good beef curry hunt ever since I got to cook my own food. I’ve tried dozens of curries but never was satisfied with any of them. Until I tried this one. This recipe was an adapted version of my mom’s coconut milk chicken curry. I just changed a few spices, the amount of liquid I put in, and the time of cooking. And it turned into this perfectly spiced, very tender beef curry.

Beef is naturally tough meat. So you need to cook it for a long period of time on low heat to get that meat to tenderize. Not in high heat and not in a hurry. The long, moist(cook in a liquid), low heat cooking gelatinizes the collagen (a connective tissue) and makes the muscles soft. (want to learn more about the science behind tenderizing meat? Read this article by The Exploratorium)

For this curry, I simmer it in the lowest heat for an hour with diluted thin coconut milk and then another half an hour with some more coconut milk added. And results in perfectly tender meat that just melts in your mouth. It also allows the meat to absorb all the spices resulting in so much flavor.

I made this beef curry to have with rice so I made it with less gravy. More like a dry curry. But if you wish to have the curry with something dry, with bread for example, then use more coconut milk to cook it with.

Serving options:

You can serve this Sri Lankan beef curry with white rice and curries, yellow rice, bread, coconut roti, or anything you like. 400g of beef would be enough for 5 people if you have it with some more side dishes. If not this would be enough for 3 people.

Spicy Beef Curry

"This wonderfully delicious spicy beef curry is an absolute treat. Inspired by traditional Sri Lankan cooking techniques its an authentic spicy beef curry. The unique combination of spices & lovely texture of coconut milk gives beef a taste boost. Chopping board to table within a hour, it's a fairly easy & quick spicy beef curry you can try."

Full Video (How To Make Spicy Beef Curry)


For Marinate The Beef

  • 500 Grams Beef (cut into cubes)
    • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
      • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper (crushed)
        • 1 Teaspoon Vinegar

        For Preparing Beef Curry

        • 2 Tablespoon Oil
          • 1 Medium Red Onion (sliced)
            • 6 Clove Garlic (sliced into halves)
              • 5 Thin slice(s) Ginger
                • 2 Teaspoon Chilli powder
                  • 2 Teaspoon Curry powder
                    • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
                      • 1 Teaspoon Coriander powder
                        • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
                          • 1 Large Cinnamon stick
                            • 8 Small Curry leaves
                              • 3 Small Cardamom pods
                                • 3 Small Clove
                                  • 1 Medium Tomato (cut in to slices)
                                    • 4 Small Red chillies
                                      • 1 Large Carrot (peel and cut into thick slices)
                                        • 2 Medium Potato (peel and cut into thick slices)
                                          • 1 Cup Coconut milk (thick)


                                          Put the beef pieces in to a large mixing bowl then add salt, pepper and vinegar mix well all together. Let it marinate for about 15 minutes.

                                          Heat up oil in a large sauce pan to a medium heat for about 2 minutes. When the oil is hot enough, add beef into the sauce pan fry evenly while stirring for about 8 minutes.

                                          Then add onion and garlic into the sauce pan & let it fry for about 2 minutes. Now add curry leaves fry it about 2 minutes while stirring. Add ginger & let it fry further 2 minutes.

                                          Add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, curry powder and paprika into the sauce pan mix well all together. Let it cook about 5 minutes.

                                          Next add cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves and into the sauce pan & mix well. Cut red chillies into the sauce pan & add sliced tomato into the sauce pan stir all together. Let it cook for about 2 minutes.

                                          Then add potato and carrot into the sauce pan & let it cook about 5 minutes while stirring. Reduce the heat then add coconut milk into the pan & stir well. Cook for about 10 minuets until curry get thick (Add water if necessary).

                                          Turn off the heat & set aside 2 minutes before serve with steamed rice.

                                          Spicy Beef Curry – Cà Ri Bò Cay

                                          This Thai style spicy beef curry gonna be star of your dinner especially during cold or rainy seasons. Very easy to make with simple ingredients but the result is so satisfying.

                                          • 400 g beef
                                          • 500 ml coconut milk/cream
                                          • 4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
                                          • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste
                                          • 2 tbsp fish sauce
                                          • 1 tbsp minced garlic
                                          • 200 g onion
                                          • 2 tsp curry powder
                                          • 3 chili
                                          • 1 lemongrass
                                          • 10 g ginger
                                          • 3 cloves garlic
                                          • 1/2 tsp salt
                                          • 1 lime
                                          • 2 shallots
                                          • 3 tbsp oil
                                          • 8 lime leaves
                                          • 1/2 cup Asian basils
                                          • 2 red/yellow bell pepper
                                          • 2 eggplants
                                          • Remove the seeds of the peppers and chop.
                                          • Slice the ginger lemongrass green onion and garlic.
                                          • Remove the stem of the lime leaves and finely chop.
                                          • Blend all in a blender with some salt, curry powder, cooking oil and juice of half a lime. Add 2 tbsp of sweetened condensed milk to make the curry paste more creamy.
                                          • Cut the beef into strips. Season with salt and pepper, stock powder and sweet condensed milk to tenderize the meat.
                                          • Remove the seeds of the bell peppers and cut into sticks.
                                          • Cut the eggplant into 3-inch length and then cut into edges. Soak the eggplants in salt water to prevent discoloring.
                                          • Finely dice the onion. Add 3 tbsp of cooking oil in the pan and fry the onion until fragrant. Add the minced garlic and the curry paste and stir well for about 2-3 minutes to bring out the flavor.
                                          • Add coconut milk and water and a tablespoon shrimp paste for more intense flavor. Bring to a boil.
                                          • Add the beef and the bell peppers and the eggplant. Season to taste with fish sauce and stock powder cook for another 3-5 minutes and then turn off the heat.
                                          • Ladle the curry into the bowl and sprinkle with some chilies and ginger strips, add some basil leaves. You can serve this beef curry with some hot steamed rice vermicelli or bread.

                                        • Best ever hot and spicy recipes

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                                          Published: July 26, 2016 at 12:12 pm

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                                          Beef Curry (Thattukada Style)

                                          Sharing Is Caring! If you liked this, share this with your friends & family.

                                          The word “thattukada” brings me a lot of good memories. Am sure that every Malayalee has tried this local fast food version at least once. The thattukada is a road side eatery / fast food outlet / hawker food. If you've been to Kerala, you can't help but notice these thattukadas where porottas are made and I should say that sight itself is kinda appetizing!

                                          My brother is a thattukada fan and he is the one who introduced me to this world of fiery n colorful thattu specials. He used to get parcels for me. His thattu favorites were squid curry, fried rice, kappa n meen curry and beef curry.

                                          He had the habit of checking the dinner menu at home and if he was not happy, he'd immediately take his bike n go n fetch some thattukada specials. I used to wait to see the expression on his face to decide whether I should start having dinner or wait for those fiery thattu specials )

                                          I guess spiciness is the trademark of thattu dishes and this curry is no exception. Please adjust the masala measurements to suit your spice tolerance level.

                                          Sri Lankan Devilled Beef (Spicy Dry Beef Curry)

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                                          Spicy, tangy and sweet, this Sri Lankan Devilled Beef (Spicy Dry Beef Curry) recipe combines Sri Lankan and Chinese cuisine with devilishly flavorful results! A staple in many Sri Lankan restaurants, and the perfect side dish to enjoy with a cold beer, this recipe can also be made with chicken, pork, lamb or mutton as well.

                                          As I’ve told you guys before, Sri Lankan food is inherently spicy (as long as it’s not “hospital food” that’s intended for patients who can’t handle the heat and spice). Regular Sri Lankan curries are influenced by this affection for heat and spices, and by the influence from Indian cuisine from long ago. Since then the Sri Lankan food landscape has evolved and developed its own style and flavor profiles, thanks in part to the additional influence of being colonized by different nations over centuries, and by the rich heritage of different cultures like the Sri Lankan Tamil, Muslim and Burgher communities.

                                          But there’s a relatively new addition to Sri Lankan cuisine, as a result of the South East Asian population that has called Sri Lanka home for a few generations, giving rise to Sri Lankan-Chinese food! Very similar to Indo-Chinese food, it combines the cooking techniques and flavors of East Asian cuisine with what is popular locally.

                                          This is where Devilled Curries (or deviled, US spelling) found their origin.

                                          Whether it’s devilled beef curry, devilled chicken curry, devilled pork curry or devilled mutton curry – this type of curry is extremely popular and is a permanent fixture in Sri Lankan restaurants. A Sri Lankan devilled curry is a dry curry where the meat is cooked with a little caramelization, then stir-fried with banana peppers, tomatoes, onions and some spices. Suffice to say there’s plenty of chili pepper involved, but the good news is that you can adjust the heat level to your taste and the underlying flavor profile will still be the same.

                                          One change that I made to this recipe is the use of Anaheim peppers because I don’t have access to banana peppers. Anaheim peppers are spicier than banana peppers, and I always use anaheim for any recipe that calls for banana peppers. They still retain the sweetness of banana peppers, but with that extra kick.

                                          This Sri Lankan Devilled Beef Curry (Spicy Dry Beef Curry) is easy to make, and so flavorful! Tender pieces of beef, stir-fried with anaheim or banana peppers, onions and tomatoes. The predominant flavors in this Sri Lankan devilled beef curry dish come from the curry powder, tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar, crushed chili flakes and soy sauce.

                                          This is a popular dish that served with cold beer as well! Here the beef is cut into bigger chunks, but cooked the same way as a spicy dish that complements a cold beer perfectly! But you can just as easily make this dish with chicken, pork or even sausages.

                                          Here are some tips on how to make the most flavorful, and tender Sri Lankan Devilled Beef.

                                          • Use a good cut of marbled beef. The marbled fat will help keep the beef tender. The leaner the cut, the tougher the beef will be when cooked.
                                          • Cut the beef AGAINST the grain. Whether you are cutting thin slices (so that they cook faster), or chunks (to serve like tapas), you want to cut the beef against the direction of the muscle fibers. This is less of an issue for chunks, but vital for when you’re cutting thin strips.
                                          • The traditional way of making this Sri Lankan devilled beef curry is with banana peppers and some green chili peppers (to make it even spicier). If you don’t have banana peppers, you can use anaheim peppers that are spicier, and then omit the extra green chili peppers. If you can’t find anaheim peppers either, then you can use green bell peppers instead.
                                          • This recipe uses peppers, cayenne pepper and crushed chili flakes. Devilled curries are meant to be spicy, so please make sure to adjust the recipe to your taste! Leave out the cayenne pepper and use less crushed chili flakes to make it milder.

                                          This spicy, tangy, sweet dry beef curry is arguably the most popular Sri Lankan-Chinese dish! And if you’re a fan of curries and spicy food, then this one’s a keeper!

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                                          Spicy Slow cooked Beef Curry

                                          Wanna get cozied up with curry and spices. Here is my slow cooked tender beef curry in a spicy masala – an authentic Kerala recipe, straight from my mom’s cookbook.

                                          The flavour of this delicious dish takes me all the way back to my childhood memories of mom’s kitchen… on one corner I see all the spices, curry leaves, and other ingredients on the table top, and the spicy hot beef curry sizzling on the stove in another corner, its aroma spreading all around the house and we patiently waiting for the curry to be ready.

                                          Two of my favorite beef curry dishes were, one of course my mother’s preparation and the other from our nearby thattukada (roadside eatery). Even though we hail from Kerala where beef is common, my mom used to cook it rarely at home. Thattukadas were our quickest to-go to satisfy our beef cravings, and the delicious Kerala porotta served along made it the yummiest combo.

                                          The preparation involves a slow cook process where you need to make the beef soft and tender (fully cooked), but at the same time ensuring that the flesh does not pull apart. The cooked beef is sautéed with various spices and curry powders making it spicy and rich.

                                          I love to cook such curry recipes in an iron skillet as it enhances the color of your dish. You can also use other types of pans just make sure to cook on a low to medium heat so that the caramelization of the onions with the other ingredients is even. Adding salt to the onions helps it to drain water thus enabling it to caramelize, and also prevents the bottom from burning and ensuring even cooking. If your dish becomes too salty, add one or two dry red chilies as a whole. Check the salt level after some time and once it’s balanced, discard the chilies – a tip from my friend’s mother.

                                          Enjoy… Happy Cooking….

                                          Interested in a similar recipe from a different cuisine? Check out this amazing Greek Beef Stew with Orzo Pasta (Youvetsi) from The Hungry Bites .

                                          Follow me on Instagram, try out the recipes and tag #pepperdelightblog to all your pictures of Pepper Delight recipes you prepare. Rate below if you love it…!


                                          • 120ml ghee or vegetable oil
                                          • 400g braising steak, diced
                                          • 1 medium onion, diced
                                          • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
                                          • 1 tsp ground cumin
                                          • 1 tsp ground coriander
                                          • 1 tsp ground turmeric
                                          • 1 tsp black pepper
                                          • 1 tsp chilli powder
                                          • ½ tsp ground ginger
                                          • 3 cloves
                                          • 3 cardamom pods (optional)
                                          • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
                                          • 200g canned tomatoes
                                          • 125ml natural yoghurt
                                          • 1 tbsp vinegar
                                          • 1 tsp salt
                                          • pinch of sugar

                                          • Beef – 1 kg (cubed)
                                          • Tomato – 250 gms (chopped)
                                          • Onion – 250 gms (sliced)
                                          • Green chillies – 8-10 (slit)
                                          • Cardamom– 8
                                          • Cloves – 8
                                          • Black Peppercorns – 8
                                          • Bay leaves – 2-3
                                          • Cinnamon – 3-4
                                          • Star anise – 2-3
                                          • Curry leaves – 2 strands
                                          • Garlic – 25 gms
                                          • Ginger – 1 thumb size piece (paste)
                                          • Ghee/oil -100 ml
                                          • Coriander leaves – for garnishing
                                          • Chilli powder – 2 tsp
                                          • Coriander powder – 2 tsp
                                          • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp

                                          Roast the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, star anise lightly and grind it to a powder.
                                          Heat oil in a pan and garlic, onion, curry leaves and sauté till brown.
                                          Now add the ginger paste and sauté.

                                          To this add chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and again sauté for 2 minutes.

                                          Add water a little to cook the masala and then add the tomatoes, green chillies and beef.
                                          Fry the beef till the water is soaked, add more hot water if required.

                                          Transfer this to a cooker and add water till the level of the meat and mix. Pressure-cook it till 5 whistles. Now add the garam masala (the ground powder) and salt , check if the meat is cooked properly, if not cook the meat some more till it becomes tender.
                                          Check seasoning and remove from flame. Garnish with coriander leaves.