“A truly delicious stir-fried beef dish from Kerala. It has a depth that belies its quick cook which is helped by store bought beef gels which add a lot of flavour without lots of water which would then need to be cooked off. The dish is sweet from the coconut, spiced and slightly hot from the chillies. You can also add some vegetables like green beans or snow peas, stir fry those separately before adding in to final dish. Like many stir fries is has several stages but is still easy and equally importantly, absolutely delicious. Serve with Indian breads or a pilaf and yoghurt.” Anjum Anand, Anjum's Australian Spice Stories






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (67 votes)


  • 60 g desiccated coconut
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) vegetable oil
  • 600 g sirloin beef, fat trimmed and thinly sliced across the grain
  • 1½ tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 15 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 30 g peeled ginger, cut into julienne
  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 green finger chillies, pierced with the tip of a knife
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 3 tsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) beef stock gel
  • 60 g (¼ cup) tomato paste
  • handful snow peas, trimmed
  • coconut rice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the coconut and cook, shaking the pan regularly, for 2 minutes or until golden. Pour into a bowl and give the pan a wipe.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan place over high heat. When hot, add the beef and cook for 1-2 minutes or until mostly browned. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside, then return the pan to the heat- there is no need to wipe it clean. Add the remaining oil and the mustard seeds and shake over medium heat for 10-20 seconds or until they begin to pop. Add the curry leaves, onions, and a good pinch of salt and cook until browned on the edges. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and cook for 1 minute or just until the garlic is cooked through. Stir in the spices, then add a good splash of water, the stock, tomato paste and snow peas and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until thickened and glossy.

Return the beef to the pan, then add the coconut (reserving a little for garnishing) and stir for 1-2 minutes or until the beef is well coated in the sauce. Scatter with the reserved toasted coconut and serve with coconut rice. 


Anjum's Australian Spice Stories starts Monday 4 April 2016 on Food Network Australia. Visit the program page for recipes and more.