Thirunelveli meat curries are always extended with vegetables such as drumsticks, brinjals, broad beans and, of course, potatoes. This is a family recipe my mother used to make with mutton and radish; we used to love the strong flavour. Now I make this with beef instead of mutton as the rich flavour of beef blends better with radish. I have also simplified the recipe extensively, using a pressure cooker to cook all the ingredients in one shot. I use white radish because that is freely available in Chennai, but in Thirunelveli, my mother used pink radish. This curry is usually served with rice and chappatis.
Beef provides 22.4g of protein per 100g while radish has an insignificant amount of nutrients. This is a good quality, protein-rich side dish.
- 500g Beef Cubes
- 500g White Radish (Mullangi)
- 1/3 C diced Onion
- 3 sprigs Curry Leaves
- 3 pieces Cinnamon
- 4 Cloves
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 3 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 3 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 lemon size Tamarind
- 2 T Vegetable Oil
- 3 tsp Salt
- ½ C Coconut Scrapings
- 3 Cloves
- 2 pieces Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Sombu (Aniseed)
- Soak the tamarind in hot water for 30 minutes. Extract the juice, strain, and set aside.
- Wash the radish, top and tail, and pare the skin. Slice the radish.
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker.
- Add the cinnamon and cloves. When the cloves swell, add the onion and stir till translucent.
- Add the beef cubes. Stir till the colour of the beef changes to brown.
- Add the turmeric, chilli, and coriander powders, and keep stirring till a fragrant aroma arises.
- Add the ground masala. Stir till the masala is well blended with the meat.
- Add the radish slices and stir.
- Add the tamarind extract and salt.
- Add 2 cups of water. Close the cooker and pressure cook for 30 minutes.
- When the pressure has died down, open the cooker and add the curry leaves.
- Keep the pressure cooker closed until it is time for serving.
- I buy beef cut as cubes. If this is not available, you will have to cut the beef into bite-sized cubes.
- If you forget to grind the spices with the coconut, use powders in the following proportion: cloves – 1/8 tsp; cinnamon – ¼ tsp; sombu – 1 tsp.
- I use Kashmiri chilli powder for its glorious colour and mild flavour.
- I use sunflower oil supplemented with rice bran oil for its cholesterol-lowering properties and neutral flavour.