It's not common to find beef on a menu in India. But there are certain communities and regions that prepare it quite regularly. Kerala for instance has a variety of beef-based dishes from the Christian and Muslim communities.
Beef chili has many avatars. It can be high on the pepper quotient depending on the region. The beef chili made in my home is comfort food. It's spicy but doesn't set your mouth on fire and the fries served with it add a nice texture and sweetness to contrast the chili.
Make it ahead or serve it straight from the stove. This is a dish you'll find only in a handful of homes in India.
- 2 pounds beef flap meat or sirloin, trimmed of excess gristle and cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, fine sliced
- 12 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped (about 4 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 8 small hot green chilis slit lengthwise
- 2 roma tomatoes cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
- 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon malt vinegar
Toss beef in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 tablespoon pepper. Set aside. Heat oil in a large lidded saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chillies, tomatoes and stir vigorously until fragrant , about 3 minutes. Add turmeric, 1/2 tablespoon pepper, and ground cumin. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and oil is tinged yellow with the spices, about 3 minutes.
Move the onion mix to one side of the pan and add the beef to the cleared side. Brown beef on both sides. About 5 minutes. Stir and mix the onion and beef together. Add malt vinegar. Stir through. Cover the pan with the lid. Reduce heat to low and allow beef to cook in its juices until just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with bread and french fries to soak up the gravy.
Heavy bottomed lidded saucepan