Beef Curry (Thattukada Style)

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.

Check out the video recipe below

Here comes the recipe:

Thattukada Beef Curry
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Beef Curry (Thattukada Style)

Kerala street food style Beef recipe. A spicy beef curry recipe with bold flavors and spices. Goes well with Kerala parotta.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Keyword: Kerala Beef Curry, Beef Curry, Thattukada Beef Curry, Kerala Beef Recipe
Servings: 3 -4
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 1/2 kg Beef (cut into small pieces)

For Masala

  • 1 tbsp Ginger
  • 10 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 1 Star anise (thakolam)
  • 1 small piece Cinnamon
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 med – big Onion (sliced finely)
  • 1 small piece Ginger
  • 2 Green chili
  • Salt
  • Curry leaves
  • Coconut oil


  • Grind together ginger, garlic, pepper,chilli, coriander, turmeric powders, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves.
    Step 1 Thattukada Beef Curry
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  • Heat the oil in a pan/pressure cooker. Add onion, ginger, green chilli, curry leaves, and salt. Cook till onion browns.
    Step 2 Thattukada Beef Curry
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  • When the onions become soft add ground masala & fry till the oil starts appearing.
    Step 3 Thattukada Beef
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  • Add the beef and 1 cup of water.
    Step 4 Thattukada Beef
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  • Cook the beef till it becomes tender and the gravy is thick.
    Step 5 Thattukada Beef
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  • It tastes great with parotta, roti, puttu.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
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102 thoughts on “Beef Curry (Thattukada Style)”

  1. Hi Maria..I am a huge fan of ur page!! tried this beef curry today for my mallu husband and he was all praises for it!! Thank u so much..any more thattukada recipes?

    • Thank you so much Christina :) Glad that your husband enjoyed this recipe.

      I’ve posted another Beef Masala recipe, which reminds you of thattukada dishes. I do hope you get to try it..


  2. Hi Maria, I tried this recipe yesterday and it was really too good. I just dint add the star anise, except for that all went well. My hubby loved it too. I told him the recipe of this thattukada style curry, which made him say…’no wonder it looks different, which tastes good’. For sure, next time this recipe will be in my to-do list when I have guests at home. Thanks to you….

    • Hi Vineeta,

      Great to know that beef curry came out well for you. Thank you so much for sharing your feedback here :)

      hope your guests will like it too..


    • Hi Viola,

      If you are cooking in a pressure cooker, it will be ready in 25-30 mins, including the resting time of cooker.

      The cooking time also varies depending on the type of beef you use.


  3. hi maria
    I am also from Kerala but now settled in south Africa with my family. Your blog is the first i saw when i started cooking coz i didn’t know the ABCD of cooking :) so thanks a lot for this. The way you described ‘thattukada’ brought back a lot of memories for me too coz my brother was also an ardent fan of thattukada and me too:)

    I love all your recipes coz i can relate it to what my mom makes back in Kerala. Your blog is a blessing to many..God bless!!

    • Hi Geethu,

      Thanks a ton dear for taking time to share your feedback, appreciate it very much. It’s a pleasure to know that you find the recipes here useful :)

      I’m really happy to know that these recipes reminds you of your mom’s cooking, thanks!

      Best wishes to you too..


  4. Thanks Maria,

    It’s very helpful for me.Now am preparing nice foods with your receipe’s…Thank u so much

    Subila Girish

      • hey maria i wanna know how much water and how many whistles are required for 1 kg beef in pressure cooker? asap pls

        • Hi Vishnu,

          Sorry for the delayed reply :(

          I add very little water while pressure cooking beef, around 1-2 tbsp.

          The whistle varies depending on the type of beef you are using. For the Indian beef I get here, after the first whistle on full flame, I reduce the heat to low-medium flame and keep cooking for 5-7 whistles. Keep the cooker closed till pressure drops, around 20 mins.

          If it’s not cooked, keep again for 3-4 whistles.

          Hope this helps..

  5. This is how it came ,when i did !i simply loved the aroma as well….!here we like thick gravey , so i made it like that .!!!!yes , im just a beginner,so pls excuse if the texture dint come well.!

  6. Thank you so much for this easy n wonderful recipe. loved it and surprised my wife with its taste.

  7. Tried this today…came out very well:-) Ur recipes are all too Gud and very easy to follow:-)


  8. Hi Maria,
    So glad to have a wonderful website that posts authentic Kerala recipes! I tried your beef podi masala and it was awesome!
    I tried this recipe, too. Although it tasted great, it had an unfinished feeling. My curry tasted like my mom’s steamed beef before she stir fries it.
    I’d appreciate any thoughts on what I might have done wrong (too much water, maybe?).
    Will continue to try out your other recipes.

    • Hi Lily,

      Thanks a bunch for your comment :)

      From your comment, I think the water qty was a bit high and because of that masala didnt get into the beef. Try with less qty of water next time. I do hope it comes out well for you…


  9. Hi Maria,
    So glad to have a wonderful website that posts authentic Kerala recipes! I tried your beef podi masala and it was awesome!
    I tried this recipe, too. Although it tasted great, it had an unfinished feeling. My curry tasted like my mom’s steamed beef before she stir fries it.
    I’d appreciate any thoughts on what I might have done wrong (too much water, maybe?).
    Will continue to try out your other recipes.

  10. Hi Maria
    tried this out today and came out excellently well. A perfect dinner for a rainy evening, it was. Pretty simple to make too. Thanks for the recipe.

  11. Dear Maria,

    Couple of queries….

    1, How do I chop the green chillies? Split them, Slice them?

    2. What do I do with the ginger piece? Slice it? Crush it?

    3. I made it -turned out fantastic… but I did not get the rich red colour. What could I be doing wrong?



  12. Hi Maria,
    thank u for recipes, Could you post the recipe of “Kappa Beef”
    thanks once again

  13. Hi Maria,
    Hope u r fine, very easy and excellent recipes. thank u very much,
    I like beef kappa. Could you post the recipe for that? I saw the recipe of kappa biriyani, surely i will try

    • Hi Ajimon,

      You are welcome! I havent tried any other recipe with kappa and beef other than the kappa biriyani. Please give it a try, I hope you like it.


  14. You are welcome Ramona! It’s a pleasure to know that you enjoy cooking with recipes posted here. Thank you very much for your feedback :)


  15. Hi…Tried this recipe yesterday.Came out really well.This was the first time that I was making beef curry.Since I have tried many of ur other recipes,I knew this one wud also be a hit.Everyone at home, loved it!!!Thanks a lot for all the wondeful recipes

    • Thanks dear! I’m happy that it came out well in the first attempt itself. Thanks a lot for trying the recipes from here and also for leaving a comment :)


  16. HI Maria,

    Delicious to the core and easiest to make. never thought that a beef recipe could be whipped up in such a short time. It has become a must make once a week recipe in my home. Thank you so much maria.


    • Hi Sheeba,

      Thanks a bunch for your wonderful feedback :) I’m really happy that this recipe works well for you. Thanks again for taking time to share your feedback here.


  17. Mmmm… one of my favourites on your site. I’m making it for the 10th or 12th time now. Neverceases to amaze guests or my kid. Made many beef fans through this recipe and the other kallu shappu /Kerala beef fry recipes. Thank you so much and keep up the good work. Everyone who asks for the recipe gets ur site.

  18. Hi Maria… I’m new to this. A friend of mine suggested this site to me as I’m newly married and I’ve absolutely no idea about cooking. Just a few doubts to clarify. Hope you could help me out as I’ll be cooking on Christmas. 1st doubt, instead of the normal chilli powder, I’ll be using Easter Kashmiri Chilli Powder. So will I need to put the same measurement you have mentioned above or should I increase the count as Kashmiri Chilli powder is less spicy. Next doubt. You’ve given the recipe for 1/2 kg of beef. If I use 1 kg, this means, I’ll have to double the quantity of all the ingredients right. Please advise. And wishing you a Merry Christmas!!! :-)

    Next doubt on your way.. on the Chicken stew.. :-)

    • Hi Leanne,

      First of all, I’m sorry for the delayed reply. I was tied up with something & couldnt reply to the comments.

      So did you cook this already for Christmas? If so, I do hope it turned out well. About your doubts, if using Kashmiri chilli powder, you can increase the qty a bit to adjust the spiciness.


  19. Hi Maria,
    I made this beef curry today and belive me it was over in seconds! Just very tasty and my friend who came over really loved it so much that he too now wants the recipe ,He is a Chef himself and to himto acknowledge me was something i wont ever dream!! hehe….. so thanks for the recipie…i have signed up for ur book.. hope to see it sooner on bookstores!!! Xmas gift for us the reader!!

  20. Hi Maria,

    I made your beef curry… wowwww.. so tasty..thanks for your recipes god bless you…


  21. Hi Maria,

    I am a regular visitor of  your site.I have tried  many recipes from your site and most of them were success.Yesterday I tried your beef curry and it was really awesome..My family loved it…Now a days I can’t live without your blog :):)
    Keep posting such wonderful recipes….

  22. Hey Maria…..excellent recipe…I tried it out at home….too good and tasty…..nw I have become a big fan of your recipes :)

    • Hi Krupa,

      Thanks a lot for the comment! Its good to know that you liked the recipe. Please do try other recipes too when time permits.

      Happy cooking!


  23. hi mariya..first time i made beef curry with your recipe..thnx a lot … it came well… my mom surprised hearing that i made some dishes ….now i`m always searching this site for recipe……i`m a starter in cooking ..thnx again .

    • Hi San,

      Thanks a lot for the comment. Great to hear that this curry came out well for you.

      Best wishes for your cooking experiments! I’m sure you mom will be proud of you :)


  24. The beef came out well. Great recipe…I had to add some curry powder too as the beef over here is too lean and needs lots of masala. Thanks for the recipe. Do post more. Missed your recipes when you were on your vacation. Glad to know to know that you are back. Hope things in bah become better soon. My in laws are still in bah and they keep me posted.

    • Hi Liz

      Nice to hear that this curry came out well for you & also its good to know that my recipes were missed ;). Thanks for the comment dear..

      Yeah we too hope that situation becomes better, hope your in laws are doing good.

      Take care..


  25. Hi Maria,

    To tell the truth, I have never had beef curry from a thattukada, but I decided to try it out because my hubby simply loves beef !!! I gave it a shot and My husband liked it very much. He said it tasted just like the thattukada beef curry. Thanks to you.

    • Hi Mary,

      You are welcome dear :) I’m so happy to know that the curry was enjoyed by your husband. Thanks for the comment.


  26. Hi Maria

    tried this recipe.. its come out so well.. thank you:) i cudnt grind the masala as am a student and dont have a grinder.. plz do suggest recipes tht does not require a lot of grinding:)

    Thank you

    • Hi Vidhu

      Thanks for the comment. Its really nice to know that you liked this recipe :)

      Please check out the following recipes, hope it helps. Some of them use coconut milk for which you can use Maggie or any other brand coconut milk powder. I use that instead of fresh coconut milk.

      Nadan beef curry
      Beef fry
      easy chicken fry
      chicken mappas
      chicken stew
      mutton olathiyathu
      mutton roast

      hope this helps…

      Happy cooking :)


  27. Hi Maria

    I made this beef curry today. Just finished lunch … wow .. absolutely tasty. We had it with your Tomato pulav … simple and fast recipe the pulav was … and yummy too … Just one small problem … OVERATE … ha ha … Thanks for such wonderful recipes …
    Bye ..

    • HI Bindu,

      Thanks dear, I’m glad you had a wonderful lunch :) It’s ok to over eat at times ;)

      Thanks again for the comment, I appreciate it very much.


    • Hey C,

      how are you?

      Very happy that you liked it. Looks like you are doing major cooking these days, great :)

      Thanks for the comment dear..


      • @Maria, Hey im doing fine !! days are crazy as usual :).. Hey pls put more curry not into baking yet :D..

        Btw do you have a recipe for dosa?


        • Hi C,

          Will be posting a curry recipe soon :) Meanwhile you can check out the old posts here…

          It’s been ages I made dosa batter at home…since we get readymade idli/dosa batter, I take the easy way out ;)


  28. hi maria..

    i am a regular visitor of your blog.. tried many recipes of urs and all turned out very well ..

    if possible add some squid recipes too ..


    • Hi Jesna,

      Thanks dear and I’m really happy to know that you visit this place regularly.

      Thanks again for trying out the recipes. I havent tried cooking squids yet. Hopefully sometime in the future :)


  29. Hi Maria….i have tried beef curry before….but this one was the tastiest of all….thanks a lot for ur recipe n the pics r awesome too….will try ur other recipes too…..
    Keep adding recipes…… :)

  30. Hi Maria,
    Congrats on your interview. I tried this recipe today came out real good. I used a pressure cooker without the whistle was not sure if the whistle would over cook the beef. if i do put the whistle on , would one whistle do?

    • Hi Vanessa

      Thank you dear :)

      I normally put the whistle on while cooking the beef. After the first whistle I reduce the flame to medium and keep till 3-4 whistles come.

      However the number of whistles varies depending on the type of beef. I use the Indian beef available here in the supermarket. Please adjust the number of whistles as per the type of beef you buy.

      Hope this helps…


  31. Mariaa…. I tried it… Adipoli aayi vannu… But ethiri neram cinema kandu erunu.. So ethiri adi pidichu… but kuzhapam undayila… Thanks. for receipe….

  32. Hi Maria, I tried this recipe …and I just cudn’t take my hands off it until I finished the whole beef .I like ur site .The way of presentation ,mouth watering dishes & grey background makes one to try out the recipes…good work ….keep posting more… I ve a suggestion too .Pls include a section of Easy Recipes exclusively for working women like me…

    • Hi Amita

      Thanks for trying out the dish. Am very happy to know that you liked it :)

      Thanks for your suggestion, will definitely try to include easy recipes, meanwhile please do try the other recipes and let me know. Would love to hear from you.


  33. Hi Maria,

    This looks delicious. I have never had Beef curry before. I would like to give this a try for sure. The other day I was discussing with my husband how to make Beef curry(I have had only roast) and since we didnt have a proper recipe we didnt make it. Now I need to go no further..thanks a lot :)

  34. Hey Maria!

    This dish came out great! I just made it yesterday evening and my hubby loved it!Thanks for this wonderful n easy recipe!The pics specially make all your recipes look so tempting!

    Sibil :)

    • Hi Sibil

      So I guess your printouts are put to use now :) Very happy to know that you guys liked it. Thanks a lot for your encouraging words dear, please do try other recipes as well when you’ve time.

  35. looks awesome..your blog has excellent snaps too…and i like the recipes being mostly kottayam style..i think the recipes here will taste nearest to home..will try this one!!

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