Nadan Beef Curry

Nadan Beef Curry. Through this dish I was trying to recreate the sweet memories of my child hood days. It all started with a chat I had with my recently married cousin sis. We were discussing about her cooking experiments. Suddenly she asked me, ‘do you remember Mary Chedathy's beef curry?' Mary Chedathy was our grandma's assistant, our nanny, all rolled into one. She used to make a beef curry, the thought of which still makes my mouth water. After having a long discussion about her beef curry, I almost decided to give it a try and started thinking about the ingredients, method and all.

Finally I ended up with the recipe below. There is a small difference from her curry, as the gravy was thin. I made it thick for a change. The main ingredient apart from the beef is potato (I still remember how we used to fight for the potato pieces as kids :)

So here is a modified version of our dear Mary Chedathy's beef curry.

Here is the recipe…

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Nadan Beef Curry

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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 4 -5
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 1/2 kg Beef (cleaned and cut into small pieces)
  • 1 medium Potato (cut into big cubes)
  • 2 medium Onion
  • 1 tbsp each Ginger & garlic (1 tbsp each)
  • 2 Green chilli (slit lenghtwise)
  • 1/2 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Meat masala
  • 1.5 – 2 cups Medium thick coconut milk
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Thick coconut milk
  • 4 – 5 Small / Pearl onion (sliced)
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • A pinch Fennel seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Coconut oil


  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker and saute onion. Once it starts becoming brown add crushed ginger & garlic, green chilli and curry leaves. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Add masala powders and stir for 5 minutes. when the oil starts separating add beef & potato. Combine well. Add medium thick coconut milk. Bring it to boil. Cover the cooker and put the whistle on. After the first whistle, reduce the flame to low-medium and cook for 10-12 whistles, till the beef & potato is done. Keep the cooker closed till pressure drops, 10-15 mins.
  • Open the cooker and stir the curry. Check for the doneness of beef. If it's not cooked, pressure again. Once the beef is cooked and gravy becomes thick , add thick coconut milk & mix. When it starts boiling, remove from gas.
  • Heat oil in a pan & splutter mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Add small onion & curry leaves, once the onion becomes golden brown add it to the curry. This curry is a perfect side dish for chappathi, appam, rice.


I use Indian Beef for this recipe. The cooking time may vary depending on the type of beef you use.
The curry tends to thicken as it rests.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by…mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu
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66 thoughts on “Nadan Beef Curry”

  1. Hi Maria
    I would like to try this curry but can only get dried curry leaves is there much of a difference between fresh and dried

  2. Sounds amazing! I am pretty new to cooking so I have been looking up a lot of organic beef recipes, that is how I came across your post. I am a big fan of curry. I can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks so much for sharing. This will be my first attempt with Indian food so with me luck!

    • Hi Laruen,

      Thank you for your comment!

      Did you try this recipe? Hope your first Indian cooking experiment turned out successful!

      Sorry for the delayed reply, I was away on holidays for sometime..

      Hope you get to try more curries :)


  3. This is the second time I am making this and I am practically licking off the pressure cooker. Since it was so simple to make this I was surprised that this tasted so delicious. I love gravy and I could drink this curry.

    • Hi Joicy,

      Thanks a bunch dear :) It’s one of my fav curries too.. Great to know that you enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing the pic dear..


  4. Hi Maria,

    I discovered your blog just a month ago. I have to say many thanks , my kids now enjoy food cooked at homer and so does my husband. Please keep up the good work.

  5. Hi Maria
    I am new to your blog. Came to know about you from a friend of mine. I loveeee cooking and experimenting as well. But nowadays I don’t get much time for that as I have a daughter who is one year old.
    My husband had been asking for beef potato curry for a couple of months. But I was a bit reluctant to go for it thinking that it will take a lot of time
    But then when I saw this recipe here I felt that I could try it and it came out very well. It’s an awesome curry in my hubby’s opinion (he has very sensitive taste buds n I am veggie so I can’t form an opinionof my own :))
    So thumbs up and looking forward to try more of your recipes.

    • Hi Karishma,

      Thanks a bunch dear for the comment! Great to know that the curry came out well… Please do other recipes too when time permits. Hope you will like it :)

      Please say my thanks to your friend also for recommending this space..


  6. The most delicious beef curry i’ve had! Thanks for the recipe Maria. Keep up the good work!

  7. Maria,

    I usually avoid all pages with any mention of religion like the plague, but your recipes transcend my personal opinions and your story is inspiring.  I love this particular recipe and have had the great pleasure of making it frequently since stumbling onto it 2 years ago while doing a (slightly sheepish) search for beef dishes Indian style.  I am just starting to explore your other recipes and cannot wait to try some of your fish/prawns dishes in particular. 

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Abrigitea,

      In the beginning of each recipe, I write a small introduction. It’s mostly about me and my life. Since my religion is very much a part of my life, I happened to write about it too :)

      Great to know that you’ve been making this dish since two years! Hope you get to try other recipes and like them too.

      Thank you very much for taking time to post a comment here.


  8. Hi Maria,

    Thank you so much for this wonderful, yet, simple recipe! Made this curry just now and wow, it is so so tasty! Had to tell you a big thanks right away! :)

  9. Hi Maria,

    I tried this recipe today for our lunch. My husband came for lunch from work, tasted it and said awesome curry… Thnk u so much for the wonderful recipe.


  10. Dear Maria,
    Thanks for this recipie.I was searching for this one a long time and today i prepared my best beef curry for palappam with the help of you.
    Thank you so much.Awaiting more wonderful dishes from u.


    • Hi Liz,

      You are welcome dear :) And yes its a great combo with appam. I so feel like having appam n this curry, after reading your comment ;) I’m happy that it came out well for you.

      Thanks for the comment :)


  11. Maria,

    Amazing recipe dear,thanks a lot for posting this, it has become a weekly dish at my home and my hubby loves it. Thank you so much.



  12. Hi Maria, i tried your nadan beef curry today and it came out very well.My husband and son enjoyed it.You are doing a great job.keep going.

    • Hi Nitasha,

      Thanks a lot for trying this. I’m glad that you n your family enjoyed the curry :)

      Please try out other recipes too when you have time…


  13. Mariya Iam a new visitor to ur blog But now it became a routine for me to go through ur nice mouth watering recipiesthough I willnot get time to prepare most of them Anyway congrats Mariya

    • Hi Sindhu,

      Thank you so much for taking time to visit this place and also for writing to me. Glad to know that you like this space.

      Please do try the recipes also when time permits.


  14. Hi Maria,
    Just wanted to check if its ok to pressure cook the beef & potatoes together.. the beef here takes around 5 whistles to cook. Do u think the potatoes will over cook.. any suggestions??..planning to make this next week end..


    • Hi C,

      I actually cook both beef & potato together, because its easy that way ;) and usually the potato dont become that mushy too.

      However if you dont like the idea of slightly overcooked potato, its better to cook it separately and add it to the curry before adding thick coconut milk.


  15. hello maria
    its been a long time since i tried out your recipes…was getting so lazy and often ended up cooking the usuals…we were celebrating our first wedding anniversary last week…so i decided to make something special and ended up in your blog as usual :-) …tried the nadan beef curry and beef olathiyathu recipes…turned out so well that we finished the whole thing (but i forgot to pressure cook the beef for the nadan beef curry…so it took a bit more time than expected…and finally i ended up pressure cooking the beef seperately)…but it was worth it…both of us liked it so much…thanks again for making our day even more special

    • Hi Sarah,

      Belated anniversary wishes :) May God Bless you with many more!

      Thanks a lot for trying the recipes dear and also for the comment. I’m really happy that MariasMenu was also a part of your special day :)


  16. Hi Maria,

    I am a frequent visitor here..I have tried quite a few of your recipes..They have all turned out well. Have you tried this dish with maggi coconut milk powder? If so, could you tell me what are the propotions of the powder and when to add it? Also, will there be any taste difference? I am having hard time cooking with coconut milk from powder, thought of checking with you..In some of your other recipes, I recall seeing maggi coconut milk powder..Thanks in advance

    • Hi Ann,

      Happy to know that you visit this place frequently :)

      I’ve made this curry only with coconut milk powder. Infact, I havent tried cooking with fresh coconut milk yet :)

      To make thick coconut milk, add 3 heaped tbsp of coconut milk powder to one cup of water & mix well. For medium thick consistency, add 2 heaped tbsp of powder to 1 cup of water. That’s the std proportions. You can adjust it as per your needs.

      Add this to the recipe just the way you add regular coconut milk. Regarding taste difference, I guess if you compare both, curry made with fresh coconut milk will be better :)


  17. Hi Maria,

    Hats off to your recipe. It was really fab. Will definitely try more of your recipes. Anyways keep posting more of ur inventions and innovations to the existing ones. U will keep rocking.


  18. Hi Maria,
    I stumbled upon your food blog ,searching for well..”a Dummy’s Guide to Kerala Cooking”… My wife’s into her 3rd month and the kitchen isn’t exactly her favourite place in the house right now.So, new as I am to it, I’m trying to cook her something everyday to satisfy her new found appetite. Your blog have been a great help… Thanks… and keep adding those recipies.
    Jay & Harsha.

    • Hi Jay & Harsha

      First of all congrats to both of you!!

      Am really glad to know that you find the recipes helpful, hope your wife likes it too :)

      Have fun cooking!


  19. Maria chechi..
    .it was ma debut with beef and it turned out roomies are nw quite impressed wid me…:D
    Thnx to ur recipe..lukin forward to more of these.

  20. I would like to prepare your beef curry receipe for a party which consist of about 15 – 20 people. Would you please specify the estimated ingredients to be used for this receipe when it comes to large quantity?

    • Hi Grigra

      I think 3 kg of beef is required for 15-20 people (assuming that you’re referring to adults). You can adjust the quantity of other ingredients accordingly.

      Please let me know if you want to know the qty of each ingredients specifically. Though I havent prepared such large qty, i will try my best to give a rough estimate if that’s ok with you.


    • Hi Rashmi & Bindu

      Very happy to know that this curry came out well for you both, thanks for writing to me.

      Rashmi – I’ve posted mutton, fish and prawns biriyani. Please do check it out. Hope you will like it.


  21. i really loved dis recipe.. came out very well..
    i had no idea hw to go abt beef cooking, nd thnks to u , tht is done…
    wud love to c more recipes
    diff types of biryani nd chicken dishes also…
    so hope to look fwd…

  22. Hi Maria,
    I was wondering what cut of beef you were using for this particular curry? Is it skirt steak?

  23. Hi,

    I sent your recipe to my sis and she cooked it for her family. the result was simply fabulous.. The kids think Sanjee uncle is the most fabulous cook?? Thanks and I must compliment you on your food blog…

  24. Hi Maria, this curry looks too yummy, i once had a similar kind of curry where i had substituted potatoes with lentils, and it was wonderful. I’m gonna try the curry ur way too sometime. Thanks for sharing.

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