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Beef with Crushed Peppercorns

The Christian community in southern India is fond of goat and beef curries, often prepared using vinegar as a tenderizer. In this popular dish, the meat is boiled before it is fried, which seems to make it especially succulent.

Plus: More Beef Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 3/4 pounds well-marbled beef sirloin or boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely crushed fennel seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the meat with the water, coriander, salt, vinegar, turmeric, cayenne, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the meat is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain the meat, reserving the cooking liquid.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and black peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the meat. Add the reserved liquid, a few tablespoons at a time, and stir constantly over moderate heat until the meat is coated with the sauce, about 5 minutes. The curry should be moist, not runny or dry. Serve hot.

Serve With

Steamed rice and Pappadams.

Suggested Pairing

The spiciness of this dish narrows the choice of an accompanying red to one with a similar assertiveness: California Zinfandel.

Contributed By Photo © Zubin Schroff Published February 1999

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