Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Beef Veyichathu/ Ularthiyathu

Recipe No: 276
I have a lot to say about Irachi Veyichathu…, a dish that was prepared by my Mother and both of my Grandmothers… Well, I don’t know a single Christian household around my place that doesn’t have a recipe for this preparation. A lot of my friends asked me for this recipe… so for all of them… friends, here it is… enjoy…
Ingredients                                   Serves 6-8
To Pressure Cook
  • Beef……………….............900 Grams (cut into small pieces; washed and drained)
  • Salt………………..............1 Teaspoon
  • Pepper Powder…..........1/4 Teaspoon
  • Water………………...........1 Cup
To Saute
  • Oil……………………..............2-3 Tablespoons (Preferably Coconut Oil)
  • Mustard Seeds…...….........1/2 Teaspoon (Optional)
  • Coconut slices………..........1/2 Cup (Thengakothu; use more if you prefer)
  • Onion sliced thin……........1 Cup
  • Shallots sliced thin…........1/3 Cup (If not available, add the same quantity of Onion)
  • Curry Leaves…………........2-3 Sprigs
  • Ginger Garlic Paste.........1 ½ Tablespoons (Instead use a big piece Ginger and 10-12 Garlic; crushed)
  • Tomato sliced thin…........1 small (Optional)
  • Turmeric Powder…….......1/2 Teaspoon
  • Red Chilly Powder………..2 Teaspoons
  • Coriander Powder………..4 Teaspoons
  • Garam Masala Powder...1 Teaspoon
  • Vinegar……………………….a few drops
  • Salt as needed
  • ¼ Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder, 1 sprig Curry Leaf and ½ Teaspoon Coconut Oil to sprinkle on top
Method of Preparation
  1. Put all the ingredients given in the ‘to Pressure Cook’ section in a Pressure Cooker and cook till almost (don't cook till it falls off, as we cook them later) done. (I kept the cooker on high till the first whistle, then lower the heat to medium low and cooked for 10 minutes.) Once cooked, off the heat and let the Pressure subside.
  2. While that is happening, heat Oil in a pan on medium high heat and splutter the Mustard Seeds.
  3. Add Coconut slices and fry, stirring, till it is slightly brown.
  4. When the Coconut Pieces are brown, add ¼ teaspoon Salt followed by Onion, Shallots and Curry Leaves. Saute, stirring now and then, till the Onion is golden brown in color. (By golden brown, I mean it should be reduced considerably and attain a slightly crispy nature.) Do stir often to avoid uneven browning and burning.
  5. Add Ginger Garlic paste and saute till the raw smell is gone for a minute.
  6. Lower the heat to low and add Turmeric Powder, Red Chilly Powder, Coriander Powder and Garam Masala Powder. Fry on low heat for a minute to get rid of the raw smell. Do stir to avoid burning.
  7. Add the Tomato slices and stir till it mashes lightly.
  8. Add the cooked Beef together with the remaining liquid; stir well and add 1-1 ½ cup Water (depending on the Water left behind after cooking the Beef; Water should level the Beef pieces; don’t reduce the amount of Water at this stage as it helps to spread the Masala properly and cooking in so much gravy for some time will help the Beef absorb the flavors.)
  9. Increase the heat to high and let it boil. Once boiled, lower the heat to medium low; close the pan and let it simmer till most of the Water is absorbed and the gravy starts to coat the Beef pieces. (Oil will start to float at this stage too, but it depends on how much Oil you use and the amount of fat in the Beef; hence it is not a must.)
  10. Once the desired gravy level is achieved, do a taste test and add Salt if necessary (Don’t add it before as the Salt will concentrate when the gravy is reduced). At this stage if you need a bit more of sourness (and your Tomato was not able to give that) do add a few drops of Vinegar. (Believe me sometimes 2-3 drops of Vinegar do magic to your dish!!!)
  11. Mix well; off the heat; sprinkle some Garam Masala Powder, a sprig of Curry Leaf and some Coconut Oil on top; cover the pan and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. (Oh... it taste better the second day) But if you are planning to take this for a trip or you want to keep this for sometime in the fridge, don’t close the pan at the end after sprinkling the Masala and Curry Leaves to avoid vapor from falling back into the meat which can reduce the life of the dish.
  12. Serve warm with Appam, Rice, Flat breads or Bread rolls. We love it with Rice and Moru Curry (A yogurt based Curry) and oh... how did I mange myself from mentioning Parotta while talking about Beef Veyichathu for such a long time!!!
  • Mustard Seeds are optional in this recipe. Some people use it, some don’t. Anyway, I use it as I like it a lot.
  • Tomato was not used in olden days as it reduce the time this dish stays good at room temperature (There was no fridge then!!!). But as we have fridge now to keep the left overs and because I like thick gravy in this (Tomato increases the thickness) dish, I use them.
  • I used Kashmiri Chilly Powder (sometimes Piriyan Chilly Powder also) in this and most of the other recipes. If you are using that deadly hot Red Chilly Powder, please adjust the amount accordingly. But I think Kashmiri or Piriyan Chilly Powder gives that dark color without a lot of heat.
  • The time taken for cooking the meat depends on the type, age (cow's!!) of the Meat used and the efficiency of the Pressure Cooker. So adjust the time accordingly. If you don’t have a Pressure Cooker simmer it till done, but you may need to add some additional water. The Meat should be cooked but not falling off as we cook then later.

Make it enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love….

I am linking this post to the event
Christmas delicacies hosted by Julie of Erivum Puliyum


Priya Suresh said...

Slurp,fingerlicking beef fry..

Julie said...

Hi Asha,
Droolworthy clicks n delicious !! I too prepare the same way except that I don't use mustard, tomato n vinegar ..
You can link this to my event ..

Tina said...

iyoooooo ithu kandu ente control poyeeeeeeee..oru rakshayum illa..adipoli..

Umm Mymoonah said...

Oooh! That looks very tempting, ould love to have it some parathas.

Jayanthy Kumaran said...

haven t tasted its truly tempting asha..;P
Tasty Appetite

My Kitchen Antics said...

looks very thattukada drooling

Mama's World said...


Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

perfect Chritmas dish. looks very festive.

Indu said...

Looks so spicy and yummmmm....finger licking good!


alisha said...

Delicious look and yummy
Wedding Supplier

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