Kerala-style Ribeye Steak
The southern state of Kerala is a mix of all things wonderful. The tropical Malabar coast is met with hills filled with coffee plantations, spice farms, and beautiful produce. Over the last few years, the Hindu party in control of the country has been slowly banning beef all over India. Kerala remains one of the few places in India where beef is not only consumed, but thoroughly enjoyed. This recipe is a modern take of the traditional beef fry dish called Beef Ularthiyathu, with tasting notes of black pepper, curry leaves, coconut, coriander, and anise. Enjoy it with a side of yogurt and bowl of warm rice.
2 Ribeye Steaks, roughly 1” thick brought to room temperature
Grapeseed or canola oil for searing
¼ cup fresh ground black pepper
Generous handful of curry leaves (15 – 20)
2 garlic cloves (lightly smashed)
4 tablespoons coconut oil
To be toasted and ground into a powder using a coffee grinder:
2 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon pepper
½ tablespoon fennel seeds
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 litre of beef stock reduced to 1 cup in a small saucepan
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 red onions (thinly sliced)
1 teaspoon black (or brown) mustard seeds
2 – 3 Indian or large Thai green chilies (slit lengthwise)
2 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Kashimiri chili powder
All the powder from the previous step
¼ cup fresh grated coconut*
- Bring your steak to room temperature at least 1 hour before cooking it.
- Preheat your oven to 400 F. Have all your sauce ingredients and spice powders ready before cooking the steak.
- Heat a cast iron pan.
- Meanwhile season the steak well with salt and then toss it around in a big bowl with coarse crushed pepper to coat it evenly
- Add some grapeseed oil to the cast iron pan, then sear the steak well on one side for about 3 minutes.
- Flip the steak, add the coconut oil, smashed garlic and curry leaves, and baste the oil as it melts, over the seared side of the steak. Cook for another 2 minutes till both sides are well seared.
- Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and finish in the oven to desired doneness.
- Rest the finished steaks.
- In the same cast iron pan, remove excess fat and start with 2 tablespoons of fresh coconut oil.
- First, add the mustard seeds and once they splutter, add the thinly sliced onions and sweat them with a ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook at a fairly high heat allowing the onions to brown a little.
- Once onions are fully sweated, add the green chilies, ginger and garlic pastes, as well as curry leaves. Cook till ginger and garlic are fragrant, 1 – 2 minutes.
- Now add all the powders: fresh ground powder along with turmeric and Kashimiri chili powder.
- Fry till the oil separates. Add a bit of beef stock so that the spices are all well hydrated.
- Now finish with all the beef stock and the fresh grated coconut. Raise the heat till plenty of bubbles appear. Season with salt and taste. Turn the heat off.
- Cut the steaks against the grain and serve on a platter, pour the sauce on top. Alternatively, if you prefer the presentation of steak on top, apply the sauce to the base of the platter and arrange steak pieces on top.
- Serve with warm rice and yogurt.
*available frozen at Indian grocery stores. This is different from desiccated coconut
About Aditya Raghavan:
Aditya Raghavan is a physicist turned chef and cheese maker. After falling out of love with academia, as a post doctoral fellow in Edmonton, he started pursuing his interests in food more seriously, working on cheese farms, and spending a lot of time travelling in India. In 2017, he was awarded for his contributions to culinary arts at the Arts Spectrum Awards South Asia. He is currently the owner and head cheese maker at Edmonton’s Fleur Jaune Cheese.
You can find Addie on Instagram: @bigaddie.