Instant Pot Kerala Beef Fry


Instant Pot Kerala Beef Fry on

This is my husband’s all-time favorite dish! It’s a south Indian recipe that he grew up eating called “Kerala Beef Fry.” It’s basically a dry beef dish that happens to be insanely flavorful.

In the past, this has been more of a special occasion dish – because it takes time and requires the use of several pots. BUT since I have successfully adapted the recipe so that it can all be made in a single pot – this will be on the menu way more often! You can make this dish from start to finish all in your Instant Pot (electronic pressure cooker).

A lot of people aren’t very familiar with Indian beef recipes. Beef is a protein that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in an Indian restaurant. I’m north Indian and until I met my husband, I didn’t even realize there were Indians who ate beef! I still remember my first time tasting “Indian beef.” It was when he brought his mom’s beef cutletswith him to college (and I of course ate most of them). Until that point, my only experience with beef was in hamburgers or steaks. I had no idea that beef could be so delicious.

This recipe is a Christian Keralite dish called Erachi Ularthiyathu, which translates to beef fry. For Christians in India, especially in Kerala, beef is a staple and this particular recipe is considered a special dish by many – for good reason. The tender, spiced bites of beef are absolutely delicious.

The dish is made with coconut slices and curry leaves (you can find both at any Indian grocery store), and it’s also fairly spicy. My recipe is relatively mild compared to what my husband is used to eating, but you can obviously adjust the heat to your liking. If it were up to him, he’d add ten serranos/green chilies to this… we compromise by using 2 ;).

Instant Pot Kerala Beef Fry on

If you like Indian food and beef – then you will 100 percent love this recipe. I can’t wait to hear what you think!! And for those of you who use an old school whistling pressure cooker, here’s my original recipe from several years ago – with updated pictures. Seriously though, get yourself an Instant Pot!

Kerala Beef Fry on

Instant Pot Kerala Beef Fry

Instant Pot Kerala Beef Fry on

Instant Pot Kerala Beef Fry

4.94 from 32 reviews
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  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 2 Serrano peppers or green chilies slit lengthwise but still intact
  • 35-40 curry leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped ginger
  • ¼ cup chopped garlic


  • 1 tablespoon meat masala
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • ½ cup coconut slices*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • Press the sauté button and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and mustard seeds to the pot. Once the seeds begin to splutter, add the onions, Serrano peppers and curry leaves. Stir-fry for 15 minutes or until the onions turn brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and spices. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the beef, coconut slices and lemon juice. Stir-fry for 5-6 minutes to brown the beef on all sides.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 35 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure.
  • When you open the lid, you will see that the meat has naturally released quite a bit of liquid into the pot. Press the sauté button and cook for 15-18 minutes, adding the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil at about the halfway mark. Stir-fry the beef until it is mostly dry, coated in masala and dark brown.


*find frozen coconut meat/slices at your local Indian grocery store
This is meant to be a dry dish, so once it’s done cooking – while you can certainly eat it as a stew – I suggest using the sauté  button to boil off some of the liquid.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Marc says

    I am planning on trying this soon, what is a good side dish to serve with this? Just jasmine rice or something similar?

  2. Charlotte says

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious – the beef comes out super tender and the spice profile is so tasty. We made it with your plantain stir fry recipe and it was a great meal 😀

  3. Cait says

    5 stars
    I made this for my Tamil husband and in-laws today. They were amazed that I could cook such good Indian food. My Appa was raving about how good this tasted, as was my husband. Both are very big food critics. It was a home run for sure! Not a drop was leftover. I LOVE your recipes and all the ones I’ve tried have been so easy to follow and so authentic my whole family is amazed that I’m mastering Indian cooking through the internet. You’re heaven sent!

  4. Jenita says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe a few times. This is an awesome recipe, so close to the original kerala beef fry, with half the cook time and all the yummy taste. I leave a little gravy coz my kids like it that way, otherwise I would have sauteed all the way to the dark fry form. If you can get your hands on some kerala / malabar porotta (trader joes / indian store) this is an awesome accompaniment. My version of comfort food. For those who get the burn signal, I will suggest pouring a little bit of water (less than 1/4 cup) and deglazing before you put the beef in.

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