Beef Ullarthiyathu/ Sautéed Beef/ Beef Dry Fry

Recipe Courtesy: Mini George Kallivaylil

Beef Ullarthiyathu is an emotion for a Malayali. But it took me years of deprivation to appreciate this culinary delight. It used to be a staple at my maternal home that I took it for granted, not realising the hours behind the painstakingly slow cooking process!

So when I decided to attempt my first BDF( Beef Dry Fry), Minimmai, my beautiful aunt, was the one I turned to. She definitely can simplify the recipes and make a rookie like me look like a professional. This recipe doesn’t use too much of whole spices, so please adjust it according to your taste.


Beef Brisket- 750 gms

Chilly powder -1/2 tsp heaped

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric -1/4 tsp

Crushed ginger – 1tbsp

Crushed garlic -1.5 tbsp

Pepper -1/2 tsp

Salt – to taste

Vinegar- 1 tbsp

Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Coconut slices/ thenga Kothu – 150-250 gms

Water – 1/2 cup

Masala for powdering


Cloves -4

Cinnamon-1 inch piece

For sauté

Shallots/ pearl onions – 250 g

Garlic – 1 pod

Curry leaves – 5 sprigs

Pepper -1/2 tsp

Dried red Chillies – 3 nos

Coconut Oil – 1/4-1/2 cup


1. Clean the beef and cut them into cubes. The unwanted fat can be removed at this stage.

2. Marinate the beef with the chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric, crushed ginger, crushed garlic,pepper, salt and vinegar for at least a couple of hours. I usually put it all together in a ziplock bag and leave it in the fridge overnight. It’s less messy and easier to make sure that the marinade has coated the meat properly.

3. In a pressure cooker, place the marinated beef. Add then coconut slices, curry leaves and water. Taste the water to check the spice and salt levels. At this stage, add more chilly powder and salt if necessary.

4.Cook the beef on a medium flame in the pressure cooker. After the first whistle, set an alarm for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, take the pressure cooker off the flame and let it rest. Once the steam is completely released, open it.

5. This is the second stage for taste check. The beef should be partially tender but not falling off. The salt and spice levels can be adjusted at the next stage. If there is too much stock in the beef, please cook it openly on a high flame to reduce it to a minimum.

6. Heat the whole spices in another pan and powder it. This quantity is sufficient for 1kg of beef. If you prefer the flavor of spices, you could double the quantity. This can be replaced with shop bought erachi ullarthiyathu masala.

7. Crush the shallots and garlic pod.

8. In a deep dish/ kadai, heat the coconut oil. This oil is required for the beef to be browned outside, yet tender inside.

9. Once the oil is hot, add the dried red chillies, crushed garlic and shallots and 3 sprigs of curry leaves.

10. Sauté this till the onions turn golden brown. Now add the freshly ground masala. (If the salt and chilly powder needs to be adjusted, please add that at this stage). Sauté till the powders are cooked.

11. Sauté the beef in the shallot-garlic masala on a medium- low flame. Add another sprig of curry leaves. At this stage, the beef sautéed like how you fold in with a spatula for a cake. This method is followed as it helps the beef to be coated fully and at the same time it’s shape is retained. This stage is time consuming but worth every second.

12. The choice of browning for the beef is a personal preference. My family prefers the brown version to the blackened version, so I stop at that.

13. If you are cooking for later , please do not sauté it till your preferred level. As each time you heat the beef, it has a tendency to get tougher. So keep this in mind when you sauté the beef.

14. Before serving, add in a sprig of curry leaves and freshly crushed pepper over the beef and give it a stir.

That feeling in your stomach

when you see h̶i̶m̶ … FOOD!!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    I made it Ma’m……My husband loved it.Thank you again for sharing such family treasures❤️


    1. Maya’s LAB says:

      Thank you so much for trying it out.. it’s a pleasure to share. Sorry that I’ve been too busy lately . Will try to share more !!


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