Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry

Last Christmas (no, I didn't give you my heart - great, now that song is stuck in my head) we went to a stuff-yourself-till-you-fall-into-a-coma kind of a family and friends gathering. The food was predominantly Sub-Continental and I had one mouth watering dish that was so simple, yet so delicious that I HAD to have the recipe! So, I hounded the cook of said dish till she relinquished the recipe. She said it was Sri Lankan style beef and the recipe was simple enough. 

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry

Now, I don't claim to know much about about Sri Lankan cooking, so I started researching the cuisine on encyclopedia Google and came up a bit empty as far as this beef dish goes. So, I asked one of my Sri Lankan work mates about it. After describing it to her, she said that it sounded like what they call a stir fry. But then she also added a disclaimer: "I can't help you if you have the Sri Lankan community after you with pitch forks." (Thanks, Sala) 

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry

This is not like the other quick-cook stir fries I have done in the past on the blog. The recipe calls for A TON of onions which give this dish a natural sweetness. The spices themselves are subtle and it is nothing like the creamy spicy fare you sometimes have to suffer through in Indian/  Sri Lankan restaurants in western countries. 

Yield - Serves 3
Prep Time -15 Minutes + Overnight Marination
Cook Time - 40 Minutes

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry


1.5 LB Shoulder Steak
2 Tablespoons Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Teaspoon Crushed Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Meat Tenderizer
4 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
3 large Onions
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 inch piece Cinnamon
5 Cardamom
5 Cloves
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 Teaspoon Whole black pepper
2 Dry Red Chillies
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce


Cut the steak in half inch cubes. Add ginger garlic paste, freshly crushed black pepper, some salt and meat tenderizer. Don't over do the meat tenderizer, you need very little.

Heat a good glug of oil in a pot. Fry the onions till they start to caramelize, about 7-8 minutes. While the onions are frying, get the spices together. Add turmeric powder and the spices. Stir and cook for another minute or two.

Add the beef and stir to combine with the onions and spices. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add half a cup of water and cook till meat is tender. Since I had marinated it with the tenderizer earlier, this did not take too long. About 10 minutes.

When you are happy with the done-ness of the beef, add a table spoon of worcestershire sauce and stir. Take it off the heat. 

Serve with rice or fries. Enjoy!

Sri Lankan Beef Stir Fry


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