Beef Kadachakka Curry/ Beef Curry with Breadfruit
Beef Kadachakka curry is a popular Christian delicacy in Kerala, prepared in a hearty combination of spices, herbs and coconut milk; a delicious side dish for rice, Bread, Naan or rotis. It has a rich coat of flavourful Masala that boosts up the curry and makes it more appealing.
This beautiful recipe is from the Kerala Christian cuisine, a lovely combo of beef and Breadfruit, which is spicy and has bold flavours. Typically, we have two ways of making this combo. ‘Beef and Kadachakka Varutharacha curry’ has intense flavours and is prepared by roasting the coconut alongwith spices; the other one is prepared like ‘Mappas style’ with coconut milk.. In most Christian homes in Kerala, you will see various combinations of meat and vegetables like Pork with Koorkka, Beef with kaya, Chicken with Potato, Beef with beetroot, beef and potato, Pork and kaya etc. I guess with plenty of mouths to feed, the old generation mothers found this to be an economical way of cooking meat.
How do you know whether your Breadfruit is mature?
Breadfruit is a great vegetable, although I am not a great fan of Ripe or Sweet Breadfruit. A well matured Breadfruit, which you can add to curries or stew, will be greenish yellow with spaced out thorns and quite firm to touch. If the fruit is soft and brownish, it means it is ripe. Greenish with close thorny outer skin would mean it is not matured enough. Although Breadfruit tastes rather plain like potatoes, it has a silky-smooth texture after it is cooked. It mostly contains carbs, yet it is rich in fiber and even has Omega fatty acids. Also, it contains many other nutrients and antioxidants.
Our Kerala trips were jeopardized with the pandemic and lock downs, so I was extremely happy to receive this Breadfruit from Kerala. Thanks to my loving Uncle and Aunt and their sweet neighbour (who was generous enough to share this breadfruit from her yard), and to my darling cousin who brought it for me from Kerala; I could cook and relish this lip-smacking Beef Kadachakka curry. As suggested by my Aunt, I cooked Kadachakka in Coconut milk and it turned out extremely delicious!
Kadachakka can be prepared in the same way with Mutton. However, with chicken, you need to reduce the spice measure a little. Marinate chicken with half of the meat masala, vinegar and fry slightly before making the curry. Drain the chicken pieces and follow the same recipe. Since chicken needs less cooking time, you don’t have to pressure cook the same. Instead, you can cook it together with Kadachakka in a pan. I have already put the recipe for Kadachakka Mappas, which is another delicious recipe with Breadfruit.
Check out other Kerala recipes like Beef stew, Duck Mappas, Chicken Liver Fry, Kerala Beef fry, Karimeen Mappas, Kanthari Chicken, Pork and koorkka, Palappam, Spicy Fish curry, Chicken roast, Pork pepper roast, Mutton Curry, Chicken curry with Thengakoth, Mutton stew, Prawns roast, squid roast, Beef Ularthiyathu etc.
Next time you get Breadfruit, try this and let me assure you, this dish is for keeps! Enjoy!
Ingredients for Beef Kadachakka curry:
: 1 kg
: 1 full
: 2 (medium)
: 2 tbsp
: 15 cloves
: 4 -5 sprigs
: ¾ tsp + ½ tsp
Kashmiri Chilli powder
: 1 ½ tbsp
: 1 ½ tbsp
: 1 tbsp
: 2 small sticks
Fennel seed/ Perumjeera/ Saunf
: 1 ½ tbsp
: 1 ½ tbsp + 1 tbsp
: 2 tsp
Thin Coconut Milk (Randaam Paal)
: 1 ½ cups
Thick Coconut milk (Thala Paal)
: 1 cup
: to taste
: ½ tsp
Small Onions chopped
: 1 tbsp
Dried red chillies
- Clean the beef well, squeeze out water and keep aside.
- Heat a pan and dry roast the whole spices – Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Fennel seeds, Star Anise and Bay leaf.
- Add Pepper corns and fry.
- After a minute switch off the flame and add turmeric, coriander and chilli powders and mix well. Allow to cool.
- Dry grind the spices and keep aside – this is the special meat masala.
- Heat a Pressure Cooker. Pour 1 ½ tbsp Coconut oil.
- Add Sliced Garlic (15 cloves) and fry for few seconds.
- Then add chopped Ginger, slit green chillies, curry leaves and sliced onion.
- Sauté for few minutes, add ½ tsp salt and fry till onion is limp.
- Next, add chopped tomatoes and fry till slightly mashed.
- Add the ground meat masala and fry adding little water in intervals to avoid burning masala.
- Put the Beef, add enough salt, vinegar and mix well.
- Cover and pressure cook till done.
- Discard the outer skin of the Kadachakka, remove the central core and cut into bite sized pieces.
- Put in salt water.
- Cook Kadachakka in 1 ½ cup thin coconut milk, ½ tsp Turmeric powder, salt, curry leaves and one green chilli, till soft.
- Make sure to stir in between and cover and cook on medium flame.
- Take the cooked beef and bring to a boil.
- Add the cooked Kadachakka and combine well.
- Simmer for few minutes and allow it to soak the flavours of the spices.
- Adjust salt to taste.
- Add 1 cup thick Coconut milk (Thala Paal), mix well and switch off the flame.
For garnishing, heat coconut oil in a pan, splutter mustards, fry small onions and curry leaves and add dried red chilli. Enjoy the rich and flavorful Beef and Kadachakka Curry!!
- Well matured Kadachakka/ Sheema chakka will be greenish yellow with spaced out thorns. Should be firm to touch.
- After removing the outer skin and central core, cut into small pieces and leave in salt water to avoid discoloration. Drain just before cooking.
- It is advisable to apply oil in your hands while cutting Breadfruit as the sap might stick to your hands.
- Beef with a little fat is best for this curry.
- Adjust the pepper and Chilli Powder measure according to your spice tolerance level.
- Dry roasting the spices provide great flavours to the dish.
- You can adjust the gravy by adding more Coconut milk if required.
- Use Coconut oil for best results.
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