Kerala Pineapple Beef Curry with Cucumber Raita

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 35m

Serves 4

Kerala is the southwesternmost state of India, and the cuisine is marked by two characteristics: spicy foods and ingredients that reflect the region's subtropical location, such as the coconut and pineapple in this sweet curry. This dish cooks quickly, partly because of the tender cut of beef. This is unlike many Indian curries, which need slow, lengthy cooking for all the flavors to fully marry.


  • For Raita:
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 English or hothouse cucumber, grated
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of coriander seeds (optional)
  • 1 or 2 sprigs fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • For Rice:
  • 2 cups basmati white rice or long-grain American rice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • For Curry:
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1 pound top sirloin steak, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder (preferably Patak's or Sharwood's), or more to taste
  • 3/4 cup frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed, or 1 1/2 cups canned pineapple juice reduced over high heat to 3/4 cup
  • 1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • For Garnish:
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 12 to 16 fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup mango or other fruit chutney


TO PREPARE RAITA: Place the yogurt in a mixing bowl and add the grated cucumber, pinch of salt, pepper and coriander. Mix well and chill in the refrigerator. Garnish with the cilantro just before serving.

TO PREPARE RICE: Soak the rice in cold water for 10 minutes. Using a strainer, drain the rice and rinse under cold running water until the water no longer looks milky. Place the rice in a saucepan with 4 cups of cold water, the salt and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, stir briefly, and partially cover the pan. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until the water is absorbed; do not stir the rice while it is cooking. Keep warm and fluff with a fork just before serving.

TO PREPARE CURRY: While the rice is soaking and cooking, prepare the curry. Heat the oil in a saucepan or deep, heavy skillet. Season the cubed sirloin with salt, add to the pan, and stir for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, until browned on all sides. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the curry powder so that it thoroughly coats all the ingredients and smells toasty and aromatic; saute for about 1 minute. Add the pineapple juice concentrate, pineapple, stock and coconut milk, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes so that the liquid reduces slightly. Adjust the seasonings and keep warm.

TO SERVE: Place a mound of rice on each warm serving plate and spoon the curry next to or over it. Garnish the curry with the almonds and cilantro, and serve the chutney and raita in bowls on the side.

Tip: Curry powder is usually a mixture of 15 to 20 different ground spices and Madras curry is a hot variety; use a mild curry powder if you have a low tolerance for spicy food. In Hindi, "basmati" means "queen of fragrance," and this aromatic rice is higher in quality, more fine textured, and less starchy than other long-grain rice. A fine domestic substitute is Texmati rice, which, as the name suggests, is a type of basmati grown commercially in Texas. Texmati rice can be found in gourmet, specialty and natural food stores.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.

RecID 5354

nutrition information per serving

911 calories; 29g total fat; 73mg cholesterol; 432mg sodium; 126g carbohydrates; 6g fiber; 40g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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