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  • Writer's pictureheutemalindisch

Sabrinas Malabar Beef Pickle

It's always exciting when I get the recipe for a dish I've just fallen in love with. Here is my cousin Sabrina's recipe for traditional Erachi Achaar (Beef Pickle in Malayalam), an appetising and delicious form of a small meat side dish from the state of Kerala.

Despite the fact that in India the majority of the population are vegetarians, and the consumption of beef is mostly prohibited, this historic dish originated in India. This is because not all states have banned the consumption of beef 😊.

Kerala is one of those states where it is allowed to have beef on the plate. The recipe for dry beef pickle has been around for decades. Traditionally, the dish is made from sun-dried pieces of beef that are soaked in a mixture of oil and spices for a long time and then kept at room temperature. When this type of dry beef is not available, care is taken to roast the meat to perfection. This is also the method I describe here.

If you want to prepare dry beef pickle, you should cut the beef into small pieces. The pieces need to be cut into small cubes, which should be smaller than one-pot sized cubes. I would recommend using a sharp blade while cutting the pieces to maintain the texture. The cubes need to be uniformly about 2 cm in size.

This little treat will leave your taste buds tingling for a while and will even leave you wanting more in the end, I'm sure.

What actually are Curryleaves?

Curry leaves are a glossy dark green and have a strong scent of paprika and tangerines, tasting divine and adding a smoky citrus note to dishes. You can find fresh curry leaves in Asian shops. You can store them in a freezer bag in the fridge for a week or freeze them for up to six months.

Wie lange hält sich Beef Pickle?

You can keep this pickle in an airtight container in the fridge for a few weeks. It's also a good dish to take with you as you can conveniently have it as a dry side dish. Trust me, you'll see how quickly your pickle jar empties.


  • 1 kg roast beef from the thigh

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 3 tsp mustard seeds

  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds

  • 20 curry leaves (optional)

  • 6 - 8 garlic bulbs, peel the cloves and cut into quarters

  • 2 cm ginger bulb, cleaned and finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp garlic paste

  • 1½ tbsp ginger paste

  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, ground

  • 3 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder

  • ½ tsp Garam Masala

  • 500 ml sesame or coconut oil (can be substituted with vegetable oil if allergic).

  • 180 ml table vinegar

  • 2 tsp sugar


Cut the beef into small pieces (about 2 cm cubes). Mix the meat well with the turmeric powder and salt and set aside.

Cook the meat- turmeric -salt mixture without adding water in a roaster on low heat, covered, for about 25 minutes. The meat will release its own water when it comes into contact with heat. If there is any water left, open the lid and boil off excess water over medium heat

Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and fry the beef in batches over a medium heat for about 7 minutes until it is crispy (see the tip below). The foam that forms is due to the salt releasing water, which then settles on top of the oil. Set the fried beef aside.

Add the remaining oil to the same pan and heat until you see small bubbles rising in the oil. Add the mustard seeds, followed by the fenugreek seeds (and the curry leaves if desired) and let them sit in the oil over medium heat for 1 minute.

Add the chopped ginger and garlic and fry for about 10 minutes, turning constantly until the garlic is lightly golden brown on both sides.

Then add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for and 1 minute. Then reduce the heat and add the chilli powder, fennel seed powder and Garam Masala and fry for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Add the roasted beef and mix well so that the meat is well coated with the roasted paste. Pour in the vinegar, mix well and bring to a simmer.

Finally, stir in the sugar, taste and season if desired.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Transfer to clean jars and store in the fridge.


  • Place the meat in the freezer for about 20 to 30 minutes so that you can easily hold it while cutting. It also makes it easier to cut the frozen meat into cubes.

  • Remember to place the meat on a cutting board with a paper napkin underneath to prevent it from sliding.

  • How do I check if my beef is fried crispy enough? When you pick up a piece, it should feel like a piece of deep-fried bread. When you bite into it, it should be crispy, not soft.

  • By the way, don't worry, you won't eat or drink the oil and vinegar 😊. It's just a preservative. Use a slotted spoon while taking your pickle out of the jar so that the oil stays behind.

I look forward to hearing from you...

...if you like my blog, my recipes inspire you and your curiosity for Indian cuisine has been piqued.

Feel free to give me feedback if you would like to share your cooking accomplishments or have a suggestion for improvement. I appreciate any kind feedback. Whether via the comment function, email, Facebook or Instagram (best tagged with #heutemalindisch and @heutemalindisch, then your cooking success can also inspire others)



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