If I were to pull out an old shoe, shove it in a preheated oven at 350 degree, bake it for an hour and serve it for dinner, my husband R, would take the first bite, look around, find a bottle of Tabasco, empty the bottle on top of the leather, wipe his plate clean and then exclaim, baby, you out did yourself again!
There is not a jot of deception or exaggeration in the above admission. That simply is R. One, he can eat anything when doused with red hot peppers.Two, he will eat anything I make, like it were manna from the sky. Ok, the first reason I blame on his, for sure, paralyzed taste buds. The second, I’d like to assume is his unconditional love for me ;). I’m led to believe the second reason holds water most often. But, at times when I nag him for having missed a spot under the fridge while vacuuming or when I’m yelling my throat sore for something he didn’t do or more habitually, for something he did, I notice his confused eyes emanate some teeny-weenie amounts of conditions.
Anyway, coming back to his taste buds or lack thereof, people who know me would assume that, the big opportunist in me would had have taken best advantage of a situation (condition?) like this for personal gains. But of course I did!! Ever since the day I realized that my sweetheart could eat virtually anything he believed came from a trusted source, I’ve been like a cat on heat in the kitchen. HOLD ON! If you are about to close this site thinking he’s been my lab rat and I most certainly, appreciate those reservations. But no, he’s not the rat, he’s my darling scavenger. All the risks I take in the kitchen I owe completely to him. Thanks to his sturdy stomach (and my mom’s rosaries, novenas and prayers) he’s still alive in spite of having wolfed down my many a burnt, undercooked, overcooked and outrageously disgusting dinners.
I suffer from an OCD because of which I cannot have any food in the trash or in the drain. I’d rather you eat it and die, than let it reach the sea unconsumed. So, in spite of my disease I frolic in the kitchen only because I have my antidote R, behind me.
Kerala Beef fry is one of R’s most favorite dish that I make. Favorites for a guy deficient of taste buds, you ask? Yes, these are the times I believe he does it all for love :). Though the dish says ‘fry’, in truth the spiced pieces are sautéed dry. And in spite of all the cooking involved it is amazing how the beef, caramelized on the outside stays so perfectly tender inside.
Variations: This can be made with any kind of meat you prefer. Like chicken, mutton or pork. You will only have to vary the cook time accordingly.
2 lbs beef cut into 1’’ cubes, like you would do for stew.
1 large onion finely sliced
5 –6 shallots finely sliced (replace with one onion if you don’t have these)
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp thinly sliced (not grated) coconut
3/4 tsp kerala garam masala
11/2 tsp red chili powder (base this on tolerable spice levels)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 –3 sprigs of curry leaves
salt to taste
2 tbsp coconut oil/ refined vegetable oil