Thursday, August 22, 2013

Beef Roast (Goan Style)

I had a few friends over for dinner over the last weekend. The menu preference was pretty simple, Sorpotel and Sanna.

While extolling the virtues of the sorpotel and the provenance of the slain pig, one of my friends asked the question that would have pricked the heart of any Mangalorean, “What’s better  Goan  Cuisine or Mangalorean cuisine”? All eyes turned to me… I felt as if the answer to world peace lay in what I was to reply.

Was there ever something we called “Goan Cuisine”?  I wondered. Lots of fish, beef and pork, I’d presume. Vegetables? Could be..  I had always been seen as the preacher ultimate for Mangalorean cuisine and now I was to explain something that I always thought had been derived from us Mangloreans..I did check, a couple of Google pages and a few phone calls later I had my answer. Well, more or less…

From a bird’s eye view, it would be easy to believe that Goan cuisine begins and ends with sorpotels, vindaloos and balchaos; thankfully, it doesn’t end there. There’s a lot and more to be explored. Classified as Goan Hindu and Goan Christian it largely deriving largely from the influences of their erstwhile colonial masters, the Portuguese. All you need to do is visit Goa, and allow your nose to lead to a myriad of flavors of a cuisine that is complex and intriguing but something that needs to be cherished and loved.

To be honest, you would be hard pressed to find a restaurant that serves an authentic Goan meal. The kinds that would remind you of mum and of home. Like in Mangalore, the recipes are handed down from generation to generation and in the constant danger of being lost in the  quickly spinning wheel of time.

The question for me then was what dish do I prepare for the post. I didn’t need to search long and hard. My mum quickly gave me a recipe she’s aced and perfected for almost a decade now. I remember having this Beef Roast even as a kid. It’s not quite like a dry roast, not really a gravy but somewhere in between. The best thing is that it’s pretty easy to make and the only time it really take is for the marinating. So, this is something my mum made and like a good student I watched and made notes while she expertly went about her chores. When she finally opened the pressure cooker there was an explosion of flavours that would make any food lover go weak kneed.

As we were at the table, my mum did give a small tip we could use for all recipes- to make a perfect dish pay attention to all the ingredients, but don’t forget the huge scoop of love that you will need to add the very beginning.

Goan Style Beef Roast

  • 500 grams beef (preferably in 1 large piece)
  • 2 large potatoes, cubed
  • 3 large red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon, red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon, turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons, corriander powder
  • 2 tablespoons, cummin powder
  • 2 tablespoons, crushed pepper
  • 1 tablespoon, garam masala powder
  • 60 ml, Goan Vinegar (or any other vinegar will do)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 300 ml water (or more as may be required to cook)
  • salt to taste


  • Wash the meat and pat it dry. DO NOT cut the meat at this point.
  • Use a fork and gently prick the meat on all sides. Now, rub all the spice powders, salt and vinegar all over the meat. Keep the meat side for atleast 3-4 hours, better if you could keep it over night.
  • Once the marination time is up, take out the meat and cut in into medium sized cubes.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the red chillies and potatoe cubes and cook for a while
  • When the chillies begin to crackle, add the meat and give it a stir. Add the water, some salt only if necessary, and close the lid of the pressure cooker and allow it to cook for about 30 minutes. Please note that the cooking time may differ as per the quality of the meat.
  • Serve hot with rice or sannas.

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