Kerala beef fry
Beef fry
Alternative namesBeef Ullarthiyathu
TypeSlow roasted beef
Place of originKerala, India
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsMeat, spices, onion, coconut
VariationsBeef Ullarthiyathu

Kerala beef fry is a dish made of beef, slow-roasted in a mixture of spices, onions, curry leaves, and coconut slivers, fried in coconut oil. The dish is also popularly known in Kerala as Nasrani Beef Ullarthiyathu.


The dishes origins can be traced back to AD 52, after which Syrian Christians have been known to have settled in Kerala and brought with them Kosher cattle slaughter techniques, which could have also led to the development of the recipe.[1]


The dish is prepared by cooking chunks of meat in a mixture of spices which include turmeric, coriander, garam masala, black pepper, red chilli, cooked along with onions, shallots, ginger and garlic. Slivers of coconut, fried in coconut oil and curry leaves are also used for garnish. The meat is usually cooked in a pressure cooker to soften it before it is slow roasted in the mixture of spices, till it reaches a dry consistency.[2]


Kerala beef fry is most commonly eaten with kerala porotta,[3] whereas in some parts such as Thrippunithura, the dish has been combined with pazham pori and has become a very popular combo in the region.[4]


Kerala beef fry, has found itself in the middle of many a controversy in India, with the central Government banning the slaughter of cattle. However, electoral candidates from the same ruling party went to great lengths to assure their voters that beef would be supplied in the most hygienic conditions.[5]

In Kerala, where the dish is most popular lawmakers attended a special breakfast where Kerala beef fry was served, before discussing the ban at a special session called for the purpose[6] National award-winning actress Surabhi Lakshmi was also in the center of a controversy, where news was published that she ate beef fry during the Onam festival.[7]

A photograph of K. Surendran of the Bharatiya Janata Party which supports a ban on beef and cow slaughter, eating beef during an election campaign went viral, however he denied the same stating that it was onion curry.[8] However, his wife and prominent politician Sobha Surendran, has clarified that eating beef is okay.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Anand, Karen (6 July 2019). "Savouring Beef Ularthiyathu at Forte Kochi". Hindustan Times. HT Media Ltd. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  2. ^ Roberts, Adam (August 2012). Secrets of the Best Chefs. Artisan. p. 241. ISBN 978-1-57965-439-9. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  3. ^ Arya, Divya (18 July 2016). "The Indian state that is obsessed with beef fry". BBC. Retrieved 22 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Where to eat like a local in Kochi". Conde Nast Traveller. 8 April 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  5. ^ K, Nisar. "In Kerala, a Beef Fry Dilemma For the BJP". Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Kerala: Beef fry for breakfast before MLAs debate new cattle slaughter rules". India Today. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Malayalam Actress Surabhi Lakshmi Receives Flak For Eating Meat On Onam". 11 September 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Kerala: Photo of K Surendran eating beef goes viral; BJP leader swears it was just onion curry". IBT. International Business times. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Eating beef is okay: Shobha Surendran". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 April 2022.