Hey! My name is Ann Ittoop and I am a South Indian/American South food blogger.

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Kerala Beef Cutlets

There are several varieties of cutlets including vegetable and fish that are popular across Kerala, but the cutlet I eat most often is the Kerala Beef Cutlet. Dunking these crispy, flavorful, savory appetizers into a pool of Maggi’s Spicy Ketchup is the perfect combination. Beef Cutlets also go great with some matta rice, moru, and sambar.

As always with these old-school, Kerala recipes, it is all about the process. I understand time is of the essence these days, but some things are worth the effort, right? The steps to make this recipe might seem long, but it moves much faster than it looks. As an alternative, you can use pre-made meat masala or even garam masala. Keep in mind that when you substitute meat masala with garam masala that is is a completely different spice balance. Meat masala is a more sweet and smoky blend while garam masala is a more dry smokey flavor. You can buy my special spice blend called Kerala Masala which is my version of Meat Masala.

I’ve broken down my Kerala Beef Cutlets recipe by its process so that it’s easier to follow and prepare for. If you decide to make this recipe or have any questions about how to make it, head over to my instagram @thefamiliarkitchen so we can connect and I can see how it turned out for you!


South Indian Beef Cutlets

Beef cutlets are a staple South Indian appetizer. They go great with some spicy ketchup and, of course, are just as delectable on its own.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Beef Fry, cutlets, South Indian Food
Author: Ann Ittoop


  • Pressure Cooker
  • Spice Grinder


Meat Masala

  • Black Peppercorns, 1 tsp 
  • Green Cardamom Pods,
  • Cloves, 8 
  • Cinnamon Stick, 1/2 a stick 
  • Cumin Seeds, 2 tsp 
  • Fennel Seeds, 2 tsp 
  • Red Chili Powder, 1 tsp 
  • Turmeric Powder, 1 tsp

Remaining Ingredients

  • Salt, 2-3 tsp
  • Beef, 2 lbs, round roast, cut into medium chunks 
  • Golden Yellow Potatoes,
  • Coconut Oil, 2 tbsp 
  • Shallots, 3, fine mince 
  • Ginger, 1" piece, fine mince 
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, fine mince 
  • Green Chilies, 1, fine mince 
  • Curry Leaves, 2 sprigs, finely chopped
  • Egg, 1, beaten 
  • Bread Crumbs, 1 cup 
  • Vegetable Oil for frying


Make the meat masala.

  • Start by making the meat masala spice blend. In a saute pan, add in all of the masala ingredients except for the red chili powder and turmeric powder. On low heat, warm the spices just enough to release their aroma (about 3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and let the spices cool. Transfer the spices to a grinder to turn it into a powder. Once in powder form mix in the red chili and turmeric powder. Set aside.

Pressure cook the beef.

  • Wash the beef under cold water. Squeeze out as much excess water as you can. Place the beef chunks in a pressure cooker along with 2 heaping tbsp of the meat masala and 2-3 tsp of salt. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
    While the beef cooks, boil the potatoes then peel and lightly mash them so that they’re slightly chunky. Set aside.
    Drain the excess water from the pressure cooker and then transfer the beef chunks, in batches, to a food processor. Pulse the beef several times to mince the meat. Pulse it until it’s all evenly shredded. Set aside.


  • In a large deep skillet on medium-high heat, add the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, saute the minced shallots, ginger, garlic, green chilies, and curry leaves. Once the rawness of the ingredients cooks down, add in the minced beef and mashed up potatoes. Mix this together really well then check for salt and spice level. *I like to add 1 tbsp more of the meat masala at this point and then mix it in.

Shape the cutlets.

  • A trick to shaping the cutlet is to use a regular tablespoon spoon. Scoop up about two spoons worth of meat into the palm of your hand and then use the shallow side of the spoon to press into the meat. Press so that you begin to form a round, oval shape cutlet. Do this on both sides and ensure there are no cracks in your cutlet. Set this aside on a plate or baking sheet as you form the remaining cutlets.
    TIP: A trick is to refrigerate the formed cutlets for about 30 minutes so it holds the shape together more firmly before frying.

Dip and Dredge.

  • Grab two bowls. In the first bowl, add one egg and beat it very well. In the second bowl, add in the bread crumbs. I like to designate one hand for egg dipping and the other for bread crumb dipping to prevent globs of breadcrumbs forming on your fingers.
    First dip the cutlet in the eggs so that its thinly coated then place it into the bread crumb mix. With the other hand, lightly coat the cutlet on all sides and shake off excess. Continue to do this for all of the cutlets.

Fry the cutlets.

  • In a shallow frying pan on medium high, add enough oil so that its about 1-1 1/2 inches deep. When the oil is hot, add in a cutlet. You can fry several cutlets at a time, but don’t overcrowd your pan. Cook each side for about 20-30 seconds or until you see a light golden color form. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cutlets from the pan to a plate lined with paper towels. Done!


NOTES: I typically use a round roast cut of beef. I have seen ground beef used, but I don’t prefer the texture. Minced meat offers a fuller bite and soaks in the spices better in my opinion.
You can fry this in coconut, vegetable, or expellar-pressed canola oil.
You can store these in the fridge for about a week or freeze them for several months.

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