Gia's Goan beef chilli fry recipe and a very happy new year to you

In my early years in Mumbai I was the person to tap about ideas on where to go on New Year's Eve.

Ironically this year someone called me asking for suggestions on where to go out in Mumbai on new year's eve for a story and I had no idea to be honest.

I took my new found freedom when I landed in Mumbai, from my earlier nights in Kolkata which were spent bringing in the new year watching DD shows at home, very seriously. I would be out to party with a vengeance on new years eve in my early Mumbai years. This continued for the first few years of our marriage too where I would go scouting a deal in the newspapers and go galavanting to some hotel or nightclub with K on new year's eve.

Then one year we had to stay home and watch TV with some takeaway carbonara as we couldn't get a restaurant reservation that new year's eve and the prices of most places had skyrocketed. 

Enlightenment happened that evening as I became aware of the joys of staying home to bring in the new year away from the madding crowd and without depleting one's bank balance. Over subsequent years we would call a few friends over and one would bring in the new year with people one was fond of. 

That's Gia in the centre after cooking up a storm in our yellow kitchen

This year we got really lucky. We not only had a friend over for new year's eve but she even shopped and cooked for our dinner. Gia made pork chops, which she picked from Poona Farms at Wadala, in a vindaloo spice mix, a Goan beef chilli fry and also whipped up a Lindt intense orange dark chocolate mousse. Interestingly she bought her beef from some folks who come to sell it outside a church near her parent's place in Mumbai. How's that for targeted distribution?

Pork chops in vindaloo marinade

the cooked chops



I posted the pics of the food as Gia cooked, on Facebook and twitter and guess what, suddenly the bell rang at 8.30 pm. I jokingly said that someone must have smelt the aromas and rang the bell. Turned out that couple of our friends saw the pictures and dropped in on the way to a party allegedly to wish us.



Luckily the chops were ready to share.

Someone asked me for the recipe of the Goan beef chilli fry when I put up its picture on Facebook and I asked Gia for the same. She has mailed me the recipe so I am sharing it for you here. Do check out her comment on how the concept of chilli fry in Goan restaurants is different from  what it means in Goan homes. I am yet to come across a Goan who approves of the Goan food dished out in the restaurants of Goa!

                                Gia's Goan Beef Chilli Recipe:

The Goan Beef Chilli Fry recipe


Ingredients
500 gm lean beef steak, cubed
2 potatoes, cubed
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
4-5 red onions, thinly sliced 
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 flakes of garlic, chopped
1/2 inch piece ginger, chopped
Whole black peppercorns (optional)
1 tbsp vinegar
Salt
1 tbsp Lime/lemon juice


Method
1. Marinate the beef with the ginger-garlic paste, vinegar, lime juice and salt.
2. Add some water to the beef (enough to cover the meat) and boil until it is tender. Depending on the quality of your meat, it should take a minimum of 45 minutes. You could use a pressure cooker but there is always the danger of the meat getting stringy. I prefer not to.
3. Remove the meat pieces and set aside. Use the beef stock to boil the potatoes. When done, drain and set aside. Reserve the stock.
4. In a wide pan or wok, heat some oil and toss in the crushed pepper, chopped ginger, garlic and green chilli. After a few seconds, add the sliced onion and fry until they turn soft and translucent.
5. Now add the boiled beef and some of the stock and cook for 10 minutes or so.
6. Add the potatoes and further cook for 5 mins. Check salt and seasoning.
7. Tastes great with bread, rice or even whole wheat chapatis/rotis. Or if you are a low carber like me, just dig in without any distractions ;) Remember to skip the potatoes though :)


Notes: You can also make this with tenderloin or "undercut". In that case, you don't need to boil the beef separately. Just boil the potatoes and set aside. Then fry the onions etc and then toss in the marinated beef cubes. Cook on a medium-low flame for 30 minutes or so until the meat is tender. Then introduce the potatoes, check salt and seasoning, and further cook for 5 to 10 minutes.

The name "chilly fry" is a misnomer. Authentic Goan beef chilly fry is made this way, with variations of course (Some folks add tomato puree or tamarind, and spices like turmeric, chilli, and cumin powder etc, and garnish with coriander leaves.) But it is neither hot and spicy nor dry. It should taste like a delicately flavoured meat stew, without the soupy consistency.





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