Black Pepper Beef Recipe at Spice Village, Kumily, Kerala, India

Herbie visits the enchanting Spice Village Hotel set among pepper vines in south India.

Here, Chef Manoj shows Herbie how he makes his signature Black Pepper Beef, using the special Super Grade Black Pepper that Herbie sources from a local plantation.


Braised Black Pepper Beef, with Chef Manoj at Spice Village, Kumily, Kerala, India.
Serves 4-6


1kg beef tenderloin, trimmed

Masala Marinade
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
½ cup grated fresh coconut
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
5 small dried red chillies, seeds removed and chopped
3 sprigs curry leaves
1 tablespoon crushed black pepper

Braising Curry Sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
1 cinnamon stick, broken up
2 teaspoons cardamom pods
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 red onion, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3cm piece ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
1-2 small green chillies, chopped
2 sprigs curry leaves
pinch salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons crushed black pepper
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
100ml coconut cream

finely sliced curry leaves to serve


For the Masala Marinade;
Heat half the oil in a pan over medium heat and add coconut and shallots and cook, stirring frequently until onion has softened and browned.
Stir in coriander seeds, dried chilli and curry leaves and cook a further 2-3 minutes or until mixture is dark and very dry.
Add crushed pepper and mix well.
Remove and cool slightly.
Spoon masala into the bowl of a food processor with remaining coconut oil and process until smooth.
Rub evenly over beef and refrigerate overnight.
Heat a barbecue or char-grill plate over medium high heat and cook beef for 8-10 minutes or until medium rare.
Remove and set aside.

For the Braising Sauce;
Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat and add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
Allow to crackle before adding the onion, garlic, ginger and green chilli.
Cook stirring for 2-3 minutes to allow the onion and garlic to soften.
Reduce heat to low and add spices to pan over the onions and stir in enough water to form a thick sauce consistency.
Add tomatoes and cook a further 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice beef thinly and lay over the braising curry sauce; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes before drizzling over coconut milk.
Serve topped with extra finely sliced curry leaves.