Beef Pickle Kerala Style / Erachi Achar

 Beef pickled in Kerala style – The traditional Christian style erachi achar. The most appetizing and mouthwatering form of eating meat that is soaking in spices and oil.

People in the rest of the world boast of beef dishes and jerky. But their jaws drop when they find Kerala cow boys have been catering to the needs of the carnivores (people) with indigenous fresh and dry meat (unakkal erachi) a k a beef jerky since ages. Partly because the West thinks India is filled only with vegetarians. Sadly, now all those boys have moved to the Gulf in search of greener pastures and the TN boys have taken over from them to supply.
 Kerala, the melting pot has accepted carnivores of all faiths since the time of seafarers. Allowed them to cook meat to their liking without much taboos which has resulted in some of the most sort after delicacies. Out of many dishes that mingled with the local cuisine beef delicacies ruled the roost. It went on to become the emotion of a raw Malayali.
When it comes to Beef pickle, it is made with the sun dried variety and it is kept in room temperature submerged in oil for long periods. The sun dried variety is always stocked but when it is not available then it is taken care of by frying the meat to perfection that’s the method we have done here.

Beef pickled Kerala style erachi achar, Beef achar, elephants and the coconut trees

Pickles are the most evident form of  mommies’ love to kids. Esp when they are going far way to fight in an unknown world’s daily challenges 🙂 it can be in teen, young adult or an overgrown toothless grey haired :)). The kid can fall into any category but definitely takes comfort in those scoops of achar to subside the homesickness :)))) 
Beef pickled Kerala style , Beef achar
Oh just a reminder! -you are not going to drink the oil + vinegar :))) so don’t worry it is just a preservative, use a slotted spoon while taking the pickle out of the bottle so the oil will stay in the bottle. 
Beef pickled Kerala style erachi achar, beef achar

How to cut beef into small pieces for making beef pickle?

Buying a large piece of meat and slicing it yourself  is much economical.Alternatively ask store’s meat dept butcher to cut it into small cubes (smaller than stew size) .

If you are going to cut the meat at home then remember if it is not frozen well then freeze for 20-30 minutes until slightly firm on touch. This gives a firm grip to hold while cutting , gives similar sized pieces and cooks uniformly later. Use a serrated knife or kitchen shears for best results and cut into even cubes ( about 2 cm).

Place a damp newspaper or paper napkin under the cutting board to avoid it from sliding away and helps clean up too easier. If the meat is frozen then do not thaw the meat entirely instead start working when it is still slightly firm as stated above. Test if the knife is sliding in well first (do not apply too much force it will shred the meat)

Beef -1 lb (choose lean cut) I like sirloin
Vegetable oil / sesame oil / coconut oil-3-4 tbsp
Ginger – 1 inch piece+ 1 inch piece (crushed)
Garlic -3 pods (slit into 2 if big cloves)
Vinegar – 3 tbsp

Chili powder – 1 tsp+1 tsp
Turmeric powder -1 /3 tsp + 1/3 tsp
Fenugreek powder – 3/4 tsp (dry roast fresh seeds  and powder it)
Asafoetida – a large pinch
Curry leaves -few
Salt to taste
(Some people like a little meat masala and fennel powder both 1/2 or so I have not added here)



1.Cut beef into small pieces then wash and drain well ,marinate adding 1 inch crushed ginger 1 tsp chili powder  turmeric powder -1/3 tsp and salt. Keep aside for 20 minutes then pressure cook it  adding just 1/4 cup water (***only if u fear  it does not stick to the bottom but it is cooked traditionally without adding any water as the meat releases its own water when in contact with heat ) on low flame until its cooked well.If there is any water left heat the meat until all the water evaporates and dries up well.
2.Heat vegetable oil and when almost hot add the cooked beef and fry until really crisp (as any moisture left will spoil the pickle) Remove beef from the oil and keep aside.
In the same hot oil reduce flame to low and add the crushed ginger wait a minute then add the garlic cloves ,curry leaves fry until garlic turns slight golden brown now add fried beef and  1 tsp chili powder and little salt continue sauteing for few more minutes then switch off flame. Add the fenugreek powder and asafoetida powder mix well.


3.Heat another pan and vinegar and boil for a minute switch off flame and when it cools down pour on to the pickle mix well. When the pickle has come to room temperature transfer it into a clean bottle along with the oil.
The pickle should stay good for a month on the counter in room temperature if it is put properly( without any moisture content in beef or spices used)


Start using the pickle from the next day.
Beef achar is usually served with rice and Kerala side dishes and curries for lunch and dinner.


***Note: If beef is not fried well till it becomes crisp (not burnt) the pickle will get spoilt fast.
How to check if beef is fried well? If u take a piece in ur hand it should feel hollow like a fried bread piece. If u bite into it it should be crispy and not soft inside.

Beef pickled Kerala style erachi achar
serving suggestion (clock wise) : Rice, Winter melon & lentil curry(Kumblanga mulgushyam) , Fish curry with coconut, spinach stir fry with coconut , beef pickle…..enjoy!

9 Replies to “Beef Pickle Kerala Style / Erachi Achar”

  1. Rafeeda AR

    Oh… ennale on FB, eppo evide… I am just waiting for umma's beef packed to arrive so that I can keep aside a few and convert them into this… they would be perfect as they would be already fried to almost black… hehe… Yummy post dear… no words…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *