South Indian Beef Pickle Recipe

A lipsmacking meat pickle that’ll make you keep coming back for more.

Pickled meat isn’t a concept I had been aware of until a few years ago when my mother-in-law sent me a tiny cup of this beef pickle to try out when she’d made a batch for one of our relatives who was moving abroad. It was love at first bite – I couldn’t get enough of it!

This is usually made in our hometown by mothers and grandmothers and aunts who have a family member moving to another city or country for university or work. That’s because the meat is preserved in oil and vinegar and can be safely transferred without worry of it spoiling. It is also because people who are moving away from home may not have a lot of equipment or time to make elaborate home-cooked meals, and a bit of this beef pickle would be more than satisfying with a roti or some rice. You really don’t need much else!

If you’ve ever left your family and moved somewhere far away, you’ll know how much a small piece of home can bring you so much comfort.

Recently, I had a craving for it and asked my mother in law for the recipe. I posted a picture on Instagram and got a slew of DMs asking for the recipe. I hadn’t expected it to be so popular! This is probably the recipe to see the most remakes and everyone has loved it.

So, make it for your family or friends who are moving. Or just make it for yourself. Because you deserve it.

What are the ingredients needed to make homemade beef pickle?

Here’s a complete list of ingredients needed to make beef pickle. You can get away with leaving the asafetida out if you cannot find it.

500g beef, cut into small cubes,
1 1/2 cup vinegar,
1 1/2 tsp ginger/garlic paste,
2 TBSP Chili flakes,
1 cup oil,
100g garlic, crushed,
300g tomatoes, pureed,
1/4 tsp mustard seeds (kadugu),
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (vendayam),
1/4 tsp asafetida (perungayam),

How to make homemade beef pickle?

This is a pretty easy recipe and there are really only two steps.

  1. Cook the beef in vinegar and some flavourings until it goes tender.
  2. Make the pickle part of the recipe and combine with beef.
  3. Optionally, you can also add a tempering.
Can I use less oil or vinegar?

Don’t be intimidated by all that oil! This is a pickle, after all, and you’re not meant to eat more than a couple spoonful at a time (and you won’t need to either because it is so flavourful). However, if you really feel like you must, you can reduce it by a little.

The same goes for the vinegar. It gives it a nice tangy taste that is typical of pickles. But, if you are someone who can’t stand the smell, you may reduce it slightly.

Traditionally, the large amounts of vinegar and oil were added to ensure that it stayed in room temperature without spoiling for as long as possible. Since most modern kitchens have refrigerators, this isn’t as much of a concern anymore.

The best kind of oil pour.
How to Store Beef Pickle?

It can be refrigerated for up to a month or maybe more (it won’t last that long, trust me). I’ve heard it lasts up to a couple weeks without refrigeration but we store it in the fridge.

How Can I serve Beef Pickle?

This beef pickle can be served alongside some plain rice, lemon rice, ghee rice, or any type of bread you like. You can add it in wraps or sandwiches, or even serve it with dosa (my favourite!). I’ve even mixed it with noodles.

Let’s get on with the step-by-step instructions on how to make beef pickle easily at home.

Beef Pickle

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Serves: 3-4

Step 1: Cook beef.

  • 500g beef, cut into small cubes,
  • 1 1/2 cup vinegar,
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger/garlic paste,
  • 2 TBSP Chili flakes,
  • Salt,
  1. Combine all these ingredients and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or until the meat is tender.
    Note: If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can still make it in a regular pot. But you may need to cook it for longer to make sure the beef is cooked really tender.

Step 2: Pickle the cooked beef.

  • 1 cup oil,
  • 100g garlic, crushed,
  • 300g tomatoes, pureed,
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds (kadugu),
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (vendayam),
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida (perungayam),
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and add tomato puree and garlic. Cook until they soften.
  2. Add the beef and the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently until you get the desired consistency.

Optional Step: Tempering

  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds (kadugu),
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (vendayam),
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida (perungayam),
  • 1 tbsp oil
  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the rest of the ingredients in.
  2. Let the seeds splatter for a few seconds and take it off the heat.
  3. Pour this immediately over the beef pickle and give it a stir.


– Serve with rice, roti, dosa, bread, or anything your heart desires.
– See above for notes on adjusting the measurements for ingredients like oil and vinegar.

Here are some more recipes like this for you to check out:

Have you made this recipe? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below! I would also love to hear your thoughts, questions, or doubts.

Rate this recipe!

Published by

Muzna Noohu

A wife, busy mum of a rambunctious toddler, freelancer, content writer, and food blogger with a passion for sharing my food adventures with everyone else.

6 thoughts on “South Indian Beef Pickle Recipe

  1. Honestly I was quite hesitant to make this at first as this is the time I have heard of a meat pickle. But when I made it was absolutely delicious and finger licking good. Thank you for the lovely recipe! Will definitely make it again!!


    1. Aw I’m so glad you loved it. The concept was new to me at first too, but I was obsessed with it from the first time I tried it! 😁


  2. This pickle is fab 👌🏼 I’ve made it twice now and with Muzna’s simple recipe and simple instructions, it came out perfectly each time. This is the first time I made a meat pickle. This is now a family favourite. Love it 😍 Thank you Muzna for sharing this lovely recipe ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

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