Grilled Marinated Beef

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 5

Appears in

Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent

Mangoes & Curry Leaves

By Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

Published 2005

  • About

This easy beef grill comes from the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. We make it with organic or grass-raised beef, usually part of a round or rump roast. The meat comes off the grill with a flavored crust and meltingly tender interior. Allow an hour for the beef to marinate, then place it straight onto the preheated charcoal or gas grill.


  • 1 pound boneless beef


  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic or garlic mashed to a paste
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 dried red chiles, stemmed
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup plain (full- or reduced-fat) yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice


Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.

To make the marinade, place the garlic, shallots, and ginger in a medium bowl. Grind the coriander seeds and chiles in a spice/coffee grinder or with a stone mortar and a pestle. (If you’re using a stone mortar, the garlic and shallots can be ground together with these dry ingredients). Add the ground spices to the bowl, along with the turmeric, salt, oil, yogurt, and lime juice, and stir to mix well. Add the beef and mix to ensure that the meat is well coated with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and as long as 4 hours, whatever is most convenient.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill.

Put the beef onto skewers (see Note), so the pieces are just touching. Cook over a hot fire, turning the skewers frequently so the meat cooks but doesn’t burn, until medium-rare or medium, about 6 minutes. The hot fire will give a crisp outer crust to the meat; to test for doneness, cut into one cube to see that the interior is as you wish it to be.

Serve with plain or flavored rice, a green salad, a sambol or chutney, and Ladies’ Fingers Curry or Green Tomato Curry or another well-sauced vegetable dish.