Kaleji Recipe – This meal is perfect for events with family and friends like Bakra Eid; beef liver simmers in an onion, ginger, and garlic flavored masala. Serve it as is or with fresh bread like paratha, naan, or roti. If you’re on the fence about liver, that’s okay; our kaleji masala fry is the most appetizing way to eat this nutrient-dense protein.
Beef kaleji masala or beef liver curry is a lesser-known dish here in the States, but it’s popular in places like Pakistan and India for its health benefits. Organ meat like liver is nutritious and rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein.
WHAT IS KALEJI?
Kaleji means liver in Urdu and Hindi, and the meal is a semi-dry curry or bhuna curry made with lamb, chicken, or beef liver. We prefer using beef liver fried with onions, garlic, ginger, and spices like Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, and our Garam Masala.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Ghee: Ghee is a staple in Indian cuisine and develops a deep, nutty flavor to set the stage for the dish. You can use other oils to fry the liver, but you’ll love the flavor profile using ghee. Mustard oil is a great alternative if you choose to go that route.
- Onion: Caramelized onions combined with ginger, garlic, and spices to create a “dry” curry that flavors the liver.
- Garlic: I suggest using four cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use – go for it; cook with your heart!
- Ginger: Ginger cooks alongside the meat and serves as a tasty garnish at the end.
- Seasoning: Flavor kaleji masala with Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, ground cumin, garam masala, salt, and a bay leaf.
- Liver: When purchasing a liver, select one that is darker in color, indicating freshness. As a general rule, I make liver the same day I buy it at the store.
- Yogurt: Tenderize liver with yogurt.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS
We use beef liver, but you can make this recipe with chicken or mutton liver. Adjust the cooking times accordingly; chicken liver will require less cooking time whereas mutton will need to cook for longer.
HOW TO MAKE OUR KALEJI RECIPE
Saute onions in a heavy-bottomed pan with ghee until they’re golden brown.
Add a bay leaf, ginger and garlic, and continue cooking.
Season with Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, ground cumin, garam masala, and salt.
Lower the heat and add the liver; cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the yogurt and simmer for 10 minutes.
Taste with salt, add chilis, and serve with naan or paratha.
- If you follow one rule when making liver – DO NOT OVERCOOK IT. Cooking the liver for too long causes the meat to be chewy and tough. No one wants that.
- Too much salt causes the liver to harden, so our kaleji recipe calls for very little salt at the beginning. I do recommend tasting and adding salt before serving if necessary.
SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS?
If you love this kaleji recipe, try one of our other Pakistani-inspired meals!
WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS
- FRIDGE – Store leftovers in an airtight container; it will keep in the fridge for two days. My husband says day two kaleji masala tastes even better since the ingredients have had more time to incorporate.
- FREEZER – Allow the dish to cool completely, then add it to a freezer-safe bag or container. It will freeze for 2-3 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost liver in the fridge overnight.
- REHEAT – Add a bit of water, and warm leftovers in the microwave or stovetop.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
• Beef Liver: Cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
• Chicken Liver: You will need 5 minutes to cook chicken liver.
• Mutton Liver: Mutton liver takes longer to break down; cook it over low heat for 20 minutes.
YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY:
- Moong Dal (Instant Pot and Stovetop)
- Authentic Chana Masala Recipe
- Butter Chicken
- Karahi Gosht (Lamb or Mutton Karahi)
- 19 Eid Recipes
Kaleji Recipe – Beef Liver Curry
- Heavy-Bottomed Pan , or Wok
- ginger, julienne, to garnish
- cilantro, chopped, to garnish
- green chilies
- Warm ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until caramelized and golden brown, for about 10 minutes.
- Add bay leaf, ginger and garlic, and cook for another couple of minutes until the raw smell fades.
- Stir in the Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, ground cumin, garam masala, and salt.
- Lower the heat and add liver to the onion masala. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the yogurt and continue cooking on low heat for 10 minutes or until the color changes. Stir to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan.
- Taste with salt and serve with naan or paratha.
- If you follow one rule when making liver, it’s this, DO NOT OVERCOOK IT. Cooking the liver for too long causes the meat to be chewy and tough- no one wants that.
- Too much salt causes the liver to harden, so this kaleji recipe calls for very little salt at the beginning. I recommend tasting and adding salt before serving if necessary.
- The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
- Check out my web story for kaleji masala!