The beef tongue roast is a tasty dish that’s popular in East Indian culture! Taking about an hour to make, this offal dish using simple ingredients is easy to make and tastes delicious.
One of my favorite East Indian foods at any time of the year is tongue. Tongue roast, salted tongue, tongue moile, pickled tongue, tongue this and tongue that. Now many people in other cultures consider tongue offal and discard it. But in my culture, beef tongue or neat’s tongue is relished and served at family gatherings or parties. Tongue roast or salted tongue slices also disappears quite quickly because it tastes yum!
Note: I have to specify here that we are no longer allowed to eat cow tongue since it’s been banned in the state of Maharashtra, India. Cue the ox! Ox tongue has become the standard go-to for salted tongue or other East Indian beef tongue dishes in Mumbai. But if you’re making this recipe in another country using cow’s tongue, it’s the same method.
This dish itself lends itself to a variety of ingredients and a variety of ways of making it once the tongue has been marinated. But those are recipes for another day. For today, let’s look at how to make the traditional East Indian tongue roast using ox tongue or beef tongue for dinner.
Ingredients for the Beef Tongue Roast
1 large beef tongue – approximately 1.25 to 1.5 kg depending on the size
juice of 2 sourlimes (or lemons)
1.5 tablespoon salt
10 flakes garlic
4 kashmiri chillies
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tablespoon peppercorns
50 grams raisins
50 grams cashewnuts
2 large red onions or 4 medium onions
2 tablespoons ghee (indian clarified butter)
Note: If you’re using small ox tongues weighing circa 600 to 800 grams each, use 2.
Buy the tongue pre-skinned since skinning it without losing the flesh takes a bit of a learning curve. Or if you want to, try taking a sharp knife, hold the tongue vertically, create a slit in the skin and take off strips at a time. I’ve found it easier to just let the butcher do it. He’s a lot more experienced.
How to make Beef Tongue Roast?
Start by chopping the onions and garlic fine, and breaking the cashewnuts into small bits. Check the raisins for any stray seeds and get rid of them.
Wash your tongue, salt it and keep aside. No, not your tongue! The tongue you’re cooking!
Put the ghee in a deep dish vessel or stainless steel pot. If you want to save space, you can do this in the pressure cooker that you will be using later. Add the chopped onions and chopped garlic, along with the kashmiri chillies, and cinnamon sticks, and fry well.
Add the raisins, cashewnuts, sour lime or lemon juice, and tongue to the pressure cooker and cover with water. Once the cooker reaches full pressure, cook for about 45 minutes. We use a 4.5 litre cooker, so we can fit in 2 tongues at a time. Please gauge the water level according to the size of your cooker.
Once cooked, let the tongue cool down, cut into slices and add it back to the cooker. This time cook it in the gravy without the lid till the gravy reduces. And your gluten free beef tongue roast is ready to serve!
There are variants of this ox tongue recipe that use turmeric, or bottle masala, or ginger paste. Every East Indian family will do something different. How does your family do it?
Tips for making the Beef Tongue Roast
- Use butter or olive oil if you don’t have ghee.
- Use 4 medium red onions or 2 large red onions.
- Add broken cashew nuts and raisins for delicious flavor.
- Increase or reduce the quantity of spices to your liking.
- You can replace the ghee with clarified butter, or regular butter, or olive oil.
- You can use vinegar in place of sour lime juice or lime juice.
- Although you could eat tongue all by itself, it’s best not to. Serve with moong dal or masoor dal and chapatis, puris, or rice.
FAQ’s about Beef Tongue Roast
How long can I store Beef Tongue Roast?
You can store Beef Tongue Roast for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator or for 3 months in the freezer.
Do you have to peel beef tongue?
Yes, it is recommended to remove the outer skin of the tongue and discard it. The butcher will usually do this for you.
Is beef tongue really tongue?
Yes, beef tongue is the tongue of a bovine animal such as an ox, bullock, or cow. It’s the part of the meat considered offal along with the heart, liver, kidneys, udders, brains, trotters, and tripe.
What is the difference between beef tongue and ox tongue?
Ox tongue, neat’s tongue, or beef tongue are all one and the same, the tongue of a bovine animal such as a cow (female) or bull, ox or bullock (male). Females are usually not used for meat in some cultures because they’re considered holy, while in others they’re simply not used since they’re more useful for milk production.
What does beef tongue taste like?
Beef tongue tastes just like beef, only chewier and a bit milder.
why is beef tongue expensive?
Depending on the breed, the weight of a cow or bull can vary from 250 kgs to over 1000 kgs. The tongue of the animal, however, only weighs between 1 to 2 kg. This difference, plus the demand for ox tongue leads to an increased cost.
Do I have to cook the beef tongue in a pressure cooker?
No, you don’t have to cook the beef tongue in a pressure cooker. You can also cook it in an instant pot, crockpot, or slow cooker. You can also cook it in a regular pot, but you’ll have to cook it for at least 3 to 4 hours.
Who eats beef tongue?
If I started a list on that, it’ll be really long. Suffice to say that many cultures, including our East Indian culture consider the beef tongue a delicacy and relish it.
Other East Indian Recipes to Try
- Corned Tongue Slices Recipe
- How to make Corned Beef
- East Indian Marzipan for Christmas
- Ginger Wine Recipe (Homemade)
- Mutton Paya Khudi
- East Indian Kimad Recipe
- Bombil Pickle Recipe
- Goat Tripe or Vajri Khudi
- Special East Indian Chicken Tope
- Pork Vindaloo Recipe
- East Indian Kadmat or East Indian Cuchumber Salad
- East Indian Black Currant Wine
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East Indian Beef Tongue Roast
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- 1 Beef Tongue Approximately 1.25 to 1.5 kg depending on the size. (If you're using small ox tongues weighing circa 600 to 800 grams each, use 2 tongues.)
- 1.5 tbsp Salt
- 80 ml Lemon Juice If using sour limes reduce the quantity to 60 ml.
- 10 flakes Garlic
- 4 Kashmiri Chillies
- 2 sticks Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Peppercorns
- 50 g Raisins
- 50 g Cashewnuts
- 4 Onions Medium
- 2 tbsp Ghee (Indian clarified butter) Or any other Clarified Butter
- Break the cashewnuts into small bits and set aside.
- Check the raisins for any stray seeds and get rid of them.
- Wash the tongue, massage it with salt, and keep aside.
- Chop the onions and garlic fine.
- Put the ghee (or clarified butter) in a pressure cooker.
- Add the chopped onions and chopped garlic to the cooker, along with the kashmiri chillies, peppercorns, and cinnamon sticks, and fry well.
- Next, add the raisins, cashewnuts, lime or lemon juice, and beef tongue to the pressure cooker and add just about enough water to cover it. Once the cooker reaches full pressure, cook the beef tongue roast for about 45 minutes.
- Once cooked, let the tongue cool down, cut into slices and add it back to the cooker. This time cook it in the leftover gravy without the lid till the gravy reduces. And your beef tongue roast is ready to serve!
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- This is one of my mom’s versions of the East Indian Beef Tongue Roast. Every family makes it a bit different. So feel free to play around with the ingredients.
- You can replace the lime juice with vinegar.
- You can replace the ghee with clarified butter, or regular butter or olive oil.