East Indian Beef Tongue Roast Recipe

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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

Ingredients:
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.

Sliced onions and garlic on chopping boards.
Cut the onions and garlic fine
Raisins and cashews in a white plate.
Cashews and Raisins

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.

Dried red chillies and cinnamon sticks.
Dried red chillies and cinnamon sticks
Ghee in a steel vessel.
Heat ghee in a vessel
Onions, red chillies and cinnamon sticks in a vessel.
Fry the onions, chillies, and cinnamon sticks in ghee
Onions, red chillies, raisins and cashews in a vessel.
Add the cashews and raisins

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.

Tongue roast and masala after being removed from the cooker.
Cook the tongue and masala in a pressure cooker for 45 minutes
Sliced beef tongue on a chopping board.
Cut the tongue into slices before adding back to the 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!

A vessel with tongue, onions, red chillies.
Add in the tongue and cook
Ox tongue roast with red chillies.
Ox or Beef Tongue Roast
Top view of beef tongue roast in a black vessel.
Tasty beef tongue roast
Beef tongue roast in a vessel with spices.
Beef tongue roast

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

You can print off the list of ingredients and instructions to follow for making this recipe via the recipe card below (for home use only).

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Beef tongue roast in a vessel with spices.

East Indian Beef Tongue Roast

Abby
The East Indian Beef Tongue Roast is a simple and easy-to-cook recipe using a handful of ingredients. All you need is an hour and a half!
4.75 out of 5 Stars by 8 readers!

Click the stars to add your rating!

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Time to cook after cutting the tongue 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine East Indian
Diet Gluten Free
Servings 8 Servings

Equipment

Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot
Knife
Chopping Board
Spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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!

Please click to rate the recipe!

Notes

  • 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.
 
Pinterest image of East Indian beef tongue roast.
Pinterest image of ox or beef tongue roast.

17 thoughts on “East Indian Beef Tongue Roast Recipe”

  1. We also use ginger paste in the recipe. Haven’t tried it with raisins and cashews yet. Seems like a nice touch. Tongue is always delicious.5 stars

    Reply
  2. Most of it is just like our recipe. Only, we use vinegar instead of the lemon juice. Will try to add the raisins and nuts next time. 5 stars

    Reply
  3. Gone are the days when we could eat that amazing cow beef tongue! Now we have to rely on ox or buffalo. Really miss the taste of real beef.5 stars

    Reply
  4. Found this recipe when someone shared your tweet. It’s really interesting how different cultures consider different things edible. Like you tweeted #offalisgood4 stars

    Reply

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