Fatu’s Steak (Sweet and Sour Tender Steak)

Sweet and Sour Steak

A sweet and sour tender beef dish. This is a long post, not really because it is a difficult dish to make, but rather due to all the pictures and elaborate explanation. Hey, this website is meant for the ‘newbie’ cook after-all!

I’ve tried a lot of steak recipes, most of them turn out to be not to my liking since they take forever to make or taste like gos-nu-saag or just don’t have what my ‘khoja-food acclimatized’ taste buds need. My mother is famous for the steak she makes, she is affectionately called ‘Fatu’ and since this is a nameless dish, I’m naming it what it’s titled in my recipe book.

Maa, please still love me after this post.

Recipe: Fatu’s Steak

Categories: Main Dishes; Beef

Accompaniments: Vegetables/Salad/Roast Potatoes/Fries/Parotha

Source: My mother

Servings: 4-5


Base Ingredient:

  • 1 1/2-2 pounds beef slices about 5-6mm thick (this dish goes through a lot of cooking so no need to buy the most tender cut, beef stew meat works well)


  • 1 medium-sized tomato
  • 1 green pepper
  • handful of cilantro (leaves+stems)
  • 1/4 onion
  • 4 Tbsp plain yogurt (heaped)
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 Tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 Tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice from tinned pineapple or one pineapple ring or 1 kiwi fruit (optional)

Additional ingredients:

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-5 whole black pepper seeds

Optional egg coating for cooked steak:

  • One egg, beaten with a pinch of turmeric, salt and pepper

Cooking tools:

  • Pressure cooker
  • Rolling pin


  • Wash and trim all the excess fat from the meat. Put the pieces into the pressure cooker.
  • Put all the ingredients listed under ‘Gravy’  into a blender and blend into a fine paste.

Blend gravy ingredients into a fine paste

  • Pour the paste into the pressure cooker allowing the meat to marinate in this paste for at least half-an-hour. This can also marinate overnight in the fridge. Add one of the cinnamon sticks.

Marinating the meat

  • After letting the meat marinate, close the pressure cooker and cook the steak for 15-30 minutes (depends on how well your pressure cooker works) on medium-high heat. Your goal is to cook the meat till just done, not too done or it will fall apart in the next step. It took me 20 minutes to get the steak done.
  • After the pressure cooker has cooled for a bit, open it. Pour the contents in a colander placed over a bowl and save the water that sieves through.

Pour into colander

  • Pick out the steak pieces, gently removing any gravy that is on them. Put the gravy into the bowl below the colander.

The steak pieces

  • Now we work with the gravy that was drained from the steak.
  • Heat some oil in the same pressure cooker and add the other cinnamon stick and the whole black pepper. Let the spices crackle for a bit.
  • Add the gravy, let it come to a boil and taste check. It should be a little sweet, sour and spicy. If not, add some chili powder or lemon or ketchup. I usually add some ketchup.
  • Let the gravy boil till the oil separates, the gravy should also thicken.

Back to the steak pieces:

  • Heat some oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat
  • Gently take each piece of meat and gently roll on it with a rolling-pin. We are just trying to loosen the compact meat and tenderize the meat, not make rotli! Don’t press too hard or it will shred!
  • Now, if you really want this dish even richer, dip the steak piece into the egg coating (listed in blue under ingredients) and place into the frying pan. I usually don’t do this since I don’t like eggs and it doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of taste. However, if your steak pieces are breaking, the egg will help keep them together. The following pictures are without the egg.

Gently roll on the cooked steak

Fry with just a little oil to blacken the meat slightly

  • Place each piece in an oven-proof dish

Place in oven-proof dish

  • Pour gravy onto the meat

Notice the consistency of the gravy

  • Turn on the oven on broil and place the dish directly under the broiler for 5-7 minutes. This is done to brown and dry the top a little more. Garnish with cilantro or get creative with your garnishing.

Super tender!

Buon appetito!


2 responses to “Fatu’s Steak (Sweet and Sour Tender Steak)

  1. I have been longing for an East African food,thanks to YOU, I can enjoy it now. You are doing a superb job !!!!!

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