This Keema Curry is a recipe I’ve made dozens of times for everyone I love – and most of the people I like. This incredibly flavorful ground beef curry with peas and potatoes is the definition of comfort food, and so easy to make. I hope you’ll fall in love with it as hard as we have – even the kids agree, it’s the very best Indian comfort food!
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If you’ve had dinner at my home more than a few times, I’ve probably served you this Keema Curry recipe. It’s one of my favorite meals to prepare for everything from weeknight dinners to meal prep to dinner parties. It’s just that easy, just that flavorful, and just that flexible.
If you’re intimidated by Indian cooking or curries, this is an excellent recipe to start with. Keema Curry is incredibly easy and straightforward, super forgiving, relatively quick (about 30 minutes!), and the result is a restaurant-quality Indian curry recipe that you’ll be pumped to share with anyone and everyone! Even my picky eater children love it. Swoon.
What is Keema Curry?
Keema is an Indian ground beef or lamb curry recipe simmered with peas, potatoes, tomatoes, coconut milk, and spices. “Keema” translates to minced meat (aka ground meat) and the traditional variations are prepared with either peas (keema matar) or potatoes (keema aloo) or in the case of this particular recipe, both.
My take on Keema Curry is an adaptation of this recipe by Grace Parisi via Food and Wine. I first discovered this recipe five or six years ago. Our oldest was a toddler, and a terrible restaurant companion. Cameron and I missed our favorite Indian restaurant like whoah, so I went on a mission to make and perfect as many restaurant-quality Indian recipes as possible – and this one has been on rotation ever since.
Over the years I’ve updated and adapted the recipe, and this recipe is the result of my personal tweaks. I pre-roast the potatoes instead of simmering them in the curry, which intensifies their sweetness. Fire roasted tomatoes and a dollop of tomato paste bring depth, while turmeric and garam masala really round out the flavor. The finished curry is spiced, but not hot spicy, with a rich and creamy finish.
How to Cook Keema Curry
This keema curry starts with a base of ground beef seasoned with garlic, fresh ginger, curry, garam masala, and turmeric. It’s then simmered with tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes and coconut milk until rich in both hue and flavor. Creamy roasted yukon gold potatoes, peas, and chopped cilantro are stirred in at the end. The result is a hearty beef curry dish that is the pinnacle of easy comfort food!
Start the potatoes. Toss one pound of diced yukon gold potatoes with olive oil. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in a 425°F oven for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
Brown a pound of ground beef in a dutch oven, cooking until it’s no longer pink and breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Once browned, add a diced sweet onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger.
Simmer the beef with the onions, garlic, and ginger until the onions are soft.
Add a tablespoon of tomato paste, along with spices (curry powder, garam masala, and turmeric), salt and pepper. Stir until the tomato paste and spices are worked into the beef.
Add a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes and a can of full fat, unsweetened coconut milk. Simmer and stir until the curry turns into a rich golden-orange hue. The potatoes should finish roasting right around the same time the curry finishes.
Add the roasted potatoes and peas to the keema curry, and heat until the vegetables are warmed through. Remove from heat, and stir in a couple tablespoons of chopped cilantro.
What to Serve with Keema Curry
- Serve the keema curry over your base of choice, then top with a squeeze of lime and more fresh cilantro. For a hot spicy finish, drizzle with sriracha.
- Steamed white or brown rice
- Saffron rice
- With chapati or naan bread
- With roasted cauliflower, or over cauliflower rice, for a low carb meal
Dietary Accommodations, Variations, and Storage
- Naturally gluten free and dairy free.
- Make it Whole30 or paleo – omit the peas and substitute with spinach; serve over cauliflower rice or alongside roasted cauliflower.
- Make it low carb – substitute roasted cauliflower for roasted potatoes and serve as-is.
- Feel free to use ground lamb in place of ground beef.
- This recipe is excellent for meal prep! It keeps in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
- You can and should double this recipe and save half for a freezer stash! It freezes like a dream, and I always have some tucked away for crazy weeknights. Ideally, prepare the curry through step 6 below, but do not add the frozen peas and cilantro. Defrost, reheat over a low flame, then add in the peas and cilantro once heated through.
More Easy Comfort Food Recipes
- Easy Weeknight Picadillo
- Italian Sausage and Peppers over Cauliflower Puree
- Pomegranate Chicken
- Cauliflower Shawarma Buddha Bowl
- Veggie-Packed Hamburger Soup
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Keema Beef Curry
This keema curry starts with a base of ground beef seasoned with garlic, fresh ginger, curry, garam masala, and turmeric. It's then simmered with tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes and coconut milk until rich in both hue and flavor. Creamy roasted yukon gold potatoes, peas, and chopped cilantro are stirred in at the end. The result is a hearty beef curry dish that's is the defintion of easy comfort food!
- 1 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 large yukon gold potatoes (about 1 lb) diced into 1/2" cubes
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 large onion diced to 1/2"
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp sea or kosher salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 14-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 14-oz can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 c frozen baby peas
- 2 tbsp cilantro plus additional for serving
- lime juice to taste, for serving
- rice or naan for serving
Heat the oven to 425°F. Toss the potatoes with olive oil and spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast until tender and golden browned, stirring once halfway through, 25-30 minutes.
Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring frequently to break up the pieces, until no longer pink, 6-7 minutes.
Add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Sautee, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and turns translucent, 5 minutes.
Add the salt, pepper, curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, and tomato paste. Stir until the spices are fragrant and the tomato paste is worked into the beef, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and give everything a good stir. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to medium low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the curry thickens and the color turns a deep golden orange, 10 minutes.
Stir in the frozen baby peas and roasted potatoes. Simmer until the peas are warmed through, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
Ladle into serving bowls over your base of choice (rice, naan or other, see post notes), sprinkle with lime juice and cilantro, and serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. See posts notes regarding best practices for freezing.