Here’s a recipe for an authentic, homestyle, just-like-your-grandma’s (if your grandma happens to be Pakistani) Aloo Keema. This is a traditional, one-pot recipe that’s simple, easy-to make, and gives the most flavorful results!
Aloo Keema is a popular Pakistani & North Indian dish consisting of curried, minced meat (keema) and potatoes (aloo). This classic combo is deeply flavorful, comforting, and one of my personal favorites! That said, you can easily swap the potatoes for peas or bell peppers. Similarly, feel free to skip the beef and use any other ground meat.
It’s taken me a long time to share this recipe. If you’ve been following Tea For Turmeric, you know I always test, dissect, and improve each recipe several times before I declare it “good enough” to go on this here blog. We’re talking blood, sweat, and tears y’all (this is a country-style recipe, go with it guys).
And when it’s such a special, close to home, memory-evoking dish like Aloo Keema, the pressure is on! (Speaking of pressure, I definitely plan to share an Instant Pot version too.) I tested, perfected, and ate way more than my share of red meat this week to bring you this reliable, delectable, yet simple recipe of Aloo Keema.
The Simple Method
This is a very forgiving and adaptable recipe, and the method to make it is quite straightforward.
First, you sauté the onions along with the whole spices until golden. Then you add in the garlic, ginger, and beef and continue to sauté so that the beef changes color and the moisture begins to evaporate.
Now comes the best part – you simply add in the rest of the ingredients, sauté for a few minutes, cover, and let it cook until the potatoes are super tender.
A few notes and tips:
- The smaller you cook the potatoes, the faster they’ll cook. Of course, there’s no science to how big the cubes should be, but I generally like to cut them into 1/2″ cubes.
- I’ve added 2 tablespoons of water before covering and allowing to cook, but feel free to add more if you’re afraid it’ll stick to the bottom. I grew up eating a dry version, but you can always increase the ‘curry’ by adding more water.
- The ingredient list may seem long, but the majority of it is spices. Since this dish is all about comfort, you’ll notice I’m generous with the spices, salt, and oil. Feel free to adjust these to taste.
- Whole spices are meant to be discarded before/during eating. If you don’t want to bite into any whole spices, you can always use a cheesecloth to contain the spices or omit as desired.
- Ground beef leftovers are the best. Serve them in a sandwich, a hamburger bun for a South Asian style sloppy joe, or even mixed in marinara sauce (I’d remove the potatoes for this) for a quick, flavorful pasta!
If you try this recipe, please let me know in the comments below and/or tag me on Instagram so I can see your creations. I love hearing from you!
More Potato (Aloo) Recipes for you to try:
Aloo Keema (Ground Beef and Potato Curry)
- ¼ cup neutral oil (I use grapeseed or avocado)
- 1 2-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds optional
- ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 inch piece ginger crushed
- 1 lb ground beef lean and full-fat both work, though lean is a bit more dry
- 1 medium to large tomato (or 2 small) finely chopped
- 1-2 Serrano or Thai chili peppers sliced
- 2 tsp tomato paste optional
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ red chilli powder or to taste
- ¼ tsp red chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
- 2 tbsp plain, whole milk yogurt
- 1 russet potato peeled and cubed*
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground garam masala optional
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp cilantro leaves chopped
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil, whole spices, and onions and sauté until the onions are slightly brown, about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and ground beef and cook, stirring often, until it changes color and most of the moisture dries up, about 4-5 minutes. Use a wooden spatula to break up the beef into small pieces to ensure no lumps.
- Add the remaining ingredients listed under curry and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to break down and the potato softens. Add 2 tablespoons of water and stir.
- Lower the heat to a little higher than the lowest setting, cover, and allow it to cook for 25 minutes, stirring a few times in between. The potatoes will be very tender.
- Turn off the heat and add in the cilantro leaves, lemon juice and sprinkle garam masala (if using). Give it a quick stir and serve hot with rice, roti, naan, or any type of bread.