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!
What is Aloo Keema?
Aloo Keema is a popular Pakistani & North Indian dish consisting of curried, minced or ground meat (keema) and potatoes (aloo).
Keema, or qeema, can be prepared in a variety of ways (check out my beef curry roundup here) and is often paired with vegetables. Aloo Keema is a classic combination that’s deeply flavorful, comforting, and it just happens to be my favorite.
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, here’s an Instant Pot version!) I tested, perfected, and ate way more than my share of red meat to bring you this reliable, delectable, yet simple recipe of Aloo Keema.
How to make Aloo Keema
This is a very forgiving, adaptable, and straightforward recipe.
- First, you sauté the onions along with the whole spices until golden. Then you add in the garlic, ginger, and ground beef and continue to sauté so that the beef changes color and the moisture begins to evaporate.
- Next, you simply add in tomatoes, ground spices, salt, and yogurt while continuing to sauté.
- Add the potatoes along with a bit of water, cover, and let it cook until the potatoes are tender. Garnish with the usual suspects – garam masala, cilantro, and lemon.
A few notes and tips:
- I typically rinse my ground beef in a strainer, then squeeze out any excess water and allow it to to sit in the strainer while I prepare the curry.
- The smaller you cube the potatoes, the faster they’ll cook. I generally like to cut them into 1/2″-3/4″ cubes.
- I’ve added 1/4 cup 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, feel free to omit.
How to Serve Aloo Keema
Sometimes we like to serve it with some crunchy vegetables like red onions or cucumber, but it’s so flavorful that it doesn’t really need much enhancement. In terms of pairing, aloo Keema pairs well with just about anything:
I hope you get a chance to try this recipe! If you do, let me know in the comments below! If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creations. I love hearing from you!
More Keema (Ground Beef) Recipes for you to try:
Aloo Keema (Ground Beef and Potato Curry)
Whole Spices (Omit any you don't have)
- 1 2-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds optional
- ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1/3 cup neutral oil (I use grapeseed or avocado)
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic (~1 tbsp) crushed
- 1 inch piece ginger (~1 tbsp) crushed
- 1 lb ground beef lean and full-fat both work, though lean is a bit more dry
- 1 large tomato (or 2 small) finely chopped
- 1-2 Serrano or Thai chili peppers sliced
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp red chilli powder or to taste
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt or to taste
- 2 tbsp plain, whole milk yogurt
- 1 medium to large russet potato (~250 g) peeled and cubed into 1/2" cubes
- 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 golden brown (~8-10 min).
- Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute. Add ground beef and cook, stirring often, until it changes color and most of the moisture dries up (~4-5 min). Use a wooden spatula to break up the beef into small pieces to ensure no lumps.
- Add the tomato, green chili pepper, ground spices, salt, and yogurt and continue to sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the tomato breaks down and the oil starts to separate from the ground beef. Add the potatoes and 1/4 cup water and stir to combine.
- Lower the heat to low-medium. Cover, and allow it to cook for 23-25 minutes (depending on the thickness of potato cubes), stirring once in between. The potatoes will be very tender.