Pakistani Aloo Keema (Ground Beef and Potato Curry)
Here’s a recipe for an authentic, homestyle, just-like-grandma’s Aloo Keema – Ground Beef & Potato Curry. This is a traditional, one-pot beef keema curry recipe that’s simple, easy-to make, and gives the most tender, flavorful results!
“I was looking for something that would taste just like the one my mom makes and this was perfect! I’ve made it a few times already and my little ones enjoy it as well. Thank you for such a perfect recipe!”Jasra
What is Aloo Keema?
Aloo Keema is a iconic Pakistani & North Indian dish consisting of curried, minced or ground meat (keema) and potatoes (aloo).
Keema curry, or qeema, can be made with any meat, but Pakistani versions typically use beef (here’s a beef curry roundup if you’d like more ideas!).
If I had to pick one traditional dish from my childhood, it’d be Aloo Keema. It’s not glamorous, but it’s home.
If you’re new to Tea For Turmeric, rest assured that I 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.) Let’s just say I ate way more than my share of red meat to bring you this classic, deeply flavorful, yet simple recipe of Aloo Keema.
A Note on a Few of the Ingredients
- Ground/Minced beef – Both lean or full-fat will work in this recipe. I lightly 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.
- Potatoes: The smaller you cube the potatoes, the faster they’ll cook. I generally like to cut them into 1/2″-3/4″ cubes.
- Spices: 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 Make Aloo Keema
Aloo Keema is hard to mess up, and this recipe is particularly forgiving, adaptable, and straightforward:
First, you sauté the onions along with the whole spices until golden.
Then add in the garlic, ginger, and ground beef sauté so that the beef changes color and the moisture evaporates. Next, add in tomatoes, ground spices, salt, and yogurt while continuing to sauté.
Lastly, 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.
Tips for Making Aloo Keema
- After you add in the meat, sauté it until the moisture evaporates from the meat. This technique, called bhunnai (a blend of sautéing and stir-frying), gives ground beef a well browned, deeply flavorful finish.
- 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’ (no curry, but moist) version, but you can always increase the curry by adding more water.
- Since Keema Aloo is all about comfort, you’ll notice I’m generous with the spices, salt, and oil. Feel free to adjust these to taste.
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:
If you try this recipe, please let me know in the comments below! I love hearing from you!
More Keema (Ground Beef) Recipes for you to try:
This is an updated post of a recipe that was originally published in March, 2019.
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 (73 g) neutral oil (I use grapeseed or avocado)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5-6 cloves (~1 tbsp) garlic, crushed
- 1 inch (~1 tbsp) piece ginger, crushed
- 1 lb (454 g) 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 (~250 g) russet potato, peeled and cubed into 1/2" cubes
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp 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). Deglaze the pan with 2 tbsp of water.
- Once the water dries up, add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute. Add ground beef and cook, stirring often, until it changes color and 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.