Keema Matar (Ground Beef Curry with Peas)
This Pakistani and Indian-style Keema Matar (Ground Beef Curry with Peas) is an easy, one-pot keema recipe that’s deeply flavorful with no whole spices used. This recipe also includes tips on how to make Keema curry with ground chicken.
“My absolute go to recipe! Such an easy and delicious dish that comes together in no time. Thank you for sharing!”Abs
Growing up, we ate keema almost weekly, with Keema Aloo (Ground beef with potato curry) gracing the table a bit more frequently. Keema didn’t quite cause the anticipation of biryani, but it fell into the welcome dinner category. There’s this inexplicable comfort that comes from a bite of keema curry. I’m sure there’s a scientific explanation for it.
Matar, or green peas, add a burst of mild, subtly sweet flavor to keema, making it one of the most popular combinations of Keema Curry.
This curry recipe made with ground beef is similar to my Keema Aloo recipe, but it has a few advantages over it:
1 – Similar to my Instant Pot Ground Beef Curry, it doesn’t include any whole spices, so your toddler’s biting into a black peppercorn won’t result in a theatrical dinner-time tantrum (or is that just mine?).
2 – It comes together even quicker because you don’t have to wait for the potatoes to cook.
3 – It’s incredibly versatile. Use it in buns for a burger, bread for a sandwich, as topping for pizza, sauce for pasta, filling for samosas or puff pastry, and pretty much anywhere you’d use ground meat.
4 – It freezes well. Just warm it up on the stovetop with a splash of water.
Ground Beef vs Ground Chicken
Pakistani keema recipes usually use ground beef, but I often make this with chicken keema. Here are the minor differences you’ll notice if you use chicken instead of ground beef:
- This is an obvious one – beef takes longer to cook. I sauté both chicken and beef for the same amount of time. When I cover and cook, my chicken usually takes 10 minutes while my beef takes about 15 minutes to cook.
- I grew up seeing meat being rinsed and I do sometimes give a quick rinse to ground beef. However, I don’t ever rinse ground chicken. Somehow it seems if I rinse it, I’ll completely rid the chicken of any flavor or fat.
- When making it with chicken, I increase the freshly ground black pepper at the end by half a teaspoon. I also add the spices at the end in this recipe because it works really well with chicken, giving it a welcome pungency.
- If using fresh peas instead of frozen, add them at Step 4, before covering to cook the meat.
- You may also add potatoes to this recipe (this is quite common, actually). If using potatoes, add them in with the tomatoes, green chili, and yogurt. (For more potato recipes, check out my collection of Pakistani and Indian Aloo (Potato) Recipes.)
- If you use a food processor to chop the tomatoes like I do, it’ll most likely break them down and release enough water to cook the keema. If you’re using Roma tomatoes or other tomatoes with less water quantity, you may have to add a bit extra water before or during the meat cooking process.
- Sometimes I use a mild, chopped green chili pepper at the end of cooking to add a bit of fierce but tolerable heat at the end. If you don’t have a mild chili pepper, only add it in the beginning as the recipe calls for.
How to Serve Keema Matar
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, Keema Matar pairs well with just about anything:
- Roti or Paratha (mmm!)
- Basmati Rice, Chana Pulao, or Chicken Pulao (or any pulao but Matar Pulao, which would be sort of redundant 😉).
- Good old’ sandwich bread
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 Keema recipes for you to try:
- Aloo Keema (Ground Beef & Potatoes)
- Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry (Meatball Curry)
- Keema Kareley (Ground Beef & Bitter Melon)
- Easy Instant Pot Keema
Keema Matar (Ground Beef Curry with Peas)
- 3 tbsp neutral oil, such as grapeseed or avocado
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 5-6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1- inch piece ginger, crushed
- 1 lb ground beef or chicken
- 1 medium (or 2 small) tomato, finely chopped
- 1-2 green chili peppers (such as a small Serrano or Thai chili), chopped
- 1 tbsp plain whole-milk yogurt
- ¾ tsp mild red chili powder, or to taste
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 1/8 tsp kosher salt, divided, or to taste
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1 small green chili, chopped – optional
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander (or coriander powder)
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon or lime juice, optional
- Heat a medium-sized pan over high heat. Once hot, add the oil, cumin seeds, and onions and sauté until the onions are slightly brown, about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger, and stir for a minute. Add the ground beef and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink and most of the moisture dries up. Use a wooden spatula to break up the meat into small pieces to ensure no lumps.
- Add the tomato, green chili pepper, yogurt, red chili powder, turmeric, and salt and continue to cook for 2 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down. You’ll notice the liquid in the mixture is beginning come to a boil.
- Lower the heat to medium, cover and allow it to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring once in between. If you feel that there is not enough moisture and the meat is sticking to the bottom of the pan, add ¼ cup water.
- Uncover, and stir in the peas, more green chili pepper (if using), and 1/2 cup water. Cover again and allow the mixture to cook for about 3 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through.
- Add the remaining spices and cilantro listed under ‘after cooking’ and sauté for another minute or two. Taste and adjust salt and spice. Lower the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and allow the flavors to settle for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, add lemon or lime juice, if desired, and serve hot with any kind of bread or rice.
46 Comments on “Keema Matar (Ground Beef Curry with Peas)”
I adore this recipe! I made it for the first time the other day and I’m putting it in the weekly rotation. Delicious M’A!
Thanks so much, Asiya!
Another 5 star recipe. The flavors are perfect. As a 51-year old white guy who’s cooked for 40 years (started in my mother’s Italian restaurant) dipping his toes into Indian cooking for the first time in the last few months, your site has been wonderful.
Thank you, Patrick. I appreciate you taking the time to share your reviews with me. Hope you try many more. 🙂
This was super easy and amazing. Thank you Izzah, you’re doing amazing work with this site and allowing me, a very americanized 1st gen-pakistani, to recreate some childhood favorites in my home.
So happy to see this comment. Thank you for your kind words!!
We regularly make and eat Keema Matar having first eaten it in the middle east over 34 years ago. However, I can never remember the quantities of ingredients so have recently found your recipe on-line which is delicious.
I love the one pot approach as it means we can have it through the week after a busy day at work.
Simple, flavoursome and an excellent recipe even for folks who are new to cooking.
Thanks so much Izzah
I’m delighted to hear that. Thank you for sharing, Nikki!