Keema curry prepared in Hyderabadi style with ground beef and potatoes tastes fabulous. This is the easiest way to make an Indian curry that is of restaurant quality. A fool proof recipe that is great for a quick meal.
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Hyderabadi Keema Curry
There is indeed something so special about the food of Hyderabad. Having gone through centuries of perfecting, every recipe that comes out of this culinary paradise in India is amazing. So I naturally lean on to pick the next gem from the treasure.
Keema curry with potatoes (aloo) is so easy and delicious. All you need to do is cook ground meat with aromatics, spices, potatoes and herbs. What gives this keema recipe a distinct taste though is the yogurt. It adds a rich flavor and consistency.
Instead of fresh tomatoes, I use tomato paste. It gives the dish a deep red color and it is also much easier to cook yogurt with tomato paste. Fresh tomatoes can easily curdle yogurt while cooking, if you are not careful.
Yogurt and tomato paste gives the aloo keema curry the right amount of tartness, so lemon juice is optional. You really can’t go wrong with this restaurant quality keema recipe. If you are new to Indian cooking and want to impress your guests, definitely give this one a try.
The word ‘Keema” means minced meat and it is one of the popular meat choices for quick Indian dishes. Ground meat cooks quickly and is widely available. You can also grind it up at home using a meat grinder attachment with your stand mixer.
Keema Recipe Ingredients
Here are some useful notes about the ingredients.
Ground Meat: I chose ground beef, but you can use any ground meat - lamb, goat, chicken (preferably thigh cut) or turkey. Typically 85 to 90 percent lean meat is used. Check below how to get rid of excess fat.
Yogurt: Choose plain yogurt that is full fat or reduced fat. It should be of medium thickness and not watery. It does not need to be Greek yogurt.
Onions: I use yellow onions.
Potatoes: Yellow potatoes are multipurpose and work very well. But red potatoes can be used.
Ginger and Garlic: For best taste use these fresh.
Chili Peppers: Jalapeños are milder. Serrano is more hot. Indian grocery stores also have a variety of green chilies. Ask them about the heat level and choose as per preference.
Fresh Herbs: Use either cilantro and fenugreek leaves or mint. You can find frozen fenugreek leaves at Indian grocery stores. For dried herbs, use one-fourth the quantity suggested for fresh herbs.
Tomato Paste: You can substitute 3 tablespoons tomato sauce or puree for 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
Cooking Oil: I use olive oil but any neutral tasting cooking oil such as avocado oil will work.
Kashmiri Red Chili Power: This gives a bright red color to the dish while being less pungent than regular chili powder.
Garam Masala: Use a homemade blend. Or try the Everest brand royal garam masala.
Other Ingredients: Turmeric, Black Pepper, Salt
How To Make Ground Beef Curry
**Below is a brief overview. Full recipe is at the end of post.
- Onions and Ground Meat: Saute onions until light brown. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink.
- Aromatics and Spices: Then add ginger, garlic and cook until fragrant. Add spices, salt and cook for a minute.
- Curry Sauce: Stir in tomato paste, yogurt and cook couple minutes. Add green chilies and water. Raise the heat, let the sauce sizzle, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is tender.
- Potatoes: Add potatoes and half the herbs. Stir well, cover and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender and the curry sauce is thick.
- Serve: Garnish with herbs and serve it hot.
- Using a whisk or fork, make sure to beat the yogurt very well until it is smooth. Stir frequently when cooking the yogurt, to incorporate evenly, without curdling.
- Dont overcook the ground meat - check FAQ below. Lower the cooking time if using ground chicken.
- Keep the consistency of the keema sauce thick when served with bread. You may prefer a thinner consistency when served over rice.
- Cook and season in stages for perfect Indian cooking.
- For restaurant quality Indian dishes, be sure to use fresh ginger and garlic.
- Buy fresh spices in small quantities and use them up quickly. You can get these for a good price at Indian and other ethnic grocery stores.
Rice: Keema curry topped on fresh steamed rice is so comforting. But you can also serve it with mildly flavored rice, such as zeera rice (cumin rice) or this lentil rice (cooked without meat).
Condiments: Add some pickles or simple onion relish.
Festive Menu: This restaurant style aloo keema curry is perfect to include in a party menu. It makes for a quick and delicious dish that everyone will love.
Ground beef curry is gluten free, high protein, nut free, soy free, egg free and grain free.
Dairy Free: Replace dairy yogurt with dairy-free yogurt such as coconut or soy yogurt. You can also try coconut milk.
Low Carb: Skip the potatoes and use bell peppers.
Low Sodium: Keema recipe lends very well for a low sodium preparation due to the abundance of aromatic and flavorful ingredients. Reduce salt and increase herbs or spices as per preference.
Other Vegetables: You can use green peas, carrots, bell peppers or even green beans.
Healthier: See how to reduce fat in Recipe FAQs below
Meal Prep Ideas
Chop onions and make ginger/garlic paste a day ahead. Peel potatoes and submerge in salted water and refrigerate.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Keema curry can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and frozen for 3 months in freezer-safe containers. Thaw and reheat in microwave or on stove top, with a sprinkle of water.
Cook the ground beef until no longer pink, stirring in between, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain the fat. This will reduce the fat, saturated fat and calorie content of the ground meat.
Lower the fat content by cooking and draining the meat as explained above. Cook with more vegetables, spices and herbs to enhance the nutrient content.
It is not recommended to rinse keema or ground meat before cooking as it compromises food safety and taste. Try to buy keema that was ground from meat chunks that had been drained off juices very well. Properly done halal or kosher meat will be free of juices.
Yes, if you cook ground beef for too long and continuously at a high temperature. This will result in too much shrinkage and dry meat that is tasteless. Try to cook keema at medium low for the most part.
The origin of keema curry is from the Indian subcontinent. Although there are ground meat sauces, stews and soups prepared in other parts of the world, the classic keema curry is definitely from south Asia.
More Hyderabadi Recipes
- Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani
- Mirchi Ka Salan (Pepper Curry)
- Chicken Korma Recipe
- Tomato Curry With Eggs (Tamatar Ka Kut)
★ DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE COMMENT AND GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW!
Keema (Ground Beef Curry)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions finely chopped
- 1 lb ground beef lamb or chicken
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder see note
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¾ cup plain yogurt reduced fat, whisked
- 2 green chilies finely chopped, seeds removed for less heat, or Serrano/jalapeño
- 1¼ cups beef stock low sodium, or water
- 1 lb yellow potatoes peeled and diced
- ½ cup cilantro leaves chopped
- ¼ cup fenugreek leaves or mint leaves, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice optional
- Heat oil in a saute pan at medium high. Add chopped onions and saute until light brown, about 5 minutes.
- Then add ground beef, and using a wooden spoon break it up into smaller pieces. Cook the meat at medium heat until juices dry up and meat is no longer pink, stirring in between, about 5 minutes.
- Add ginger paste, garlic paste and continue to cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Next add garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, salt and black pepper. Continue to cook, stirring and making sure not to burn the spices, about 1 minute.
- Stir in tomato paste, followed by yogurt and cook the mixture, stirring in between to make sure everything is combined well, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add green chilies and stock or water. Raise the heat to high, and when the sauce begins to sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer until the meat is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Then add potatoes and half the herbs (cilantro and fenugreek leaves). Make sure that the sauce is not too thick or sticking to the bottom of pan. Add some water if needed. Stir well, cover and let it simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and evaporate any excess liquids. The curry sauce should be reddish brown, thick and not too runny. Some red colored oil will trickle to the surface. Garnish with remaining herbs and lemon juice. Serve it hot with rice or naan.
- Ground Meat: I chose ground beef, but you can use any ground meat - lamb, goat, chicken (preferably thigh cut) or turkey. Typically 85 to 90 percent lean meat is used. Check below how to get rid of excess fat.
- Yogurt: It should be of medium thickness and not watery.
- Kashmiri Red Chili Power: This gives a bright red color to the dish while being less pungent than regular chili powder.
- Meal Prep: Chop onions and make ginger/garlic paste a day ahead. Peel potatoes and submerge in salted water and refrigerate.
- Storage and Reheating: Refrigerate for up to 4 days and freeze for 3 months in freezer-safe containers. Thaw and reheat in microwave or on stove top, with a sprinkle of water.
- Check blog post above for more tips, variations, and FAQs, etc.