If you prefer your curry to be mild instead of incendiary, this recipe is for you.  I actually don’t mind a very spicy version, but when serving a meal for guests I usually tone it down just to be safe.  This recipe from Food and Wine magazine was another great recommendation by our friend Cindy. I made it over the holidays for my stepson and his girlfriend, and we all loved it.  I served it over white rice, but it coud lalso be enjoyed as a stew, with soft naan bread.  The potatoes make it almost a complete meal.


(adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, January 2012)

1 TB canola oil
1  pound lean ground sirloin
1/2 pound ground turkey (or use all beef, omitting the turkey)
1  shallot, finely chopped
2 TB minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
1 + ½ TB Madras curry powder
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 large Yukon Gold potato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 + ½ cups chicken broth
1 can (14-ounce) unsweetened coconut milk (light is perfect)
1 can (14-ounce) diced tomatoes with their juices
1 + 1/2 cups frozen baby peas
Chopped cilantro to taste (optional)

In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the ground beef and turkey (if using) and cook over high heat, stirring to break up the lumps, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the shallot, ginger, garlic and curry powder and season with salt and pepper.

Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the potato, broth, coconut milk and the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender, about 15 minutes.

Using the back of a spoon, lightly crush some of the potato. Add the peas and cook just until heated through. Serve in bowls with cilantro, if you like.


to print the recipe, click here


My only modification of the recipe was to use some ground turkey together with the beef. Not so much to make it lighter, but to use some ground turkey I had bought with the firm intention of making meatballs.  It turns out that the intention was not as firm as I thought, so a mixed-meat curry was born.  As I mentioned, this version is mild, if you like more spice, use a hotter curry mix or add more pepper or even a red pepper sauce (my never-ending love for Sriracha shows).  I love the inclusion of potatoes and the trick of mashing some of them to add body to the curry.  And the green peas give that boost of color and a healthy “feel”.

Cindy, thank you once again for another winner! 

ONE YEAR AGO: Pork Tenderloin with Soy, Ginger, and Lime

TWO YEARS AGO: No-Fuss Coffee Cake

THREE YEARS AGO: Swedish Limpa

21 thoughts on “KEEMA BEEF CURRY

  1. This looks and sounds really good Sally! I agree, you pretty much have all the meal elements going on in one pot here – meat, potato, peas – and I love the practicality and convenience of that. With your warming curry and ginger spices, this lovely Keema becomes something definitely guest worthy! I know what you mean about toning down the heat when serving to others… I’ve sometimes regretted my picante versions as I watch my friends faces turn a crimson red and eyeballs swell to 3 times their original size (all the while trying to maintain a polite smile on their faces) :).


    • Oh, that is priceless! Well, I tell you what, if you ever invite me over, you can relax and use all the heat you want, we can take it. We suffer more from the indulging hand in garlic that seem to be present in every dish in restaurants… 😉


  2. I love this big pot of curry. I’ve never made beef curry and I have some madras curry powder in my pantry, and ground beef and leftover coconut milk in my freezer. Definitely making this this weekend, with some naan to go with it. I wonder how sweet potato would taste instead of regular potatoes. I have some of the latter but they’re a bit … sprouty. 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration.


    • I think sweet potatoes would be absolutely great here! But hey, I am very fond of sweet potatoes, in fact I often have a big sweet potato for lunch, quickly cooked in the microwave. I know, not gourmet preparation, but I like their texture cooked that way.

      I hope you like this curry, we had leftovers and two days later was even better, even if was a bit less “saucy”


      • I just finished my first bowl of the beef curry with sweet potatoes. Fast and very flavoursome. I scaled the recipe down as I only had 1 pound of ground beef but I think I’ll go for the full madras curry powder amount next time anyway. Even though my package said it was HOT, it wasn’t. 🙂

        I was going to make naan to serve with it but after doing 3 loads of laundry which involved running up and down 2 flights of stairs numerous times, and a 50 minute phone call just as I was starting my mis en place, I just didn’t have the energy or time to do it. I’m freezing half of the batch … and will do it then. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  3. As you know, this is a favorite at our house. I served it over cauliflower puree last time I made it and we enjoyed that variation too. I first tried the recipe following a recommendation from someone at eat@. Many of my new favorites were discovered there.


  4. This sounds delicious, Sally, and you taught me about Madras curry powder today. Unlike you, I’m not one of a lot of heat but, then again, I do like my garlic. If we ever go out to dinner together, we’re going to drive the waitperson crazy with our “low garlic, high heat” and “lots of garlic, low heat” requests.
    I’m pinning this one. When I find that curry powder, I’ll make this dish. Thanks.


  5. Keema always reminds me of an Indian anatomy professor I had who told us a story about how her husband once brought home cow brain for her to make keema out of. And how she was disgusted by it lol. Anyways I”m sure your version is actually delicious! All the more because it’s brain-free.


  6. I like that you gave it a healthy “feel.” Tee hee. I’m going to remember that term! This looks delicious. I don’t know that I’ve ever had anything quite like this. I know I would like the spicy version though! 🙂


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