Keema Matar Curry

5 from 3 votes

Thick and meaty keema matar is a hearty stew popular throughout India and the Middle East. The minced beef is simmered with potatoes, peas, and tomatoes and seasoned with warm, earthy Indian seasonings. The creamy tomato broth is thickened with coconut milk and perfect for scooping up with rice or bread!

overhead: bowl of keema matar with ground beef and peas

Keema matar is an unbelievably rich one-pot curry that’s loaded with beef, tender potatoes, sweet peas, and tomatoes. It’s served in a thick tomato broth seasoned with bright and smoky Kashmiri chili powder, fenugreek, ginger, and a single hot Bird’s Eye chili. 

This is a really meaty, hearty stew! It has a lesser bite to beef rendang or lamb vindaloo curries. Flavorful, very savory, and plenty thick enough to enjoy with naan and a bowl full of rice, this 30-minute meal can go the distance and feed everyone around the table.

map of India

Keema matar curry is fabulous in any season because you can truly use any produce or ground protein you like. I keep it simple with potatoes and peas, but anything you’d throw into a vegetable soup is welcome here. And, like I said, any protein is fair game — as long as it’s minced or ground!

closeup: beef keema matar curry

Tip From Kevin

Birds Eye Chile

Birds Eye Chile, also known as Thai chili or bird’s eye pepper, is a small, fiery chili pepper commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. Its vibrant red color and intense heat add a spicy kick to dishes. Despite its small size, it packs a punch, enhancing flavors with its distinct fiery taste. I’m only using one to heat up the dish, but feel free to add more or less to suit your tastes!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

(Be sure to check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and quantities)

  • Ground Beef – There is no stage where we would drain excess grease from the meat, so it’s best to use minced meat. If using ground beef, make sure it has no more than an 85/15 or 80/20 fat content. 
  • Potatoes – Waxy potatoes with thinner skins are best in soups and stews. I use Yukon gold, but red potatoes are another good choice. 
  • Onion – I find mild yellow onions are best in stews, curries, and soups.
  • Fresh Garlic Powdered garlic tends to cook away, while fresh garlic will contribute a ton of flavor and aroma as it simmers in the broth.
  • Unsweetened Coconut Milk The best substitutes are Greek yogurt and heavy cream. 
  • Spices & Seasonings – Some of the delicious Indian herbs and spices used in keema matar include ginger paste, fenugreek, and:
    • Kashmiri Chili Powder – A mild chili powder with a smoky flavor that I just love! It also adds a gorgeous red hue to the tomato broth. 
    • Birds Eye Chile – This very hot green chile can be substituted with Serrano, if necessary. 
  • Curry Powder – A real all-rounder! I always make my own at home to have control over every flavor in the blend. 
  • Diced Tomatoes Drain them first so you’re not adding too much liquid to the curry. 
  • Peas – Fresh, frozen, and canned are all welcome in keema matar curry.

How to Make Keema Matar

  1. Prepare Vegetables. Rinse, peel, and dice the potatoes. Set aside. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and chile to the food processor. Pulse until it forms an even paste. 
  2. Brown & Season the Beef. Brown the ground beef in a deep skillet over medium heat. After 3 or 4 minutes, add the purée and season with the curry powder, Kashmiri chili powder, fenugreek, and salt. Stir and cook for 3 or 4 minutes longer. 
  3. Add Potatoes, Tomatoes, & Coconut Milk. Now add the potatoes, coconut milk, and tomatoes. Stir and lower the heat. Simmer uncovered for 15 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  4. Add Peas & Serve. Four minutes before serving, add the peas and cover the skillet. Season as desired before plating.
  • Food Processor – This, or a high-powered blender, is needed to break down the onions, ginger, garlic, and Bird’s Eye chili into a paste to season the curry.
  • Deep Skillet – Use a deep skillet that can contain all of the liquid and bulky ingredients in this keema matar recipe.

Storing and Reheating

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Leftovers can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Store in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag marked with the day’s date, and let thaw overnight before reheating.

As it thaws, the coconut milk may separate. This is normal and nothing to worry about! Everything will recombine as it reheats.

Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring until warmed. The curry sauce will thin out as it reheats.

overhead: serving of keema matar curry in bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Is keema matar best made with mutton or beef?


While a keema matar recipe is usually made with lamb, it is also often prepared with beef. I recommend that you use whatever meat is most common and accessible where you live. For me, that’s beef.

If you’d like to check out one of my curry recipes featuring lamb, I’d direct you toward my Instant Pot dal gosht!

How is keema matar traditionally served?


Like most curries, it’s dealer’s choice! This thick stew is great with warm, garlicky naan or simply steamed basmati rice

Or both! I like to scoop a little curry onto some naan, add a spoonful of rice, and eat it all in one bite. So filling and satisfying!

How can I make my keema matar less watery?


You can make keema matar curry thick or thin, depending on your own preference. By default, my keema matar recipe makes a relatively thick curry, but there’s still a good amount of sauce that you can scoop up and slurp!

To make it even thicker, simply simmer it for a longer period of time. Don’t increase the temperature — this can overcook the potatoes and make them mushy. Just let it reduce until the consistency is as you like it.

dish of keema matar recipe made with ground beef stew with peas and potatoes

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overhead: bowl of indian curry with ground beef and peas

Keema Matar Curry

5 from 3 votes
Keema matar curry features potatoes, peas, and seasoned beef served in a robust tomato broth. Make this delicious stew in just 30 minutes!
Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 28 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Peel and cut potatoes into 1/2-inch dice, set aside.
  • In a food processor, puree the onion, ginger paste, garlic and green chile until a paste forms.
  • In a deep skillet over medium heat brown the ground beef for 3-4 minutes. Add the onion puree, curry powder, Kashmiri chili powder, fenugreek and salt. Cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir in the potatoes, coconut milk and tomatoes. Turn heat to Low and cook, uncovered, for another 15-18 minutes, stirring often.
  • Before serving, stir in frozen peas and cover for 4 minutes. Taste and season if needed. Serve with steamed rice and bread or flatbread of choice.

Nutrition

Calories: 610kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 482mg | Potassium: 1593mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 493IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 9mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): beef & potato keema curry

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We loved your Keema Matar, though we left out the bird’s eye chilli as we can’t cope with hot curries now we’re both getting older. Also enjoyed the Lemon Chicken. A few more of your recipes to work through – several more stored in Bookmarks so we don’t lose the ones we like the look of.

  2. 5 stars
    really enjoyed the recipe, the only change I made was I used only 1 lb. of beef. there is only 2 people eating it, plus I like alot of sauce.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi from Australia – followed the recipe exactly and it was full of flavour and was absolutely delicious I used Keens curry powder.

  4. This looks great! I’ve got some dried birds eye chilis-do you suggest reconstituting them prior to adding them to this recipe? Does this recipe call for regular “run of the mill” curry powder?

    1. Hi Samantha! Yes, I think it would be a good idea to soak the chiles before using them. To answer your other question, any curry powder will be fine. I most often use the Madras Curry powder and will specify another, S&B brand, which is manufactured in Japan, when I use that. Please come back and rate the recipe after you try it. I hope you love it!