Keema matar is a hearty stew with ground beef, peas, potatoes and spices in a rich tomato broth. Make this recipe for a classic keema curry!
When your body is chilled from the cold, damp weather, it’s the perfect time to make a stew or curry! Popular favorites include eggplant stew and chicken panang. But when you want a hearty beef curry, look no further than this Indian keema recipe!
Cuisine: Indian and Middle Eastern
The origins of this dish are Indian, but keema curry is also popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. The Hindi word keema in English means minced [ground] meat, and matar is the Hindi word for green peas.
Many of the original versions of keema matar were made using goat or sheep. These days, it’s not uncommon to see the dish made with ground beef or ground chicken.
kheema, qeema, mattar, mutter
Difficulty: Easy 🥄
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Mince or ground meat
The words mince and ground are often used interchangeably. Although they are similar, the processing is a bit different.
Ground meat is typically a blend of protein and fat, while mince is primarily a blend of skeletal meat, without any fat fillers.
For this recipe, I recommend using mince, or an 85/15 or 80/20 blend of lean ground beef. Of course, you can substitute any other ground protein of your choice.
Thin skinned, waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold and Red tend to hold up better in stew than starchy potatoes with thick skins, like russets.
Although you can use canned peas, I prefer to use frozen because they typically have a firmer consistency and fresher flavor than canned peas.
- Unsweetened coconut milk
If you need a substitute for coconut milk in the qeema, heavy cream and whole milk both work well.
How to make keema curry
Keema matar is very simple to make, and it takes less than 30 minutes to prep and cook the entire meal! This makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner. It's actually fantastic for breakfast, too!
- Puree the onion and aromatics. The puree helps to thick the stew.
- Brown the ground beef, then add the onion puree to the skillet.
- Add seasonings and remaining ingredients, then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the frozen peas, garnish and serve. Wait until the last couple of minutes of cook time to add the peas, as they're cooked, so you're just warming them through.
Recipe notes and tips
- Simmer the keema matar over medium-low heat so that the potatoes don't overcook and become mushy.
- If you have keema leftovers, keep them refrigerated in an airtight container, and use them within 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
NOTE: If you choose to freeze the keema curry, the coconut milk may separate as it thaws. This is perfectly normal; it will recombine as you stir and reheat it.
- Reheat the meal in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. The stew will be very thick at first, but will thin out as it warms.
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- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 large onion peeled and quartered
- 2 tablespoon ginger paste
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 green chile Serrano or Birds Eye
- 1 ½ lbs lean ground beef 85/15 or 80/20
- 1 ½ tablespoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 14 oz unsweetened coconut milk
- 14 oz diced tomatoes drained
- 1 cup baby peas frozen or canned
- Peel and cut potatoes into ½-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.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
Hi from Australia - followed the recipe exactly and it was full of flavour and was absolutely delicious I used Keens curry powder.
So happy to hear that you enjoyed it, Eveylne. Thank you for the comment and rating!
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?
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!