Ground Beef Curry / Pakistani Kima--My Most Requested Recipe

This Pakistani Kima (ground beef curry) is my most requested recipe, and for good reason! It's a great kid-friendly dish, loaded with healthy ingredients, and is sure to be a favorite in your home.

As far as my family is concerned, I can't serve this enough, and I'm sure you will agree!

ground beef curry (Pakistani Kima) in bowl with spoon

So first of all, let's get the pronunciation of this delicious dish down.  It's Pakistani Kima--pronounced "keema".

It seems every family has at least a few recipes that are sure to please. For us, they are our Egg Roll in a BowlHomemade "Almond Joy®" Bars, "DORITO®" Popcorn, Savory Hummus, Honey Bunches of Coconut ChipsSurprisingly Good Popcorn, and this one--Pakistani Kima, otherwise known as Ground Beef Curry.

However, this one truly is my most requested recipe.  Hands down.

Think you don't like recipes for curry?
Think your kids won't eat it?
Think you don't like international fare?
Think again.

My kids will literally jump up and down every time I make this.

This is one of my stand-by company meals and it is also the one that I like to take to new moms or those who are sick.  Almost without fail, I get a request for the recipe.

And it's great that the main ingredient is ground beef (though you can make it vegan as well) so it is a fairly frugal meal too.

Of course, if you like, you can use any kind of ground meat--kima is traditionally made with lamb frequently. Venison or even chicken or turkey can be substituted also.

spices for ground beef curry (pakistani kima)

Now everyone can enjoy this recipe - though I must confess that I'm a bit hesitant to share - I kinda want to keep the secret all to myself :-).  It's really fun to bless others with something nice, isn't it?

Now, we love international food.  From almost every country.  Some people love Asian food like this Thai Chicken Soup or this Chicken Thigh Curry, but the deep, rich flavors of India, Pakistan, and the like are real hits in our home.

The Origins of this Pakistani Kima

This Pakistani Kima recipe is adapted from one by the same name in the great "back to basics" cookbook, More-With-Less.  I actually didn't get this recipe initially from the cookbook, but from our dear friend, Margaret, who also is the source of my Applesauce Wheat Germ Muffins (w/ GF option).

Margaret, like all of us, is busy.  But unlike me, she does not like to cook.

One pan meals are her specialty (now, I love to cook, but when simple and wonderful go together, I am all ears!) and she shared this one with us at her home years ago.  We loved it and have made it regularly ever since.

Years later, I took out More with Less from the library and saw this recipe and thought, "That's it!  That's the same Kima ("kee-ma") we love!"

I've made a few changes (of course :-)) and it tastes even better (in my humble opinion).

We almost always serve this with:

browning ground beef, onions, and garlic in pan for ground beef curry (pakistani kima)

More Easy Healthy Meals

By the way, for some other great easy and delicious meal ideas, you might be interested in......

- Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets
- Gluten Free Chili Mac - another great one pan meal with a low-carb keto option
- Savory Hummus
- Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
- Oven Barbecued Chicken
- Kid-Friendly Lentils (ready in as little as 9 minutes!)

browning ground beef in pan for ground beef curry (Pakistani kima)

Special Diet Options

  • Low-carb, Keto, or whole30 option: sub green beans for the peas and cauliflower, radishes, or jicama for the potatoes. Kohlrabi is another great option.
  • Vegan: substitute beans or a soy product (like TVP) for the meat. I don’t personally recommend soy, but it does work and tastes great.
  • AIP: Omit the tomatoes for AIP and use this Nomato Sauce instead. Use Green Beans for the peas for AIP transition, or use broccoli for full AIP.
  • THM: For those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this recipe is a crossover, unless you use the low-carb substitutions for the peas and potatoes. That will make this recipe an "S."
ground beef curry (Pakistani Kima) in pan with spoon

Recipe Notes

  • Dice the potatoes small--as in very small. It’s pretty disappointing to wait the whole 25 minutes and still have crunchy taters! Better yet, you can even cook them with the raw meat since they can often use the extra cooking time.
  • Add the peas later in the cooking time to keep their color more vibrant.
  • Add water if needed: You might find a need to add more liquid to the pan prior to or when simmering. If so, add a little at a time so you don't end up with a runny finished dish.
  • Curry Note: I use a mild sweet curry (my youngest doesn’t like spicy anything!) – in case you missed it, here is my Mild Curry Recipe :-). Also, here's a homemade nightshade-free curry recipe.
  • Peeling Garlic: For help peeling garlic, see The Easiest Way to Peel Garlic.
  • Spices: Some readers have mentioned that they have added more or even doubled the spices for this dish. I haven't tried it yet, but you can for sure try this and see how it goes. We do love spices here!
  • Sweet Potatoes: The recipe calls for potatoes but I have done this with sweet potatoes and it’s ahhmazing. Plus it meets paleo standards that way provided you substitute for the peas as well.
ground beef curry (Pakistani Kima) in bowl with spoon
ground beef curry (Pakistani Kima) in bowl with spoon

Pakistani Kima - Ground Beef Curry

This ground beef curry (Pakistani Kima) is my most requested recipe. It's a great kid-friendly dish and is always a winner when company comes.
4.98 from 37 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: AIP, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Low-Carb, Paleo, THM:S, Vegan, whole30
Keyword: ground beef curry, Pakistani Kima
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 526kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 - 3 tablespoons oil (I recommend coconut oil)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (I use 1/4 cup minced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 pound ground beef (any ground meat works well. See Special Diet Option section for vegan option)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder (see Recipes Notes about spices)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups tomatoes (about 1 1/2 14 ounces cans--see AIP alternative above)
  • 3 medium potatoes or sweet potatoes (About 4-5 ounces each. See low-carb options in notes. Use sweet potato for AIP)
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups peas (see notes for low carb/paleo options. Use snow peas for AIP)

Instructions

  • Melt oil or butter in a large pan.
  • Add onion and garlic (if using minced, add a bit of water to reconstitute).
  • Cook until onion softens and garlic begins to brown (watch it carefully – garlic burns easily!)
  • Add meat and cook thoroughly.
  • Add curry, salt and spices. Stir well.
  • Dice potatoes.
  • Add potatoes and tomatoes to the pan. Bring to a simmering boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are done.
  • Add peas and cook until peas are done.
  • Serve alone or over rice or cauliflower as desired.

For Instant Pot

  • Melt oil or butter in a pan.
  • Place butter in Instant Pot and add onion, garlic, and meat (if using minced garlic, add a bit of water to reconstitute).
  • Cook thoroughly on saute feature (watch it carefully – garlic burns easily!)
  • Add tomatoes.
  • Add curry, salt and spices.
  • Add potatoes.
  • Cook under high pressure set for 0 minutes then after 5 minutes release the pressure quickly.
  • Put the frozen peas in.
  • Cook it again under high pressure for 0 minutes and do a quick release of the pressure.

Notes

  • Note for Instant Pot: When you set your Instant Pot cooking time to "0 minutes," the Instant Pot will get up to pressure, then immediately switch to the keep warm function and start counting up.
  • Dice the potatoes small--as in very small. It’s pretty disappointing to wait the whole 25 minutes and still have crunchy taters! Better yet, you can even cook them with the raw meat since they can often use the extra cooking time.
  • Add water if needed: You might find a need to add more liquid to the pan prior to or when simmering. If so, add a little at a time so you don't end up with a runny finished dish.
  • Add the peas later in the cooking time to keep their color more vibrant.
  • Curry: I use a mild sweet curry (my youngest doesn’t like spicy anything!) – in case you missed it, here is my Mild Curry Recipe :-). Also, here's a homemade nightshade-free curry recipe.
  • Spices: Some readers have mentioned that they have added more or even doubled the spices for this dish. I haven't tried it yet, but you can for sure try this and see how it goes. We do love spices here!
  • Sweet Potatoes: The recipe calls for potatoes but I have done this with sweet potatoes and it’s ahhmazing. Plus it meets paleo standards that way.

Nutrition

Calories: 526kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 945mg | Potassium: 1367mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 2172IU | Vitamin C: 95mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 5mg | Net Carbs: 35g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

Well, there you have it.  Our family's favorite -- Pakistani Kima.  Updated for those of you on the Autoimmune Protocol Diet. And now it's your favorite too (I hope :-)!)

And I guarantee that any new mom you take this to will be very grateful!

This recipe was first published in 2016. New images were added later. For reference, the following is the original photo.

pakistani kima (ground beef curry)

Do you have a family favorite (secret or not) to share?

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403 Comments

  1. Hi! I’m making this now… I’m wondering how it’s supposed to “simmer” because there is no liquid/sauce? Thanks!

    1. Hi there! It's not a thin dish with a lot of liquid. We have had enough from the tomatoes to make it work but occasionally we have added water because the tomatoes were too thick. What kind of tomatoes did you use? Just add a little at a time if you do. I thought I had that information in the post--will go and check on that.
      Hope you enjoy it!!

    1. Yes, I think so but I haven't worked it out yet. There are a lot of things to take into consideration but I have heard, I think, other readers have said that they have done that and it's worked but I don't recall how they did it. You can find sites online that teach how to do the conversion. Maybe I can work on that for the future!

  2. 5 stars
    So delicious! Made in the IP for dinner, and it was enjoyed by all. I used more curry powder. What is the calculated calories per serving? I couldn't find it amongst the nutrition facts. Thanks!

    1. Hi there! Aww you made my night! I will try to find out what happened to that and get back to you asap. Sorry about that!

    1. Hi there! Potatoes don't freeze well, but if you do a lower carb option with cauli chunks it will freeze well. I would be tempted to try, however because it's soooo good!

  3. 5 stars
    It was absolutely delicious, but I like it more with regular potatoes rather than sweet potatoes! And to spice it up I added a little bit of red chili powder and since I don't like tomato chunks, so I cooked them more, so they were mixed into the gravy. But Oh my goodness, It is so yummy and easy to make, one of my favorite dishes now.

    1. Sooo glad to hear this. It's our fave too! ALWAYS is requested for birthdays and even for Thanksgivings this year!! Thanks again! 🙂 We do like the potatoes better too but I was AIP for awhile and so I would do the sweets to help have not too many nightshades in there!

  4. This recipe will be in our regular rotation! I love the spice profile. I served it over basmati rice. I made the mistake of not cutting down the salt even though I omitted the potatoes (too lazy!) and I had to do some last minute magic to cut the oversalting (haha). Picky hubs loved it!

    1. So glad to hear - it's SUCH a fave here. My boys want it for their bdays! Good work on the salt fixing. What did you do? If you are so inclined, leaving a 5 star review helps others find good recipes and helps us as well...some bloggers doctor ratings but I don't. Every little bit helps. Thanks in advance and no pressure.

      1. 5 stars
        In order to fix the oversalting, I added a bag of frozen cauliflower, some ghee, a little bit of agave nectar and honey. 🙂

        1. Nicely done and thanks for the star rating. So you didn't need to add more spices? I would think the spices were a bit thinned out that way--- a lot of readers say that they like double the spices so might be somethig to consider next time (if you didn't do it already. Thanks again and so glad you liked it!

          1. I did end up adding more spices too, the same ratio that was in the original recipe. I did also add more garlic. I do like things more spiced though 🙂 When using a sweetener to correct oversalting, it's important to do little by little so you don't overdo it.

            1. 5 stars
              I made this today and loved it, as did my finicky husband. I also loved that it was fast and easy to make, which really gives this flavorful dish a thumbs up. The only differences I made were, I was out of potatoes and read where another reviewer omitted them and put this over basmati rice, that's what I did too. Also I didn't realize that I was out of turmeric, so I used smoked paprika instead. This will be in my regular rotation of meals to make. Thanks.

              1. Hi there Regina. Sooo glad you liked it! You made my night! My son has been asking for this for a long time - time to make it again - I would love to hear what you think after you make it the real way LOL!

        2. 5 stars
          Made this tonight and it was delicious! I doubled the slices like some recommended and ate it over basmati rice. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    I make this super often and have for several years now after finding it here. We love it! But I’m having a “brain fart” right nkw in the middle of cooking and CANT remember if I need to drain the excess oil/grease after browning the meat, onion, and garlic! HELP! And fast, if possible lol! Thanks for sharing this meal recipe that is a staple in our home!

    1. Hi there. Just seeing this now. I haven't needed to drain it b/c we don't have a ton of grease on our meat. Do you? Also we use really healthy beef so the fat is something I don't mind eating. If you feel it's excess and especially if you aren't buying quality meat (I like grass fed if possible) then, by all means drain. Thanks for the compliment :). It's my family's favorite meal!

      1. Is there any way I can find the old recipe where the potatoes bake in the oven? I loved that recipe.

          1. Yes, I believe the original recipe I had bookmarked from this page had diced potatoes that were baked while the rest of the stuff was cooking on the stove. At the end, the potatoes got added.

    1. Sooo glad you liked it! Thanks for taking the time to comment :). Working on more recipes at the moment...and more ;).

  6. 5 stars
    I made this last night and my family LOVED it! They begged me to put it in our regular menu rotation. We served it with cauliflower rice and it went perfectly with the curry.

    1. Awww--thanks for taking the time to come and comment about that--I'm sooo glad. Isn't it crazy that it means so much when someone else loves what you do? :). We eat it w/ cauli rice as well--especially me b/c I really have to watch my carbs. Thanks for telling me and hope to see you around again. This is another really good recipe you might want to try. Needs new photos, but it's really good. Working on more recipes now too so hope to have more you can add to the rotation soon!

  7. Just coming back again to say that I have made this at least 15 times in the past 6 months. We love it and so have any guests that have had it. I always double the spices (except salt) and if I have fresh tomatoes, I use those or I use whatever canned I have. I have made it with ground Turkey, ground beef and ground chicken and all work wonderfully. I love how you really can’t mess this recipe up, it’s very forgiving and always pair it with basmati rice.

    1. Oh wow! I got another lovely comment tonight about this recipe too and had asked the reader a question so I thought it was her responding. What a treat! We LOVE it too and my youngest is requesting it for his birthday! If you are so inclined and would like to give it a 5 star rating that would be lovely. Thanks so much - you BOTH made my night :)!

  8. 5 stars
    This was very flavorful and the you're right, the kids loved it. Since I didn't have peas, I added fresh spinach instead and it was delicious. I also added a squeeze of half a lemon since I felt it needed a little zing. Otherwise followed your recipe.

    1. Sooo glad to hear this! You literally made my night! I so need to make this again asap...My youngest has been asking for it for a long time. Did you double the spices? Tell your kids I'm so happy they enjoyed it! Working on some new recipes. I just posted a new one for Snowball Cookies---perhaps you would like to check them out too :).

  9. 5 stars
    This dinner was absolutely incredible! Such rich flavors and so quick and easy to make. Will definitely be making this again.

    1. Oh wow--sooo happy to hear that you liked it that much! Thanks for taking the time to come back and tell me! Hope to see you around again soon!

    1. Sooo glad to hear it! Did you double the spices? Many are telling me that they are doing that. Thanks again for coming back to comment!