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
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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. Which curry do you recommend if we like a medium spice? I’m not sure the difference in taste and spice level when it comes to curry! 🙂

    1. Hi there. I would just look for a medium heat curry - or you could use mine and add some more heat to it. Hope that helps!

      1. Hey, I was really wondering if that would be a green, red or yellow curry. I don’t cook with curry often so idk the difference in those.

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of my go to meal peeps. Keeps and freezes well. HIGHLY suggest fresh onion, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric of availavle, and curry paste not powder.
    I’ve done this with butternut squash and peas in the winter served with cauliflower rice. I’ve alsp done it with cauliflower and asparagus not served with anything. I’ve thrown in mushrooms and carrot sticks, kohlrabi, radishes, whatever random veggies I have.
    I like the versatility of this recipe.

    1. Thanks - we love it too!! Your additions are fantastic - I will have to try the radishes and kohlrabi!

  3. 5 stars
    I should’ve commented along time ago! I come back to this recipe again and again. I’ve done it with ground turkey, snow peas, different variations and it turns out fantastic no matter what I do. Thank you thank you! Even my husband will eat it which is a big deal. Although he prefers that I purée the tomatoes before adding them. 🙂

    1. Wow - thank you! You made my day! We feel the same way -- lovely any way you slice it (or cook it)! Thanks again!

  4. 5 stars
    We love this dish so much! It frequents our dinner table. I have made it with turkey, beef, and tonight I am making it with lamb! You could add just about any vegetable you want in it, and we like it a bit vegetable heavy. You could even do it all vegetable if you wanted! So good, so easy, thanks for great recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Adrienne
    I'm a 65 year old new comer to APD and Paleo cooking/baking. So many recipes I've tried do not work out going from page to pan. This recipe is PHENOMENAL!! The smell in my kitchen is heart warming and I cannot wait for dinner! This are my tweaks: 2 small sweet potatoes, 1/2 head of cauliflower and last 5 minutes one chopped zucchini. I also used 1 TBS of tomato paste and vegetable stock as I did not have fresh tomatoes, doubled the curry, cause we like spicy:-) and look forward to buying chaat masala for future cooking.

  6. 5 stars
    This is so SO good! I made it pretty much as is, but did everything in my instant pot. Sauted the beef, onion and garlic, then added everything but the peas. Cooked for 10 minutes on high pressure and then quick-released. Cheap, fast, delicious and healthy!! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Oh wow - I never would have thought to do the Instant Pot - thanks for the great idea!! Did you add the peas after the quick release? Thanks!!

  7. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe - I used sweet potatoes and added them in when I started cooking the beef as suggested in the notes section. So easy to make, and it worked out perfectly. Definitely will be making this one again. Thank you for the recipe!!

  8. 5 stars
    This is by far one of my favorite recipes!! I threw everything in the crockpot on low for six hours and it came out ahhhmazing! Also, I used sweet potatoes to make this dish 100% Paleo. ?

  9. This is Sooooo Delicious! My husband, who’s not AIP, even Loved it! Thank you So Much for posting this recipe! 🙂 It’s definitely one of our staple recipes now! I even froze some so I could have some in the future when I don’t have time to make this delicious, yet quite detailed, dish!;) (I’m eating some right now that I took out of the freezer ;)).

  10. To be truly healthy, one must cut out meat and meat products. If one chooses to continue to eat meat, making sure that you get it from a farm that treats their animals humanely, doesn't use herbicides or pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or other drugs is the way to go. Please avoid ALL factory farmed meat. This is extremely unhealthy, TOXIC and animals suffer horribly.

    1. We do our best to avoid that kind of meat - can you tell my why you think that cutting out all meat is crucial? Thanks!

  11. Tooooo much salt for a healthy diet surely? Will give it a go with no salt and add just a pinch if really necessary.

      1. My cardiac dietician tells me that the (my) body requires NO additional salt if I follow a well-balanced diet. Infact she tells me that additional salt is a serious risk to health!

        1. I am not recommending not doing what your physician says but if it were me I would point that doctor to the article I shared and get their opinion on it.

          1. Hello - Just found your website and looking forward to trying this recipe this week. With regard to salt, there is a good youtube video by Dr. Fung you may want to look at that goes into great detail as to why a very low salt diet may be bad for you. "Dietary Villains - Part 2: Salt Scare"
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAGrUwE8zpY

            1. Hi there and so sorry for the delay in responding. I'm buried under a ton of comments and trying to go through them all. I have heard about Dr. Fung and also about how we need salt. Thanks for sharing and again, sorry!

  12. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! I made the low carb version with cauliflower and radishes. Thanks so much for the recipe, it was a great success

  13. Just made this and giving it to friend who I use to ensure the dish meets my requirements (she try before I commit to eating!). The result is........................., well we both had two helpings and I might just try a little more before I retire for the evening. Not a mom, by the way, in fact I'm a bloke (man) but my friend is a Grandmother that doesn't care for spicy food. Got to give this a thumbs up.

    My mom used to make a minced beef dish with curry and add raisins and other dried fruit (and it was the biz)! anyone got any recipes of this nature?

    Thanks for this idea, and all best wishes!!!!

    1. I'm so happy to hear this. And well, I hope that others don't feel that only moms are welcome. Sigh. The Whole New Mom is me. :). Please do comment at any time. I can see about a recipe like that. Is that ground beef then? And are there any other ingredients that you remember from the dish? Thanks!

    1. Hmmmm...I think it would but it will be dry. Maybe you should add some coconut milk to it to make up for the liquid you are removing. Enjoy!

  14. Do try the rice! It's another completely versatile, customizable recipe! And I'm looking forward to trying some of the variations of Pakistani Kima that you and your readers have suggested. It's so perfect as written that it never occurred to me to change a thing. Some of the suggestions sound very good, however!

  15. 5 stars
    I've been using "More with Less Cookbook" for all of my 40-year marriage, and this recipe (along with Vietnam Fried Rice) is a great favorite. I'm always surprised when I make it at how good it is, especially considering how easy it is to throw together. My husband likes to throw in a few golden raisins!

  16. Thanks for reminding me of this recipe! I've made it before years ago from the More with Less Cookbook but haven't made it in awhile. My kids love the curried lentils from the same cookbook so I bet they'll like this too!

  17. I'm planning to try this out this weekend and I can't wait. Just wanted to confirm - do you typically used canned diced tomatoes? Thanks!

      1. I made this tonight and had to report back - it was absolutely delicious!!! So much flavor, so filling and satisfying. Perfect meal for a cool fall night. And the clean up was easy too!

        1. So wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to share! I was going to make it the other night. It's been too long!

  18. This is literally amazing. My husband had four helpings. The seasoning is just delicious! We made it with chickpeas instead of peas and cherry tomatoes from a local farm, and it was out of this world. Thank you thank you!

    1. So glad! The chickpea and tomato idea sounds lovely! Did you use the cherry tomatoes for all of the tomatoes in the recipe?

  19. 5 stars
    I've made this a number of times now and always enjoy it! I use your suggested modifications and make it with cauliflower and green beans. In fact, I think I like the way the cauliflower soaks up the sauce better than potato! Thanks so much for this recipe, it comes together sooo quickly and it really flavorful.