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!
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 Bowl, Homemade “Almond Joy®” Bars, “DORITO®” Popcorn, Savory Hummus, Honey Bunches of Coconut Chips, Surprisingly 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?
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.
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 / Ground Beef Curry
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:
- Rice (I prefer brown organic. Mine cooks in 19 minutes in my pressure cooker – Yippee!)
- Cauliflower Rice (now that I am eating more low carb and AIP)
- Moroccan Carrots
- Chaat Masala sprinkled on top
- more Moroccan Vinaigrette on top as well
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
– Health Meals Galore and Gluten Free Chili Mac
– Savory Hummus
– Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
– Oven Barbecued Chicken
– Kid-Friendly Lentils (ready in as little as 9 minutes!)
Special Diet Options for this Ground Beef Curry
- Low-carb, Keto, or whole30 option, sub green beans for the peas and cauliflower for the potatoes — any substitute you like. How about radishes for the potatoes :)?
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
Pakistani Kima - Ground Beef Curry
- 2 - 3 Tbsp oil (I recommend coconut oil)
- 1 cup chopped onion (I use 1/4 cup minced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 lb ground beef (any ground meat works well. See notes for vegan option)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder (see Recipes Notes about spices)
- 2 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper (omit for AIP)
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups tomatoes (about 1 1/2 14 oz cans--see AIP alternative above)
- 3 potatoes or sweet potatoes (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)
- 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.
The above nutrition facts are estimates only. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer here.
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, following is the original photo.
Do you have a family favorite (secret or not) to share?