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Aloo Keema

Treat yourself to authentic, one-pot Pakistani aloo keema, a delicious combination of seasoned ground beef and tender potatoes sautéed in a rich blend of tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and lots of spice. I serve the easy, homestyle meal with naan, roti, or basmati rice.

Aloo keema and rice on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • “When in doubt, make keema” should be my family’s mantra or, at the very least, an unspoken rule because when my mother-in-law and I can’t decide what to make for dinner, we make keema.
  • The mouthwatering meal is ready in less than an hour and uses simple ingredients, making it a perfect weeknight dinner. It’s one of my favorite meals to make in a hurry.
  • Ground beef is something most people have sitting in the freezer, and now you know what to make with it. 
  • Aloo keema is an easy-to-make meal anyone can prepare. 

What is Aloo Keema?

Aloo keema or qeema is a traditional dish and a staple in most Pakistani households, including ours! If you’re new to cooking Indian food, this beef and potato curry recipe is a great place to start! Keema means minced or ground in English. The ground beef (keema) and potatoes (aloo) cook together to make the ultimate easy comfort food. If you’re looking for a different way to prepare the dish, try aloo gosht, made with potatoes and tender goat. 

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Ghee:  Develop a deep, nutty flavor for the dish by sautéing the potatoes and onions in ghee.
  • Potato: Experiment with different varieties of potatoes, like red potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, or fingerling potatoes. Russet potatoes work, but cut them small to ensure they cook at the same rate.
  • Onion: The onions saute with the ground beef, garlic, ginger, tomato, and keema spices for additional flavor.
  • Ginger: I love how the freshly minced ginger cooks alongside the beef. And because I like it so much, bites with fresh ginger are the best. 
  • Green Chiles: Simmer the green chiles with the ground beef for heat that doesn’t overpower the dish. You can chop the chiles if you want it more spicy.
  • Roma Tomato: Puree the fresh tomatoes in a blender or food processor before adding them to the dish to reduce the cooking time. In a pinch, include a ½ can of diced tomatoes or chop the fresh tomatoes and sweat them down over low heat. However, the process may increase the cooking time.
  • Keema Masala: Season the ground beef with coriander powder, ground cumin, turmeric powder, Kashmiri chili powder (cayenne pepper), black pepper, kosher salt, and homemade garam masala. Keema is one of those meals I make on the fly in our home, so if I am in a hurry, I use store-bought Keema Masala simply out of ease. 
  • Ground Beef: I use ground beef, but you can replace it with chicken, lamb, or mutton. Use Beyond Meat or lentils for a vegetarian option. 
  • Cilantro: Brighten and flavor the dish with fresh cilantro.

What is Keema Made Out Of?

Aloo Keema is a versatile meal, so feel free to get creative. Ground beef (beef keema) is the most popular meat option in Pakistan and North India. 

Other variations include ground chicken (chicken keema), ground goat (mutton keema), and ground lamb (lamb keema). You can also use ground turkey. The most common vegetables to include are potatoes (aloo keema) and peas (matar keema) or a combination of the two (aloo matar keema).

How to Make Aloo Keema

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Warm the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Then, add the cubed potatoes and cook until they turn golden brown for about 15 minutes. Set them aside.

Potatoes frying in oil.

Step 2: In the same pan, add the onions, garlic, ginger, and chilies; saute until the onions become translucent and soften, for about 5 minutes.

Onions and chiles frying in oil.

Step 3: Stir in the coriander powder, cumin, Kashmiri chili powder, salt, turmeric, black pepper, and garam masala. Continue cooking for another minute.

Seasoning added to the chiles and oil.

Step 4: Increase the heat and add the ground beef, breaking it up with a meat chopper until finely minced. Cook the beef until brown and heated through for about 10 minutes.

A tool breaking up the ground beef.

Step 5: Pour in the tomato puree and increase to high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Ground been and tomatoes added to the cooking onions.

Step 6: Stir in the reserved potatoes and add cilantro.

Potatoes and cilantro adding to the cooking ground beef.

Step 7: Garnish with fresh ginger and serve with naan, roti, or basmati rice.

Aloo keema and rice on a plate.

Expert Tips

  • If using lean ground beef, consider adding more ghee or a little water if the mixture appears dry. The desired texture for keema is a nice glaze.
  • I rely on a cooking technique called ‘bhunning’ for this aloo keema recipe. During the cooking process, the ground meat cooks over high heat and fries alongside tomatoes and warm spices until it reduces and the ghee escapes to the sides, resulting in a highly concentrated and flavorful dish.
  • Use a wokheavy-bottomed pan, or karahi to cook the ground beef; this will help regulate the high heat as the meal cooks.

Searching for More Like This? 

If you love this recipe, try one of these ground beef recipes!

Aloo keema in a serving bowl.

Serving Suggestions

What to do With the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze – Let the dish cool, and transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Aloo keema freezes for 2-3 months.
  • Thaw – When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
  • Reheat  Warm leftovers on the stovetop and prepare your sides.

What Dishes Can Be Made from Keema?

  • Add boiled or scrambled eggs to the leftovers and serve it with paratha and mango achar; this combination is a go-to for breakfast or brunch in our family.
  • Prepare keema samosas by adding the keema mixture to an egg roll wrapper. Wrap it into a triangular shape and bake it for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Serve the keema on sandwich bread or a tortilla for a quick lunch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make aloo keema in the Instant Pot?

1. Warm ghee in an Instant Pot on saute mode.
2. Add potatoes and cook until they become golden brown for about 15 minutes. Set them aside.
3. The the same Instant Pot, fry the onions, garlic, ginger, and chilies until the onions become translucent and soften for about 8 minutes.
4. Stir in the coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, black pepper, kosher salt, and Garam Masala. Continue cooking for another minute.
5. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a meat chopper until finely minced. Cook until brown and heated through for about 10 minutes.
6. Pour in the tomato puree and give it a quick stir. Secure the lid, and set the Instant Pot to manual low pressure for 8 minutes, then release the pressure.
7. Stir in the reserved potatoes and cilantro.
8. Garnish with ginger and serve with naan, roti, or basmati rice.

How to get rid of the keema smell?

You can use lean ground beef, which can have less of a smell than ground beef with higher fat content. And don’t skip a process called bhunna, where you fry the keema over high heat while stirring until the water releases from the beef. Then, continue frying until the liquid evaporates. Not only does this step alleviate the smell, but it deeply flavors the meat. I use the same technique for other meat dishes like chicken karahi and bhuna gosht

More Pakistani Recipes:

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Aloo keema in a serving bowl.

Aloo Keema

Tressa Jamil
Enjoy authentic, one-pot aloo keema, a delicious combination of seasoned ground meat and tender potatoes simmered in a spiced-tomato curry.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 284 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • ½ tablespoon ghee
  • 3-4 small yukon gold potatoes, ¼ – inch cubes
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2- inch ginger, peeled and finely minced, plus thin batons to garnish
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 pound ground beef, finely minced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped, plus more to garnish
Instructions
 
  • Warm the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Then, add the cubed potatoes and cook until they turn golden brown for about 15 minutes. Set them aside.
  • In the same pan, add the onions, garlic, ginger, and chilies; saute until the onions become translucent and soften, for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the coriander powder, cumin, Kashmiri chili powder, salt, turmeric, black pepper, and garam masala. Continue cooking for another minute.
  • Increase the heat and add the ground beef, breaking it up with a meat chopper until finely minced. Cook the beef until brown and heated through for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the tomato puree and increase to high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the reserved potatoes and add cilantro. Garnish with fresh ginger and serve with naan, roti, or basmati rice.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • If using lean ground beef, consider adding more ghee or a little water if the mixture appears dry. The desired texture for keema is a nice glaze.
  • I rely on a cooking technique called ‘bhunning’ for this aloo keema recipe. During the cooking process, the ground meat cooks over high heat and fries alongside tomatoes and warm spices until it reduces and the ghee escapes to the sides, resulting in a highly concentrated and flavorful dish.
  • Use a wokheavy-bottomed pan, or karahi to cook the ground beef; this will help regulate the high heat as the meal cooks.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 284 kcal | Carbohydrates: 18 g | Protein: 15 g | Fat: 17 g | Saturated Fat: 7 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 57 mg | Sodium: 452 mg | Potassium: 666 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 2 g | Vitamin A: 377 IU | Vitamin C: 22 mg | Calcium: 41 mg | Iron: 3 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




apkmodguru

Thursday 25th of January 2024

I do not expect that your recipe will be easy. I will try it. I found your content very easy to read. Thank you for this.

Tressa Jamil

Thursday 25th of January 2024

When you decide to make it, let me know what you think. And feel free to send me a message with any questions you have about the recipe.

Roma

Saturday 4th of June 2022

Love keema matter aloo. This is a fantastic recipe.

Tressa Jamil

Tuesday 7th of June 2022

Yes, keema matar is amazing also.

Bianca

Friday 3rd of June 2022

This is pure comfort food! Absolutely loved it.

Tressa Jamil

Friday 3rd of June 2022

It's one of those meals that make you feel at home, for sure.

Giangi

Tuesday 31st of May 2022

Thank you for the very easy instructions to follow. We all loved this dish and my family wanted more.

Tressa Jamil

Friday 3rd of June 2022

Keema is one of our family's go-to meals; I am glad they enjoyed it.

Olga Veiga Gonzalez

Monday 30th of May 2022

Seems delicious and easy to make! I will try this for sure

Tressa Jamil

Friday 3rd of June 2022

Be sure to let us know what you think when you've made it!