Keema is a delicious way to spice up ground lamb or beef. It’s a great way to add some big Indian taste to run of the mill ground meat.

Keema just means ground meat in Hindi. It can be any ground meat. Lamb, beef, goat or even chicken. So it probably doesn’t help that this recipe is called keema. Not so precise. But I didn’t name it. I just cook it.

It’s like hamburger helper done right. It’s beef or lamb with a good whack of spice. Not too much, mind you. Just enough to make sure it’s perfect when you use it in a curry.

Keema is best used as a starting point

You can try it straight up with Indian flatbreads. It’s a dry curry. Not bad. But it’s best as an ingredient in dishes like aloo keema and keema matar. Or mixed with spinach. Or as a filling for killer samosas. 

You could even use it as pre-cooked meat in most of the Indian restaurant style recipes on this blog. Keema madras or jalfrezi. Not the most conventional approach. But tasty.

Jalfrezi works particularly well. Something about the peppers and onions mixed with savoury ground meat. Kind of like an Indian twist on chili. Totally different flavours though. Don’t bring it to a chili cook off.

You can mix in a little bit of cooked lentils and so something like a dhansak. That’s pretty darn good too. Just make sure the lentils have some spice too. Or it will be a bit bland. Like I said. Lots of possibilities.

Beef keema makes a great filling for samosas or as the star of keema matar or aloo keema.

This probably won’t become your favourite curry on it’s own but what you can make with it may well be. Think of it as an ingredient into a bigger dish. A step along the way to something wonderful. 


Close up of beef keema in an Indian copper bowl.


beef keema in a bowl with green chilies and coriander leaves
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5 from 1 vote

lamb or beef keema

This lamb or beef keema is really an ingredient for dishes like keema matar or aloo keema. If you can't wait, it's also good with Indian flatbreads.
Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 576kcal
Author romain | glebekitchen


  • 12 oz minced beef or lamb
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 black cardamom - whole, split (optional)
  • 2 inch piece cassia bark - cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp garlic ginger paste - recipe link below
  • 1/2 tsp kasoor methi - fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder e.g Lalah's brand
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp tomato paste with enough water to dilute to the consistency of pasetta - dilute with water to the consistency of pasatta
  • 2/3 cup water


  • Pre-heat your skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the oil. Once it starts to shimmer add the bay, cardamom and cassia. Cook until little bubbles form around the spices - about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the kasoor methi, madras curry powder and salt.
  • Cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the garlic ginger paste and cook until the sizzling subsides.
  • Mix in the tomato paste, stir to combine and cook about 30 seconds.
  • Add the beef or lamb, breaking up any chunks and cook until all the meat is brown.
  • Add the water and simmer for about 10 minutes until cooked through.
  • Spoon off most of the accumulated fat and reserve until ready to cook the keema matar.


Garlic ginger paste recipe can be found here.


Serving: 2servings | Calories: 576kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 749mg | Potassium: 550mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 4.2mg

7 thoughts on “lamb or beef keema

  1. Hello, I am new to Indian Cooking and I found your website by chance, fantastic thank you.

    In reference to this recipe it states in the Instruction line 3. Stir in the kasoor methi, spice mix and salt – in following the recipe and other recipes the spice mix refers to the Indian Restaurant Spice mix as the spice mix but here it doesn’t. Am I to presume it is referring it to the Madras Curry powder as the spice mix as the Instructions doesn’t mention when to use the Madras curry powder. I may be confusing things but to a new cook I need to be hand held – sorry….

  2. Hi
    Loving your recipes and have tried most of the Indian ones so far apart from the keema ones. Not a bad one yet, yummy every one!
    My question is this … is there a way to ‘upscale’ the base keema and then would it be possib to freeze it in batches for future use in the other recipes?

    • Thank you for the kind words! I think that would work. Might want to cook in batches of maybe double the base recipe rather than put a huge amount in the pot at once. Don’t use previously frozen meat though. Freezing twice is never a good idea.

  3. I’m pinning and making!Love this recipe.easy and simple .i will definitely try it. One of our families favorite dinners! So easy and it tastes delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!

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