Beef and Potato Keema

dsc_1737RECIPE #371, DAY #543


ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Ground Meat with Potatoes in Scented White Sauce”/”Safaid Keema” from Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking*

TIMING: 1 hour 15 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy

TOOLS: Large saute pan with a lid

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: A plate full of lamb with spices accompanied by whole wheat chapati, a vegetable, and a chutney? Super great.

dsc_1738EXPERIENCE: This is the second main dish that I served for Indian supper club. I had never made this before, but it seemed relatively easy and I knew ground meat would stretch further than a sliced or chunked chicken or beef. Plus, the author claimed this was her husband’s favorite meat. So it seemed reasonable, even though it might often get used for stuffing.

I’m sure, in hind-sight, that this does make a better stuffing than an entree. It’s okay, but ours was greasy and bland, as well as, well, weird. Like it had no context.

NOTES: It is important that the meat in this recipe be lean. Otherwise, you get a deep slick of fat on the top. I really prefer the lamb, here.


  1. In a large pan, heat 5 tablespoons safflower oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 1/2 cups minced onion and stir until they turn golden brown.
  2. Add 3 cloves pressed garlic and 2 tablespoons grated ginger. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or lamb. Brown.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups hot water, 2/3 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 4 peeled and quartered small-medium potatoes, 2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin seed, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/3 teaspoon cayenne, and 1/3 teaspoon ground clove. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 45 minutes. Stir gently, occasionally. Remove from heat and taste for seasonings.


Serve with chapatis or naan and a spicy, fresh (mint? onion?) chutney. A vegetable side will also be needed, like my stir-fried Tamil Nadu green beans.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: Use as a stuffing for samosas or Moroccan cigars, or even as a bottom layer for an Indian-inspired shepherd’s pie. This can be frozen to be used in these ways, later.

*Recipe changed from the original.



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