Beef Keema Curry with Steamed Basmati Rice

I wanted something different to cook with lean minced beef. As most foodsters, I have the usual dishes nailed – spaghetti bolognese, chilli con carne, lasagne, so craved something new and a little bit more exciting. Inspired by a visit to Dilli, Altrincham, where a colleague of mine ordered Lamb Biryani which looked incredible – I decided to spice things up a bit and go about creating a new recipe I hadn’t tried before – Beef Keema curry.

Beef Keema Curry served with mint yogurt and steamed basmati rice
Beef Keema curry served with mint yogurt and steamed basmati rice

This recipe only takes about 40 minutes and serves 4-6 portions. You can swap out the birdseye chillies for a milder variety if you’re not that keen on spice.  I used Turmeric and Garam Masala for the spices, but you could use curry powder instead of the Garam Masala. I would say the turmeric is essential for that authentic Indian depth of flavour, and wonderful vibrant yellow colour.

For the rice – I follow Jamie Oliver’s ‘Light and Fluffy’ steamed basmati recipe. It’s brilliant and it does exactly what it says on the tin, and works every time. I have pasted it at the bottom of my keema recipe – if you are making them to serve together, start making the rice once you put the curry on to simmer. That way they will both be ready at the same time.

For the mint yogurt – I just mix one teaspoon of mint sauce with 4 tablespoons of natural yogurt, and serve with a dollop on top at the end. Simples!

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil (or you can use olive, or vegetable oil)
  • 500g pack lean minced beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 2 birdseye chillies, one of which is de-seeded (optional depending on how hot you like it!)
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 2 carrots, cut into small chunks
  • 200g frozen petits pois or garden peas
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 4 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon mint sauce
  • 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
  1. First mix the mint sauce and yogurt, then set aside in the fridge until serving.
  2. Heat some of the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the mince beef, season and cook until browned. Then remove from the pan and discard the excess fat and set aside.
  3. Whiz the onion, garlic, ginger and chillies together in a food processor or chop them all finely. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan, and fry the mixture gently for 2 minutes until onions soften. Then add the chopped carrots and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  4. As the carrots begin to soften , add the browned mince and mix everything together well.
  5. Next add the garam masala and turmeric and fry for another minute, before adding the veg stock and simmering for 30 minutes with a lid on or covered with foil. Stir occasionally.
  6. Remove the lid and add the frozen peas, and cook for 5 minutes. At this point, the liquid should be mostly absorbed.
  7. Just before serving, remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.
  8. Serve with brown pitta bread, steamed basmati (recipe below) and a dollop of the mint yogurt from the fridge.

Jamie Olivers Perfect Steamed Basmati Rice (serves 4):

  • 350g white basmati rice
  • sea salt
  1. Put a large pan of salted water on a high heat and bring to the boil. Rinse the rice in a colander under running water for about 1 minute, or until the water runs clear (this will stop the grains sticking together later).
  2. Add your rice to the boiling water and wait for the grains to start dancing around. From that point, boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the rice in a colander. Pour 2.5cm of water into the pan, put it back on the heat and bring it to the boil again, then turn down to a simmer.
  4. Cover the rice in the colander with foil or a lid. Place the colander on top of the pan of simmering water, and let the rice steam over it for 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and if you’re ready, serve immediately. If not, leave the foil or lid on and put aside until ready to serve – it should stay warm for about 20 minutes.
Alternative serving suggestion - mix the a portion of the curry and rice together, for a biryani style dish - perfect for leftover lunch!
Alternative serving suggestion – mix the a portion of the curry and rice together, for a biryani style dish – perfect for leftover lunch!