Saturday, August 23, 2008

Indian Ground Beef and Potatoes (Keema Alu)

Many many years ago, when John and I were still in university and meeting other students from all over the world, we were invited to dinner at a good friend's house, and his roomate had cooked up this fantastic curry of ground beef and potatoes. I was overwhelmed by the excellent curry flavor that was much different from the curry powder that was commonly used in my neighborhood (if one used curry at all in small towns in New Brunswick!) and I looked for years to find a recipe that would duplicate the flavor of that dish. As soon as I saw this recipe, I believed that it was the one I have been looking for.

Indian Ground Beef and Potatoes (Keema Alu)

Serve this dish with some Indian naan or pita bread, or spoon it over rice for an easy one-dish meal.

3 Tbs ; (45 ml) ghee, clarified butter, or vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 -4 cloves garlic ; finely chopped
2 tsp ; (10 ml) grated fresh ginger
2 tsp ; (10 ml) ground cumin
2 tsp ; (10 ml) ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ; (5 ml) ground turmeric
Cayenne ; to taste
Salt ; and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound ; (450 g) ground beef
1/2 cup ; (125 ml) chopped canned tomatoes, drained (I used fresh tomatoes)
1 pound ; (450 g) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) dice
1 cup ; (250 ml) water
Chopped ; cilantro


Heat the ghee in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat and saute the onion, garlic, and seasonings until the onions are tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and tomatoes and cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until the beef is browned and all the liquid had evaporated, leaving only the ghee. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the water, reduce the heat, and simmer covered until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Increase the heat, remove the cover, and cook until all the water has evaporated. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro. Serves 4 to 6.
(From the Chef at World Wide Recipes)

(I don't have any good pictures of the process of this recipe. I was still using my old camera at this time, and its electronics had started fizzing out, making photo taking impossible.)


Superb! I was right ... this recipe comes closer to recreating that memorable dinner than any I have ever tried. As a matter of fact, I think I'll go and make some for dinner right now!


it doesn't look like you are at all at a loss for ingredients out there. your recipies are so diverse, it leaves me scrambling to the grocery store often, wonder how she has all those ingriedients so readily available?

Hi aphotog, Thanks for visiting my blog. Sometimes its really easy to figure out what to substitute, like the fresh tomatoes for canned in this recipe. Sometimes its more difficult, like when I needed Thai Fish Sauce ... I eventually found tiny dried salted fish in the market that I liquify to produce something that is at least made with salty fish (I don't know how a real fish sauce tastes and am going only by the research I did on it).

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