This Indian-Spiced Ground Beef, from The World’s Greatest-Ever Curries by Mridula Baljekar, is a regular in my recipe rotation. It’s relatively easy to make, uses ingredients I keep on hand, and has tons of flavor. Plus, it functions as a lunch or dinner dish.
Indian-Spiced Ground Beef
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
3/4 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp. grated Fresh Ginger
1 Thai Chili, finely chopped
12 oz. Ground Beef (or lamb)
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder (I use Extra-hot Chili Powder)
1/2 tsp. Salt
5/8 c. Water
3/4 c. Frozen Corn, thawed (You can also use peas)
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
Plain Yogurt (I use fat-free Greek Yogurt)
1. Heat oil over medium heat then saute onions for 5 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, ginger, and chiles and cook 2-3 minutes. Thai chiles pack some heat, so if you’re not accustomed to spice, you may want to use less of the chili the first time you make this dish. In my experience, the orange and red Thai chiles are spicier than the green.
(Note: If, like me, you use the grated ginger that comes in a jar, wait to add it until you add the spices in step 4. The jarred ginger has a higher sugar content and will stick to the bottom of the pan if you add it this early.)
3. Add the ground beef and cook until the red color is gone. I always use grass-fed beef. It’s better for you, better for the cow, and, most importantly, has better flavor.
4. Stir in the cumin, coriander, chili powder, and salt. (Tip: If you decide to use extra-hot chili powder, keep in mind that when it’s first opened the spice is strongest. If you’re opening a brand new jar, you may want to add less than the amount called for to avoid guzzling water.)
Then add the water, cover the pan, and turn to medium-low heat to simmer for 25 minutes.
5. Add your corn and lemon juice then cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. You may be surprised at the use of corn this dish. The original recipe called for peas. However, eating peas was horrible as a child, and I still haven’t gotten over the aversion. So I use corn which also gives that sweet crunch. Feel free to use peas if that’s more to your taste.
The liquid in the pan should have evaporated at the end of the 10 minutes. To finish, garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.
This also makes a great lunch. You can cook it the night before or over the weekend and store it in the refrigerator. Then, at lunch, reheat the ground beef and serve it in a pita (pictured below) or wrap with plain yogurt on the side. It’s so much more interesting, and satisfying, than a run-of-the-mill sandwich!