If you are looking to make a tasty stew to keep you warm this fall/winter, you’ve found it. This Indian Ground Beef Coconut Curry is a Keralite inspired dish. In Kerala, they make a ton of stew, or as they call it: ishtu. Ishtu. It’s fun to say… and even more fun to eat. You can make all kinds of ishtu with chicken, lamb, beef, potatoes, eggs [click here for my coconut egg curry] etc. Because this is a mildly spiced stew, it’s usually eaten for breakfast but in our house, we eat ishtu for lunch or dinner.
When making beef ishtu, I’ll usually just use the leftover beef from this recipe but since I didn’t have any of the fried beef in the freezer I decided to use ground beef instead.
Roby and I eat a lot of grassfed ground beef. Probably more than we should but it’s delicious and an easy protein to make. During my most recent trip to the farmer’s market, the farmer I buy our beef from told me she was dangerously close to selling out; she said she may not have any more ground beef for me until next summer. I was kind of surprised at how shocked I was. It’s weird how weird I can be about food. I’ve tried beef from other vendors and while I’m sure all grassfed beef tastes relatively the same – this particular farmer had my favorite beef. Honestly, I think I prefer hers because of the packaging – it’s in 1 pound tubes. But still. In a moment of panic, I told her I’d buy everything she had… so I went home with 12 pounds of ground beef. Excessive? Probably. Do I think it will last us until next summer? No. I’ll probably have to seek out another farmer… eventually.
I used potatoes and carrots in this recipe. I know potatoes aren’t paleo, but if you’re mad that I used them, see my FAQ. You don’t have to use potatoes. It’ll still be delicious. Also, I usually just use one can of coconut milk, but you can definitely use two or you can just add some water/beef stock if you want a soupier stew. I like my stew nice and hearty – a lot of meat with every bite. I find that it actually keeps me from eating too much. I love coconut milk and I think that if I added more – I’d just eat that vs. eating the meat.
If you like a spicy stew, add more chopped Serrano peppers. The recipe below is subtly spiced but still packs a lot of flavor.
- 1-2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, minced (I used a small one to make a mild curry. Add more if you like it spicy)
- 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (~4 garlic cloves)
- 1-inch piece ginger, minced
- 2 teaspoon homemade meat masala
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri Chili Powder
- ½ teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- 1 pound grassfed ground beef
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 potato, chopped (optional)
- 1 can Coconut Milk, canned and full fat (add more coconut milk or water if you like a thinner curry)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat and add mustard seeds. Once seeds start to pop, add onions, serrano pepper and curry leaves.
- Once onions begin to brown, add garlic and ginger
- Add the rest of spices and let them bloom - then add ground beef.
- Stir-fry the beef with the masala mixture in the pan until the beef is mostly browned then add the vegetables and ¼ c water. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender (15 minutes).
- Adjust salt and pepper and add water if you want a thinner curry.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve.