Indian Ground Beef Coconut Curry


If you are looking to make a tasty stew to keep you warm this fall/winter, you’ve found it!

instant pot kerala ground meat coconut curry

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, 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.

I usually just use one can of coconut milk when making this dish, but you can definitely use two or can just add water/stock if you prefer a soupier stew. I make my stew nice and hearty – a lot of meat with every bite.

If you like a spicy stew, add more Serrano peppers. The recipe below is subtly spiced but still packs a lot of flavor.

instant pot kerala ground meat coconut curry

Indian Ground Beef Coconut Curry

instant pot kerala ground meat coconut curry

Indian Ground Beef Coconut Curry

5 from 8 reviews
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Servings 4
Cuisine Indian


  • 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



  • 1 pound 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 coconut oil in a pan over 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 spices and let them bloom - then add ground beef.
  • Cook the beef until it's mostly browned, then add the carrots, potato and ¼ cup of water.
  • Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk and simmer until the potatoes are tender (approx. 15 minutes).
  • Adjust salt and pepper and add water if you prefer a thinner curry.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Just for fun, here’s an old picture from 2013:

Indian Ground Beef Coconut Stew – this is an old photo from 2013!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Beck and Bulow says

    5 stars
    Absolutely gorgeous. We’ve done it with lamb too and equally as nice. We add a little more chilli powder for a wee bit more of a kick. Will add fresh chilli next time

  2. Farha says

    Hi Ashley, great recipe! Can’t wait to try. Can this be eaten with rice/paratha/roti or is better to be eaten as only soup?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Farha, you can serve this with rice or paratha but it’s good enough to eat on its own. If I’m making it as part of a meal for guests, I serve it with rice – but if I’m making it for the family I’ll serve it as soup. Traditionally though, it’s served with matta rice or a rice pancake called appam.

  3. Ben says

    It looks like a good recipe, but it seems weird to talk about an “Indian ground beef” dish when Cows are sacred animals in Hindu majority India and aren’t eaten.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Ben, I can understand that. As a north Indian myself, I had never heard of Indian beef until meeting my husband whose south Indian family is Catholic and from Kerala where beef is consumed. Let me know if you give it a try 🙂

      • Tina says

        What a graceful reply! Sounds like Ben has never broken bread with any of the millions of Indian Christians around the world (almost 30 million in India alone). Even some Hindus in India eat beef (just ask my family). Great site; I’ve tried many of your recipes and hope to someday impress my own Christian Indian mother-in-law with this recipe!

  4. Neethu says

    Hi Ashley ,
    I am glad that I stumbled upon this recipe . I usually make Keema with peas and carrots and was looking for a different one . It came out pretty good. Like we make stew in Kerala ii made 2 coconut milk of two consistency , 1st paal( thick one ) and 2nd paal which is the thinner version.instead of water Ii used the second paal and the end topped of the curry with second paal. I like a little sour taste so added vinegar too. It came out well ,thank you so much and I plan of making more of your recipes.

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