Instant Pot Keema


Keema, a saucy, spiced, ground meat dish with peas, is comfort food that takes minutes to make in an instant pot! Serve hot with aromatic basmati rice.

Instant Pot Keema

What is Keema?

Have you ever had keema before? It’s like an Indian spaghetti sauce, only with fewer tomatoes and way more flavor. Oh, and peas.

Am I crazy for making that comparison? Someone tell me that you agree with me. I mean, it’s essentially an Indian spiced bolognese. You can eat it over pasta if you want, I mean, why not. Normally though, we eat it with plain basmati rice or an Indian flatbread.

I think keema mattar is a good “gateway” dish into Indian cuisine (that and Butter Chicken, of course). It’s a simple, comfort-food dish that you can make with any ground meat, lamb, goat, beef, turkey, chicken, etc.

Instant Pot Keema

It’s economical and can be stretched out with peas or potatoes. I always make it with peas, but I’m sure potatoes would be great too – though you’d have to reduce the cook time to 5 minutes, so the potatoes wouldn’t turn to mush. Hey, look at me, giving those of you who actually read what I write an extra recipe!

I’ve also included directions on how to use my onion masala to make this dish even easier. Just check out the notes in the recipe below. 🙂

Instant Pot Keema

Keema Ingredients

keema ingredients
  • Ghee or Oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Serrano pepper or Green Chilli
  • Spices: coriander powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, ground cardamom
  • Ground Meat
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes OR Onion Masala
  • Peas
  • Cilantro
Instant Pot Keema

5 Reasons to Love Keema:

  1. Easy: this dish is so simple to make, especially if you have my Onion Masala on hand (highly recommend). You can get this dinner started in the Instant Pot in minutes if you have that prepared in advance.
  2. Everyone loves it: including kids! This is one dish that my whole family enjoys – as I said above, it’s similar enough to Indian spiced spaghetti and a lot of kids like spaghetti.
  3. Economical: a filling meal made with easy protein: ground meat. Add potatoes to stretch it out even more if you’d like.
  4. Versatile: eat it with basmati rice, serve it with pasta for kiddos (or yourself), use it to stuff samosas (just saute it to dry it out a bit more first).
  5. Freezes Well: I almost always make a double batch and freeze half for a rainy day. It freezes and thaws well and is a great meal to prep in advance.
Instant Pot Keema

Serve keema with plain Basmati Rice or Jeera Rice. You can also use it as a stuffing in samosas or parathas.

More Indian Main Dish Ideas:

Instant Pot Keema

Instant Pot Keema

Instant Pot Keema

Keema has been one of my favorite dishes since childhood. You can make this with any type of ground meat (beef, lamb and goat are my favorite choices). I typically eat this over rice but you can serve this with flatbread or even use it as a stuffing for samosas (Indian pastries) or parathas (Indian flatbread). I feel like this recipe as well as butter chicken are good “gateway” dishes to Indian cuisine because nearly everyone loves them!
5 from 46 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 Serrano pepper or green chili minced


  • 1 pound ground meat of choice
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes OR ½ cup onion masala*see notes
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • Cilantro garnish


  • Press the sauté button, add the ghee and onions and stir-fry for 8-10 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, Serrano pepper and spices to the pot. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the ground meat and cook until it is mostly browned.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (OR ½ cup onion masala) and peas and mix well
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  • Open the valve to quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Press the sauté button to reduce or boil off any extra liquid if needed.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.


  • If you are following my onion masala series and would like to use it in this recipe, you can use ½ cup onion masala in place of the onions, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes — just toss in the frozen onion masala when you add the peas in step 3. You can also reduce the cook time to 5 minutes if using onion masala.
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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. Amanda says

    I’m not really following the onion masala instructions. Add oil, cook ground meat, add the garam masala and cardamom and onion masala, and continue from there?

  2. Rosalie Goldberg says

    5 stars
    Hi I have a question if you do not own an insta-pot and make this on the stove top or oven how long would it need to cook?
    Thank you

  3. Claire says

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was awesome! Super easy with the frozen onion masala. My 8, 4 and 1 year olds gobbled it up. My husband says it’s like Indian hamburger helper 😆

  4. Cyndi Miller says

    5 stars
    I had some lamb from a local farm and needed a place to use it. This was easy and delicious, as always. Honestly, I’ve never tried a bad recipe here. Your recipes are reliably delicious.

  5. Summer says

    5 stars
    Hi, if I need to omit the tomatoes, would I need to add water or anything before setting the pressure cooker? Would you change anything else in the recipe to compensate for the lack of tomatoes? Thank you for any guidance on this!

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Summer, I haven’t tried making this without the tomatoes so I’m not sure – I think it would change the flavor quite a bit. If you’re unable to eat tomatoes, I would suggest trying my “nomato masala” as a substitute.

  6. KAnthi says

    5 stars
    THANK you so much for this recipe. It was delicious. My family ate it without a fuss and that’s a huge win.

  7. Anjali says

    My dad used to call it Indian Sloppy Joes for our Pennsylvania neighbors. I’ll be trying this with TVP for a vegetarian version. Will let you know how it goes.

  8. Colleen says

    Easy to make especially with the pre-made onion masala. It very good and simple
    I didn’t have cardamom powder and I feel like it’s missing something so I will get some cardamom and try it again.

  9. Yang says

    5 stars
    This is fantastic. Easy to mix all the spices. The directions were easy to follow. Fast with the instant pot. I used ground bison and snap peas which turned out fine. Very practical for a busy mom with small kids. The kids loved it so much that we did not have any leftovers and adults had to avoid seconds for the kids. They usually don’t tolerate spicy food but they loved this dish. Definitely will make it again. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  10. Lata says

    Hi, how do you convert the amounts of minced ginger and garlic in your recipes to store-bought garlic ginger paste? For example, this recipe calls for 4 tspns minced ginger and 1 tsp minced ginger. How much ginger-garlic paste would that be? 5 tspns seems like a lot! Thanks!

  11. Jas says

    5 stars
    Hi, love your recipes. I just wanted to ask why you add the onion masala aswell as more onions/garlic/ginger aside from adding more flavour. My mum has done the onion masala for years as I do now and it is suchba time saver. I only use my onion masala in cooking only adding extra ginger/garlic in meat dishes.

  12. Rosie says

    I want to make this but am worried about the spice level by including a Serrano — I try to go for mild/medium spice to match my 11 year old’s palate. Is it spicy? What is your recommendation to modify — it says green chili — are those the diced canned green chilies? Or is a jalapeño better?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Rosie, if you’re worried about spiciness, I would omit the green chilli. You can also remove the rib/seeds from the pepper to make it less spicy – maybe start with a small portion of the chilli and see how you like it. It’ll still taste great, even without the green chilli.

  13. Ursula says

    Hi there, I really enjoy following your recipes and all your food. On this one if I have the onion masala and in the notes you say to not put in the onions, garlic and ginger but when you follow the steps, you only say to replace the tomatoes.which step is correct and how do you start it off if you already have the onion masala? Thanks!

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Ursula, I left those in for people who are not using onion masala, but if you are using onion masala you’d want to press saute, add ghee, serrano pepper, spices, stir, then add the ground meat and once it’s browned, add the onion masala and peas, then close the lid and pressure cook. Hope that helps!

  14. Marc says

    5 stars
    Delicious and super easy. I used a frozen mix of diced carrots and peas and it turned out great. Also didn’t happen to have cardamom and susbtituted with 1:1 nutmeg and cinnamon.

  15. Pamla says

    This looks amazing. I’d like to make it for my kids however they don’t tolerate spices well. What’s the best way to make this recipe more kid-friendly?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Pamla, you can leave out the cayenne so that it isn’t spicy but the other spices add flavor so I wouldn’t alter them too much. You can always pair it with plain rice and a side of yogurt – that’s what I did with my kiddos at first. Maybe start with more rice and less keema and slowly adjust over time. I hope yours love this – let me know how it goes!

  16. Zahra says

    Made this recipe a few times. Sometimes with ground beef and other times with ground chicken. Both have turned out great!

  17. Ed Allan says

    5 stars
    Hello. I made your instant pot keema mattar with 80% lean beef, green peas, and diced potatoes, but somehow after lunch there was very little left over for leftovers!

    Variation — I didn’t have turmeric, so instead I used 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, I added 1/4 teaspoon of commercial curry powder because why not, and not having a serrano pepper I used hot pepper flakes and some green bell pepper chunks. And I kept the cooking time at ten minutes.

    Question — Like a lot of people, you advise adding the spices right after the onion (I used red onion, by the way), but it didn’t take anywhere near 30 seconds for them to start sticking to the bottom of the pot, which was very disconcerting, and then the need to “deglaze.” Does it make much difference if the spices get added AFTER the meat or other ingredients are added?

    Best wishes,

    Ed from Boston

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Ed, glad to hear you liked it! When adding spices, I suggest gathering them together in a bowl then pouring them in – that helps to avoid burning, but you can add them with the meat if you’d like. Hope that helps!

  18. Wondering says

    On your website (not just this recipe, but all of them), when you say to use the saute function, which setting do you mean? “Normal”, or “More” (high)? I tend to saute on high, but sometimes this seems like too much.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi, I always sauté on normal unless I specify to sauté on high. You can always use high, but it might result in burned bits at the bottom, so if you do I’d just make sure to stir more often and deglaze before pressure cooking.

      • Wondering says

        Thanks. I had been slightly modifying the techniques and times in your recipes to avoid burning, and finally realized it might be because I’m using a different setting. Good to realize, and now I’ll start trying the recipes as intended.

        I tried an experiment with this keema. I made some buttery dough, and then put some of the keema inside, and baked that to get meat patties of a sort. It was a tricky operation so the experiment was only a partial success, but I think it’s a fun way to liven up leftovers.

        • My Heart Beets says

          Thanks for sharing that! I wonder now if that’s why others have issues with the burn sign – I’m working on a post to help troubleshoot the burn sign, so this is very helpful! Also, your keema experiment sounds amazing 🙂 I have a paleo samosa recipe that’s really easy to make if you want to give that a try with the keema filling next time:

          • Wondering says

            On my instant pot, at least, the default setting is whatever you used the last time. So once I set the saute setting to high to follow a recipe, that’s where it stayed for months; I never thought to change it back. I tried the normal setting today and it’s clearly more gentle. So yes, if you don’t specify, then some people might be doing it wrong.

  19. Nida Kazim says

    5 stars
    That was delicious!!! I made it with potatoes and ground chicken, and doubled the recipe. Still 10 minutes pressure cook with a 5 minute release and then a quick release. Super happy with it and can’t wait to try your other recipes. Thank you for reminding me of my moms cooking 🙂

  20. Protima says


    Would I use the same amount of spices if I am using your onion masala? The onion masala already has some spices based on the recipe so just wanted to check if we need to reduce the keema masala spices?
    Also any adjustment to spices if I am not adding peas? Hoping to make it for dinner tonight.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Protima, you can reduce the same spices listed in this recipe by half if you’d like but I don’t think it’ll make much of a difference – it’ll taste good even with a bit more of those same spices 🙂 Let me know how it goes and what you think!

  21. Nina says

    5 stars
    This was great! My picky teenager who is not fond of Indian food unless it’s sweet said that it’s not bad. Lol!

  22. Archana says

    5 stars
    This was such a great recipe, my family enjoyed it very much. The spices were the perfect balance to the meat.

  23. Priya says

    5 stars
    This was so flavorful and just plain amazing. I make kheema the way my parents taught me to and it takes so much longer than your method and both recipes are equally tasty! I love love love your website. You are a culinary genius.

  24. Riddhima Kowley says

    Great recipe and I’m going to try it again. Unfortunately not adding water caused a “burn” in my instapot leading to the pressure valve not popping and all the steam escaping.
    After researching I understand that it’s really important to add water to all instapot recipes. You’ve been real lucky to get away without a pot burn!

  25. Priya says

    5 stars
    Hi from South Africa — just a note to say I made this with ground ostrich meat (very common here) and it was awesome – my husband said it’s the best keema he’s ever had!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Priya, that’s so great to hear 🙂 Thanks for letting me know how the keema turned out for you! I’m curious – what type of meat would you compare ostrich to? I’ve never tried it!

  26. Nizy says

    Hi do you have instructions on how to make it on the stove top? How long to simmer in spices after the meat is cooked? Thanks!

  27. Priya says

    Hello from South Africa – just a note that I made this with ground/minced ostrich (very common here) and it came out awesome – my husband said it’s the best keema he’s ever had!

  28. Sumra says

    5 stars
    Just made this tonight for dinner. I added potatoes later and let it cook on high pressure again for a few mins. It came out amazing. Kids loved it too. The spice level was perfect and it was flavorful. Thank you!
    PS. Just got an IP this week so looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Sumra, that’s so great to hear! Thanks for letting me know how this turned out for you and your kiddos! I can’t wait to hear what you think of other recipes you try 🙂

  29. A Dad who loves to cook says

    5 stars
    This recipe is fantastic! I was craving this dish from our local Indian restaurant, but I had the ingredients on hand so I decided to make it at home instead. I substituted ground turkey for the ground lamb, used an extra half an onion, substituted a bell pepper for the chili, and did twice as much garlic because I love garlic. We do not have a pressure cooker, but this worked very well on the stove top – I just let it simmer for 20 minutes with a lid. I served it with basmati cooked with a little turmeric, a couple cardamom pods, and a few whole cloves in the rice cooker. My 7 year old had three helpings and requested the leftovers for a thermos lunch (very high praise). Even my picky 3 year old who typically can’t even have different foods touching each other declared this to be one of the best meals ever. My wife said “please make this again.” this is definitely going in our regular rotation.

  30. Melissa Burgess says

    This is delicious. We eat it at least once a week on rice but I want to try making samosas with it too! I use 93% fat free turkey and it is my favorite meal of the week.

  31. Manjini says

    5 stars
    I trippled the recipe and used 10 mins for pressure time. I trippled all the spices too. I used frozen onion masala recipe. I had to fry the spices as the first step since i wasnt using onions. I was worried abt getting the burn signal so i added one tsp water so it became a thick paste and easy to scrape off the bottom.
    This recipe is sooo easy and soooo delicious.

  32. Sam says

    5 stars
    This did not disappoint! My 3.5yr old twin boys loved it and were gobbling up spoonfuls as soon as I took off the Instant Pot lid. They even looked forward to the leftovers and requested this the next day!
    I substituted small diced potatoes for the peas and it worked beautifully.

    Thank you!!!

  33. Michelle says

    Ashley, I don’t have cayenne or paprika at home. I do have Everest Kashmirilal. How do I adjust the quantity?
    P.S. your recipes are the best. The family requests IP chicken biryani at least once a week.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Michelle! Kashmiri chili is used mainly for color and less for heat – I’d start out with 1 teaspoon and then adjust at the end if needed. You can always add more minced serrano/green chili if you want the keema to be spicy. Let me know how it goes! Happy to hear that your fam likes the biryani so much 🙂

  34. Avneet Bajwa says

    5 stars
    This was fantastic. So yummy. I made this with ground turkey and my husband loved it. It was simple to make and extremely delicious and flavorful.

  35. Varsha says

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe. Have made it several times. Like you I have ready made spice paste- mine is based on tomato purée. Love all your Indian recipes. They have been a saving grace since I turned Paleo and then moving to the instant pot.

  36. Nandeep says

    Hi there can you make this recipe using vegan mince too? As the mince is already pre cooked would I need to reduce the cooking time? Thank you

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Nandeep, I am not familiar with vegan mince so I can’t say for sure – do you think it would fall apart or get mushy under pressure? If so then I would just stir it in at the end. If you think it will hold up with the cook time then you can add it in earlier. Let me know how it goes!

  37. Bree says

    5 stars
    Oh my, my son loved the keema so much, he ate two huge helpings and wanted it for lunch the next day. My husband thought the keema was the best he ever tasted. He said way better than any restaurant. As for me, I loved how easy this was to make. I have a complicated traditional keema recipe but I think this will be my go to recipe from now on. Ashley you are amazing. I love all your recipes.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Bree, I’m so happy to hear that your son and hubby liked the keema so much!! Thank you for the kind words and for letting me know how this turned out for you and your family!

  38. Grace says

    5 stars
    I am not someone who reviews much (mainly because I forget). This recipe is amazing! I love it! My husband who doesn’t like ground beef was going for seconds.. I’m super excited. Thank you!

  39. erin a epps says

    I would like to double this recipe using two pounds of ground meat … would you advise adjusting the cooking time for the instapot ?

  40. Ashish says

    5 stars
    I don’t normally post much (digital footprint and all!), but I felt compelled to tell you how much I love your recipes. I’m a single dad and was basically repeating a rotation of 3 dishes every day and getting really bored. I just got an instant pot and discovered your site and have made the keema and chicken curry so far and both came out really good! Thank you and I look forward to trying more recipes! 🙂

    • My Heart Beets says

      Ashish, I’m glad you decided to leave a comment! And I’m so happy to hear that you liked the keema and chicken curry! I hope you love all the recipes that you try from my site (and I hope you’ll come back to leave a comment and let me know lol)!

  41. Padmalaya Das says

    Hi Ashley, can this Keema matar recipe be frozen after preparation? I’m asking because I love this recipe but too lazy to cook again and again. Please let me know what you think.

  42. Priya C Seckinger says

    Instead of peas my mom made this dish with potatoes when I was a kid any ideas on how to adjust this recipe to use potatoes?

  43. Kim says

    5 stars
    Made this today and despite me not following directions it is delicious! I added the garlic and ginger too early and had to keep stirring so the onion mixture didn’t stick. I added the spices, tomatoes and ground beef (1.3lbs) and cooked for 10 minutes with 5 minutes NPR. I did NOT precook the meat on saute and this turned out amazing! Reduced mixture on saute for a couple of minutes. Had a snack, some in fridge and froze half.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Kim, I’m so happy to hear that it turned out well for you 🙂 Great to know about not needing to sauté the meat – I’ll have to try that the next time I make this! Thanks for sharing!

  44. Taryn Lum says

    Hi, I got 90% lean ground beef. Do I have to drain at all after browning the meat? Or do I just leave it in and start the instapot?

  45. Jamie Widdis says

    If I’m using your onion masala pucks for this, do I still need the ghee? Or do I just throw the frozen pucks in with the spices and let them melt as I brown the meat?
    Thanks, Jamie.

      • Theresa says

        Hi Ashley, can you clarify the use of the pucks? You say in the masala recipe to use the pucks to replace the onion, garlic, ginger, tomato – so I take that to mean you wouldn’t put onions in with the ghee, as written? Just brown the beef and add spices “to taste”? Can you recommend amounts on the spices, especially the ones that will be added in the puck, ie coriander, paprika, cumin, turmeric, cayenne? Thanks!

        BTW, I made the onion masala, I used red palm oil, for the first time. It’s supposed to be a “neutral” oil, but yet it has a taste that’s hard to describe – not sure I like it! Next time I’ll try avocado – have you used coconut oil?

        • My Heart Beets says

          Theresa, great question! I just updated the notes to clarify — add the masala in step 3 along with the peas (fresh or frozen). And yes when using the onion masala you don’t need to add more onions – just ghee, serrano pepper if using, meat, spices, onion masala pucks and peas 🙂 As for what oil to use I suggest avocado oil — you can use coconut oil but it will impart a flavor unless you buy refined coconut oil which has the flavor removed. Hope that helps!

          • Theresa Myers says

            5 stars
            Thanks, yes that was helpful! Tried it today and it was very good. The pucks stayed pretty formed, so I stirred them to mix once I did the saute at end – wondering if it would develop a richer taste if thawed first and stirred in from the beginning – it still had plenty of great flavor anyway, so I’m guessing I’ll often use them frozen when I come in at the end of the day and need something to work right away. Thanks!

  46. Deepak says

    Hello Ashley, Made this and it rocked. Wanted to ask, where did you but those silicon trays for freezing the Onion masala. I was checking Amazon however nobody on-line mentioned the size. I know your receipe asked for 1/4th cup size each. I want to get the same size partially because whenever I tried to customized your receipe, my wife complained so have made it a habit of doing things to the word of your receipe.
    Thanks a ton..

  47. Maria says

    5 stars
    Sounds delicious but the recipe here says 10 min on high pressure and the printed version says 30 min on bean/chili. Which one is it? Will either one work? Thanks!

  48. Kira Hutchinson says

    5 stars
    Another Myhearbeets winner at our house! I’ve made this several times, served over kale sauteed in garlic and curry powder. I prefer less tomato flavor so I drain the liquid from the tomatoes and use 1/2 to 1/3 of the can. SO, so GOOD. Thank you!!

  49. Naina says

    Can i use ginger garlic paste instead- if so how many tablespoons ?

    My instant pot doesn’t have bean chili button- so what would i choose to cook?

  50. Carey Letts says

    5 stars
    I have made a few keema recipes over time and I really really enjoyed this one. Just the right balance of flavours for my palate and of course it was painfully easy! I added the frozen peas after releasing the pressure while I boiled off some of the extra liquid and it worked really well. Thank you!

  51. Shreena says

    Just saw this and can’t wait to make it! How do you think I’d need to adjust the recipe if I used ground turkey/chicken instead?

  52. Carol says

    OMG! So excited to find this site! And can’t wait to try this keema recipe in the instant pot! My son used to love keema as a kid (he’s half Punjabi but not into spice at all!) and hubby I’m sure will eat it too! Thank you!!

  53. Jessica F says

    What a terrific recipe! I’ve always been reluctant to try spicy foods– I don’t tolerate hot spices well. So i made this last night, leaving out the Serrano pepper. Both my husband and I loved it! Thanks, Ashley!
    What’s a good gateway vegetarian dish into the wonderful world of Indian food?

    • My Heart Beets says

      You can make keema with any ground meat – I prefer goat, lamb and beef but chicken works too! The time remains the same – while the meat may be done sooner, I like pressure cooking it for 30 minutes to help combine all the flavors.

  54. Judy says

    Hello! Do you think garlic and onion are central to the flavor of this recipe? I really want to try it but garlic and onion are off limits on my SIBO diet. Thank you! Judy

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