curry beef with peas

This recipe was born out of a craving for my mom’s meat pies, which I haven’t had in YEARS (like, 15 at least?). I don’t have the recipe, I just remember that it was some sort of ground beef mixture seasoned with curry and stuffed inside of fluffy bread. They were so good that I couldn’t pass them up, even on the day that I had my wisdom teeth surgically removed… “I’ll just chew with my front teeth,” I told myself. That didn’t work so well.

So, I planned to create something similar except stuff the yummy beef filling inside of pie crust as sort of an empanada type thing, but then I realized that was way more work than I was willing to commit to today. Instead, I realized that this beef mixture would be great just served over rice or stuffed into a piece of naan, almost like an Indian taco. Yum. Anyway, I didn’t include the rice in the price break down because you don’t necessarily have to eat it that way. That’s just one option.

To keep costs low, I “beefed up” the beef by adding potatoes and green peas. I always try to bulk up beef, which means not only cutting the cost but adding fiber and other nutrients. WIN.

Because I’m a spicy kinda person, I like this with a little chili garlic paste or sambal on top. But that’s just me.

Curry Beef with Peas

Top view of a pot of curry beef with peas

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4.81 from 31 votes

Curry Beef with Peas

A hearty curry beef with sweet peas over rice is inexpensive, flavorful, and filling.
Total Cost: $6.99 recipe / $1.17 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 6


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil ($0.04)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 2 inches fresh ginger ($0.21)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder ($0.23)
  • 1 tsp turmeric ($0.05)
  • a pinch crushed red pepper, optional ($0.02)
  • 1 lb. ground beef ( $4.42)
  • 1 medium potato ($0.81)
  • 1 cup beef broth* ($0.11)
  • 1 tsp flour ($0.02)
  • 1/2 lb. frozen peas ($0.82)
  • to taste salt ($0.05)


  • Mince the garlic, peel and grate the ginger. Use a vegetable peeler or scrape with a spoon to remove the peel of the ginger. Cook both with vegetable oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the curry powder, turmeric, and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for about 1-2 minutes more. Add the beef and continue to cook until fully browned.
  • While the beef is cooking, peel the potato and then cut into small cubes. Once the beef is fully cooked, add the cubed potatoes, beef broth, and flour. Allow the whole skillet to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes have softened and most of the moisture has evaporated off (about 15 minutes). If it gets too dry before the potatoes have finished cooking, simply add a little bit more water and continue cooking.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, stir in the frozen peas and heat through. Give it a taste and adjust the salt to your liking. Serve over rice or with naan bread.


*I used beef base to make one cup of beef broth, which is far less expensive than purchasing canned beef broth.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
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Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 274.2 kcalCarbohydrates: 12.27 gProtein: 16.68 gFat: 17.6 gSodium: 348.13 mgFiber: 2.8 g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.

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Top view of a bowl of Curry Beef with Peas

Step By Step Photos

Note: I added my spices in a different order because I was adjusting as I went along, so the color in the pictures might not match what you see in your skillet. Yours will probably be bright yellow from the get go due to the turmeric, which I added towards the end.

Ingredients on counter top
This is what I started with. Potato and peas to bulk up the beef, garlic and ginger for seasoning. I intended to use a yellow onion, but realized this morning that I forgot to pick one up!

garlic and ginger in pan
Start by sauteing the garlic and ginger in vegetable oil over medium heat. I had minced the garlic and grated the ginger with a fine holed cheese grater. You could also mince the ginger if that’s easier for you.

Spices added to pan
When the garlic and ginger have softened a bit, add the spices. The picture only shows the curry powder and red pepper flakes, but you can add the turmeric here too. Saute the spices for about 1-2 minutes more.

peeled and cubed potato
While that’s all happening, I peeled and cubed the potato. Cubing is a lot easier if you cut it into rounds first.

potato and ground beef cooking in pan
After the spices have sauteed for a minute or so, add the beef and cook until fully browned. Then add the potatoes.

jar of beef base
Add the beef broth to help cook the potatoes. I use Better than Bouillon to make my beef broth because this stuff tastes great, lasts just about forever, and you can make any amount that you need. Add a teaspoon of flour along with the broth because this will help thicken it a little and make a slight gravy.

cooked potatoes and meat in pan
Allow the whole skillet to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes have softened and most of the moisture has evaporated off. If it gets too dry before the potatoes have finished cooking, simply add a little bit more water and continue cooking.

peas added to mixture in pan
Once the potatoes are soft, add the frozen peas and heat through. As you can tell, this is the point where I realized that I needed to add some turmeric, so the color went from boring to KA-POW! Adjust the salt to your liking here. The beef broth probably has a good deal of salt, but potatoes tend to soak that up, so you may need to add more.

Top view of a pot of Curry Beef w Peas
And now you’re ready to eat!