Indian Minced Beef with a Fresh Tomato Salad

There are many things one can cook with a punnet of minced beef; it is perhaps one of the most versatile ingredients available. This, for instance, is a variation of a dish I used to eat a lot of at university, though since I’m a much better cook than I was 2-3 years ago it tastes slightly better. This recipe is taken from BBC GoodFood, though I used my own blend of spices and perhaps even my own initiative at times – do not be too shocked, WordPress.

One of my true loves when cooking food is creating simple dishes which make use of only a short list of ingredients, yet taste better than those which are far more complex. In my humble opinion, this is one such dish. Each and every flavour is incredibly punchy, yet they are individually distinguishable from one another. The tomatoes and coriander provide a freshness to an otherwise devilishly warming plate of food. I’ll admit to having eaten copious amounts of this over the weekend – it is dangerously moreish. I thought my days of eating gargantuan portions of food unnecessarily were over; it turns out that this isn’t the case, though I’m rather sure I’ll survive what should have been a critical blow to my self-esteem.

Please, readers, if you set about making this dish use your own spice blend, or at least the one I have provided. I realise that it can be a little time consuming and often rather irksome having to traipse around one’s local supermarket hoping to find all the necessary flavours, but it surely is worth it. Pre-mixed curry powders provide one with standard blends of spices which will cause one’s curry to taste like it was brewed inside an insipid school cauldron. I suppose there must be interesting varieties out there, but one can only imagine that they are rather overpriced. One may serve this dish in any way one pleases; it is rather nice in a wrap, though if one was in a rather more traditional mood a naan would do quite nicely.

Indian Minced Beef with a Fresh Tomato Salad

Serves 3-4


• 400g minced beef

• 1 onion, diced

• 3 tsp of curry powder

• A generous handful of red split lentils

• A pint of stock, chicken, beef or lamb will do

• A handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered

• A handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped

• A fresh red chilli, finely chopped

• Seasoning

• Oil


1. Quickly toast the spices in a little oil, then add the onions and cook until they have become translucent. Add the minced beef and cook until browned, break it up as you go along. Add the stock and the lentils and boil at a rather high temperature until the lentils are tender and the mixture isn’t too wet. Serve in a wrap together with a few of the tomatoes, a little of the coriander and sprinkling of the fresh chilli – this will provide a final little kick.

Cost: This entire meal, including the wraps should cost no more than £4, which makes each portion a rather tidy £1. Now, to make use of what has become an informal British idiom, you can’t fay fairer than that.

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56 comments on “Indian Minced Beef with a Fresh Tomato Salad

  1. movita beaucoup
    October 24, 2011 at 11:36 am

    So, yesterday I read a comment on some blog somewhere about how photos of raw meat/poultry can’t be nice. And I was all like: what? That’s not true – it just has to be done right. And then you go and post a perfect example of a beautiful uncooked meat photo. Proving, once again, that I am right about everything. (And that you’ve got mad skillz.)

    • Bunny Eats Design
      October 25, 2011 at 3:21 am

      I think uncooked meat can look very beautiful. Sometimes, they were finished dishes. Carpaccio, tataki etc are great examples of beautiful raw meat.

      I guess it helps if it looks clean and the lighting not too severe…so it looks like food and doesn’t look like a massacre.

      • frugalfeeding
        October 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm

        It really does – but not chicken breasts.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      Silly commenter… I think un cooked meat looks lovely – except chicken breasts. Thanks for saying I have mad skillz 😀

  2. Meg (A Dash of Meg)
    October 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

    beautiful pictures and a beautiful recipe! :) Thank you for sharing 😀

  3. Aimee@clevermuffin
    October 24, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I’m going to be very sad if I can’t use the phrase “insipid school cauldron” at least one time this week. I’m also tempted to go to bad restaurants just so I can insist something tastes like it was made in one. This however, looks very yum. I am also a fan of the versatility of mince meat.

  4. Zoe
    October 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    This is right up my alley. I will be making this one soon enough!!
    I always see that beautiful wooden table in the photo: Love it!
    Thanks for visiting, too.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      I love the table – it’s a family heirloom.

  5. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    October 24, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    It’s like a taco, but better and I really like tacos!

  6. glutenfreezen
    October 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Mmmm..I’m looking at this at 4:30 in the morning. Wish I had it for breakfast, yum!

  7. countrywoodsmoke
    October 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Nice simple frugal meal, delicious!

  8. Errign
    October 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Got to love cheap, simple (with great flavor) food. Funny how our cooking skills improve once college is over :)

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2011 at 11:16 pm

      They kinda improved at, then soared after 😀

  9. Bluejellybeans
    October 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Great recipe FF! Once I manage to make my own curry powder following your recipe, I will definitely make this dish. It looks so delicious… Thanks for sharing.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2011 at 11:15 pm

      Why thank you. No problem whatsoever, I enjoy sharing.

  10. Dan McCullough
    October 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    This looks like a very simple but delicious recipe. I’m going to try it. Thanks for writing yor blog!

  11. chris
    October 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Why have I not tried this before? It’s so simple! Don’t know if I’d make my own curry powder though…

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      You know, I have no idea. Curry powder is so simple – I implore you.

  12. funnyloveblog
    October 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    FIRST you say I don’t cook my marinara for long enough, now you’re making me feel guilty for using store-bought curry paste. Butthead. :)

  13. Flip's Foodie Files
    October 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    “insipid school cauldron” FANTASTIC! Beautiful writing.

  14. Granny
    October 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Indeed, less is more! Very appetizing. Thank you.

  15. Shelvasha
    October 24, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Lovely! This looks so simple to make and very healthy. Definitely making this for lunch.

  16. candicepeak
    October 24, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    This looks great, but I’m thinking of using a beef substitute since I am a vegetarian. Any suggestions for a spice blend with soy crumbles?

    • frugalfeeding
      October 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm

      Hmm, well that sort of thing needs plenty of punch. Perhaps try including a few cardamom pods and a little more chilli.

  17. cookinginsens
    October 24, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I love this!

  18. Savory Simple
    October 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    How wonderful! I’ve been perusing for upcoming weeknight dinners and this looks right up my alley!

  19. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    October 24, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Indian mince – keema – is one of our favourite meals, and both frugal and easy! I do use a purchased keema spice blend – one from Pakistan, I think – some mixes are ok, really! It’s a case of finding the right one. :)

    My extended Malaysian family have never made their own curry powders, although they are very persnickity about the ones they buy. Mostly they have to come from my mother’s home town and have been made by a little old lady at the markets. :)

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm

      Yes I forgot what it was called for a moment. Well, as long as it is a good mix I shall forgive.

  20. karmadames
    October 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    That looks yummy!Can i repost it?

  21. Bunny Eats Design
    October 25, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I love spiced tomatoes. This dish looks seriously delicious.

  22. K. Ryan Henisey
    October 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Yum! Another recipe I’m excited to try. Your food looks fantastic.

  23. Arturo Féliz-Camilo
    October 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Ok, my mouth watered! that HAS to be a good sign!

  24. Megan
    October 25, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    That looks delicious and super easy! Awesome post!

  25. Wholly Hot Mama
    October 26, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Going to try this- I love curry!

  26. bethlivingsimply
    October 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    This looks delicious! Being American, I had to pull out my cell phone to use the conversion app (g to oz) because I learned metric 30+ years ago in school and don’t remember it. After following your blog for a while, I’ll be a pro at converting measurements! So 400g is about 10 1/2 oz. I would use a full pound (16 oz), as that’s typically how ground beef (what we call minced beef across the pond) is packaged here. Funny, I was scratching my head over “minced beef”, thinking I would have to take a slab of beef and finely dice up. Then I scrolled down and saw your photo and said “Ah Ha”! I’m eager to try making my own curry from your recipe, it sounds tasty.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2011 at 11:29 pm

      Haha – I don’t get all these Americanisms…

  27. Kathy
    October 27, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Love this dish! It’s like an Indian inspired taco. Definitely going to try this out.

    • frugalfeeding
      October 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

      Haha, I’d never thought of it like that.

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