Beef/ Curry/ Pakistani Food Recipes

EASY Pakistani Aloo Gosht or Meat and Potato Curry

December 9, 2015 (Last Updated: September 4, 2020)

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I think Aloo Gosht is the quintessential Pakistani dish, the kind that doesn’t find it’s way onto many restaurant menus, but is a staple in every home. Be it with Goat meat or Beef, bone in or boneless, every family has their version of aloo gosht and it seems to me that they are all delicious.

My Nanna (maternal grandmother) is the undisputed champion of making aloo gosht. Her salan is light and almost broth like and the flavor is so utterly beautiful that us boneless meat eaters would forgive her those hunks of bones with smallish pieces of meat. I would love to tell you that this is her recipe, but alas it is not. None of her four daughters make this particular salan/curry like she does and I can only hope to crack the code one day. For now I offer you an extremely tasty second: my mothers. Or rather, my version of my mothers, the cooking method is my sister in laws.

Aalu Gosht or Beef and Potato Curry

I do apologise for the lacklustre photos, this Pakistani version of meat and potatoes isn’t quite ready for it’s close up, but with the cold months upon us it seemed a little selfish not to share the recipe for one of the most comforting dishes of all time. 

Missing something?

Aloo gosht aficionados will note that I don’t use whole garam masala i.e. cloves, peppers etc. I find that while the whole spices add a depth to the salan that I don’t really miss them when I go without. If you find you miss it then simply add an inch of cinnamon, 2-3 cloves, 4-6 whole black peppers and a 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds in with the meat mixture. For those of you with chilli-phobic kids like my older one this dish is easy to edit. Just put less red chilli powder in the beginning, then pull out some meat and curries before adding in the green chillies at the end.

Aalu Gosht or Beef and Potato Curry

3.93 from 13 votes
Aloo Gosht
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

The quintessential Pakistani meat and potato curry 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Pakistani
Keyword: Aaloo Gosht
Servings: 4
Author: Sarah - Flour & Spice
  • 1 lb boneless beef chunks or upto 2lbs bone in meat (use your discretion here)
  • 2 roughly diced medium onions
  • 1 heaped spoon crushed garlic
  • 1 heaped spoon crushed ginger
  • 1 - 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt can adjust later
  • 2 to matoes finely diced
  • 2 potatos halved lengthwise and cut horizontally into wedges
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder or black pepper
  • handful of cilantro
  • green chillies diced to taste
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Put the beef chunks, onion, garlic, ginger, red chilli powder, and salt into a pot with two cups of very hot water. Mix. 

  2. Cover the pot with a lid and bring the mixture to a boil, once it is boiling then bring it to a simmer and let it cook (covered) for 45 minutes to an hour or however long it takes for your beef to get tender. Instant Pot: Manual 20 minutes then quick release

  3. Once the beef is tender, then crank up the heat to evaporate the water and once the spice paste/masala starts to stick add a generous lug of oil and saute the masala until the oil rises above it’s surface. 

  4. Then in go the tomatoes, cook until the oil rises above the surface of the masala. 

  5. Now add in your cup of water, the potato wedges and once again bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

  6. Now add more water if needed and the garam masala, cook for two minutes and adjust seasoning. 

  7. Switch off the stove and add some bright fresh cilantro and green chillies - you can leave these whole, slice them lengthwise or finely chop them. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and dig in with some chapati (flatbread) or naan.

Recipe Notes

Classically you would saute the onions, ginger, garlic first in a little oil. Then you'd add the spices, cook for a minute and add the meat cubes to brown them a little before tenderizing the meat. This produces better flavour but it requires more time.

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  • Reply
    December 10, 2015 at

    I saw it on Instagram and had to check it out:) looks delish! Will try it!

    • Reply
      December 13, 2015 at

      Thanks so much! Really hope you do!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2015 at

    I had aalu gosht for dinner tonight! This recipe is very different from the way I cook. Your salan looks really gorgeous! I will try this recipe next time!

    • Reply
      December 13, 2015 at

      Thanks Vajeea! This is very different than how my mom used to cook it but I took my sister in laws technique and my mothers masala and it works well. Let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2015 at

    Hey .. this is awesome .. I follow the same process but also add some coriander powder … what do you reckon? .. is dhaniya powder not needed here? Thanks, Nay (I guess you would know me from Insta)

    • Reply
      December 14, 2015 at

      Hi!!! Glad to see you here! I use dhania powder sometimes, it has a smokiness to it. But most of the time I skip it since that is how my mother makes it. My in laws use dhania powder though and it is yum

      • Reply
        Amna Khwaja
        April 9, 2020 at

        Tried this and absolutely loved it. I followed your recipe notes and browned the onion and ginger garlic and then the meat and spices first, which I think created even better flavour. It was amazing. And my standards for Aaloo gosht are quite high:)

        • Reply

          April 9, 2020 at

          I am SO happy to hear that Amna! Yes it’s absolutely it’s best when you get color on your meat and your onions sauteed first. Thank you for telling me!!!!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2016 at

    Hello…is the “heaped spoon” for the crushed garlic/ginger a teaspoon or tablespoon? Love these traditional recipes and please keep them coming!

    • Reply
      January 4, 2016 at

      If you’re a baker then it’s a tablespoon 😉 If not then it’s the smaller spoon in your kitchen drawer. Please do let me know how it goes! I have a few other desi recipes coming up – will try and post them soon!

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    January 16, 2018 at

    Hello. If I want to make this with chicken. How would I adjust?

    • Reply
      January 16, 2018 at

      Hi! for chicken I would do a few things differently
      1.) Cook the diced onion and some whole spices (4-5 black peppers, 2-3 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick) in a little oil until the onion pieces edges start to turn golden brown
      2.) Once that happens add the garlic ginger, saute, add the salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and a half tsp of coriander powder. Saute for another 2 minutes.
      3.) Add the tomatoes (finely chopped) and cook until the masala is ‘bhunn’ ie the oil rises to the top and it is a cohesive paste
      4.) Add the chicken pieces and cook to seal i.e. so they are white on the outside
      5.) Put in about a cup of hot water if using boneless, half if using in bone in, bring it to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
      6.) Add the potatoes, simmer until done. The chicken should be tender
      7.) Finish as described in the beef recipe
      Hope this works well for you – do keep me posted!

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    September 27, 2018 at

    Hi, if I used a pressure cooker how long do I cook the beef for?

    • Reply
      October 1, 2018 at

      Hi Tina!! So so sorry for not seeing this earlier. Honestly it varies from pressure cooker to pressure cooker. I am in Toronto and I find the meat is a bit tough so I used to go for 18-20 minutes, but I know in some countries that’ll make it a paste!

  • Reply
    Rebia Karim
    October 12, 2018 at

    HI, would I be able to cook this in the Instapot ?


    • Reply
      October 12, 2018 at

      Yes! Just put it for pressure in the IP, it takes me 18 minutes on manual (quick release) to get tender botis, then another 3 (i think) for the potatoes!

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    February 21, 2019 at

    Hi Sarah! Quick question- do you find that the beef retains any of its gosht “smell” if you don’t bhoon with the onions and masala before adding the water?

    Thanks! can’t wait to try the recipe- my husband is a big aloo gosht fan but i’m always too intimidated by cooking gosht

    • Reply
      February 21, 2019 at

      Hi Fariha!!! I hear you – making gosht can seem so intimidating. In terms of your question I find beef (vs mutton) doesn’t have much of a smell, but I also know everyones taste buds are a little different. If it is your first time making it then go ahead and saute the onions till translucent, add adrak, lehsan,spices, saute a minute then add the meat chunks and brown them a little. Then add water and cook till tender. The reason I suggest the extra step for your first time if you are concerned about the smell is that it is so immensely gratifying to get it spot on the first time and not question yourself! Do keep me posted on how it turns out!

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  • Reply
    Zulekha Ahmed
    September 12, 2020 at

    Omg thankyou so much for this recipe!! This was one dish I’ve been wanting to make right since I’ve been married (4years now). Your recipe is hassle free, easy and tastes amazing!!! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!!!! ❤️

    • Reply
      September 14, 2020 at

      Zulekha!!! thank you so so much for your kind words! I keep toying with “updating” it with the more intensive version, but your comment reminds me that for most of us this approach works!

    Penny for your thoughts?