Slow Cooker Madras Beef Curry

keto curry recipe from Mellissa Sevigny at I Breathe Im HungryI don’t know about you guys, but I love curries of all kinds.  Indian, Thai, even Caribbean style curries are some of my favorite dishes.

I’ve been planning to post a low carb beef curry recipe for awhile, and since I’m dairy free right now this seemed like a great time to finally do it!

I wanted to do a Madras style curry, but I also wanted to make it accessible with ingredients that can be found in the average grocery store.

So this is more an ode to a Madras curry rather than a replica, as it is lacking the shrimp paste or official Madras curry paste (both not easy to find unless you live near an Asian grocery store.) I do think the flavors are close though – and if not completely authentic, it’s still fantastically delicious!

A little sweet, comfortingly spicy, and with a punch of coconut – this keto friendly beef curry recipe is really satisfying.  I served it over the Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice that I posted the other day and it was phenomenal!  The cashews add some nice texture, and I’m always a fan of cilantro so that was definitely not optional for me.  I would happily pay at a restaurant to eat this dish, but now I don’t have to – and you don’t either!

Keto slow cooker curry recipe from Mellissa Sevigny at I Breathe Im Hungry

Because it’s a slow cooker recipe you don’t even have to stand over a hot stove to make this.  In fact I didn’t even sear the meat – just threw everything in there raw and let it go to town.  After it was cooked I did add some more curry paste to brighten up the flavor, but it only took a few extra minutes and the results were well worth it!

If you’re a fan of curry, or simply want to change up your menu a little, this recipe is going to hit the spot!  Hope Know you guys will love it!  (BTW I’m aware of the Pinterest issue and working with a developer to get it fixed ASAP!)

Slow Cooker Beef Curry – Low Carb and Gluten Free

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Size: Approximately 3/4 cup shredded meat and sauce

A sweet, spicy, and comforting beef curry made in the slow cooker and served with cashews and cilantro.


  • 2.5 lb Chuck Roast
  • 6 Tbsp Coconut Milk Powder (see note at bottom of post)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp Red Curry Paste see photo
  • 5 cardamom pods, cracked see photo
  • 2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce see photo
  • 1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 2 Tbsp dried thai chilis (or fresh red chilis)
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar substitute
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • To Serve:
  • 2 Tbsp coconut milk powder
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar substitute
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  • Place the raw beef in a large slow cooker. Add the 6 Tbsp coconut milk, water, 3 Tbsp red curry paste, fish sauce, cardamom pods, onion flakes, chilis, 1 Tbsp sweetener, cumin, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Cover and cook on high for about 5 hours (or low for 8). Just before serving, scoop out the meat to another dish. Then whisk into the sauce the 2 Tbsp coconut milk powder, 1 Tbsp curry paste, 2 Tbsp sweetener, and 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (if using). Break the meat into pieces and stir into the sauce, along with the chopped cashews. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving. Recommended to serve over the Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice for a complete meal.


Approximate nutrition info per serving: 351 calories, 22g fat, 5g net carbs, 26g protein

Low Carb Recipe for Beef Curry From I Breathe Im Hungry

Recipe Notes:  You’ll notice that this recipe calls for unsweetened coconut milk powder (as did the Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice.)  You can find it dirt cheap at Asian or Indian markets, or possibly at Whole Foods, and definitely online (though it will cost you a little more).

People have been asking me if they can just use coconut cream in these recipes, and yes, you can. BUT…here’s what I like about the coconut milk powder:  It doesn’t spoil, it can be used in coffee, smoothies, baked goods, sauces, etc., it doesn’t have that weird “can taste” that coconut milk sometimes has, it doesn’t add extra liquid to your recipes, and it has a very concentrated coconut flavor for a small amount of calories and carbs.  Those are just a few of the many things I like about the powdered coconut milk vs. the cans.  I also love that you can make coconut milk OR coconut cream – all from the same powder, depending on how much you add.

Some people are concerned about the fact that most (if not all) of the brands contain a small amount of maltodextrin, which is a starch.  In my opinion, as long as you don’t go hog wild with it, and be sure to measure and count the carbs in it like everything else, it’s not going to be an issue.  The concentrated coconut flavor and creamy texture this product gives is well worth it to me.

In fact, I just did a nutrition info test on the brand of powder I’m currently using (Renuka – similar to this brand) vs. Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Milk, and here’s how it breaks down as used in this recipe:

2 cups Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Milk:  840 calories, 84g fat, 18g net carbs, 3g protein

2 cups reconstituted from 6 Tbsp Renuka powder:  282 calories, 24g fat, 9g net carbs, 2g protein

That’s quite a difference my friends – obviously the maltodextrin isn’t giving you more carbs than the canned stuff would, in fact it’s much less!  And in my opinion, the powder actually makes a better flavored product than what you buy in the can.  Like it even thicker?  Add another Tablespoon of powder for a mere 47 calories, 4g fat, 1.5g net carbs, 0g protein.

Anyhoo – use the canned stuff if it’s what you have, but don’t be afraid of the coconut milk powder! It’s my new favorite ingredient and I’ll be using it a lot in the coming weeks as I continue to keto on dairy free!

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  1. Malainie says

    Also, I have a roast that is 3 lbs. 12 oz. Would I need to make more sauce? Thanks. This recipe looks wonderful!

    • says

      You may need to add another 1/2 cup of coconut milk and another Tablespoon or two of curry paste at the end – you’ll just have to play that by ear. Should work find though!

  2. Eric says

    Thanks for the nutritional info on the coconut milk powder. I have not had any issues with weird tasted in the canned stuff, and as far as I know the canned never goes bad, but can see the convenience of the dried.

    I love curries, and I can’t wait to try this one. Just have to collect the ingredients.

    • says

      Hope you like it Eric! And just to be clear (and maybe this only happens to me) when I say the canned stuff goes bad I mean I always open a can, use whatever my recipe calls for and then put it in a container in the fridge – only to toss it when I find it jammed in the back behind the bacon a week or two later! :) This way I just make what I need from the powder and never have leftover that gets tossed!

      • Malainie says

        I agree. It’s that partially used can I always end up throwing away. The powder form of it will be perfect!

  3. Susan says

    This was on deck for lunches this week, served with the cauliflower rice for me and reg rice for the hubs. It was spot on and the powdered coconut milk really does make all the difference in the world! I now put it on/in everything.

    One of the docs I work with is Indian and from Madras. He loved the smell and wished he wasn’t vegetarian so he could have a taste!

    Now to figure out what to do with the rest of my huge bag of cardamom pods…..

    • says

      Thanks for letting me know Susan – I’m thrilled that your Indian colleague thought it smelled great! And yes, the coconut milk powder works in TONS of things! Love it! Do a recipe search for cardamom and you’ll find all kinds of great uses for it – I love it’s distinct flavor and aroma! I’ll be posting more recipes using Cardamom in the coming weeks so stay tuned! Meanwhile, you can use some of them in these Pork Vindaloo Meatballs – one of my absolute favorites!

  4. Malainie says

    This was wonderful! I made a mango coleslaw with lime vinaigrette and had leftovers as a taco with the coleslaw. I did cut the Thai chiles back to one Tablespoon and it was still plenty spicy! Loved the smell as it was cooking, too! Great job, Melissa!

  5. kely mac says

    here’s another great way to use cardamom pods. my dad spent a number of years living/working in the middle east. he loves to make coffee like they often serve there: just drop a few pods in the basket with your coffee grounds before brewing. yum!

  6. says

    I’ve made it twice now and I’ll be making again and again, forever until I die. I love curry, it’s my favorite meal! But I don’t like spicy, so I leave out the chilies, and I end up with this rich and slightly sweet curry. I used coconut milk powder too!
    Mmm so good!

  7. Rachel L. says

    I am so excited to try this recipe! It’s supposed to be down in the 40s tomorrow night (In ATLANTA! IN OCTOBER!) and I’m hoping the meals I’ve planned for the week will be comforting and just the right amount of warm, but also good if the temp jumps back up!

  8. Sierra says

    I am on a low carb diet right now. And being half Thai I miss my soul foods. Especially rice and curry. This is absolutely perfect. although this fish sauce you use is not authentic. I can recommend you easy to find delicious fish sauces I grew up using. Happy cooking and thank you for this recipe!

  9. Dione Anthony says


    If I was to cook this in a dutch oven instead of a slow cooker, would I need to brown the meat first?

  10. Stefanie says

    Hi Mellissa! I’m not a fan of the Thai Kitchen curry paste but I have some Patak – do you happen to have any idea whether they’re similar in flavor intensity or whether I’d need to use more/less of the Patak?

  11. Hollie says

    I’m attempting to make some freezer meals to have at hand when my day catches up with me – which seems like everyday! Do you think this would hold up well in the freezer (minus the cauliflower rice)?


  1. […] Start by placing the raw beef in the base of the cooker, and add the ingredients (which include yummy components like coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, nutmeg, and more) on top. Cover and set the crockpot for eight hours on low. Before serving, separate the meat from the broth and whisk in curry powder, coconut milk powder and artificial sweeteners to enhance flavor. Serve over cauliflower rice. (5) […]

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