Keema (minced meat, usually lamb or mutton) makes an interesting change to chunks of chicken or lamb in a curry or side dish, and can also be used to make kebabs and samosas. Pre-cooking the keema infuses it with flavour so it’s ready to put into a curry without needing a longer cooking time. Note the inclusion of a commercial spice paste which, if used, adds an interesting flavour layer.
This recipe makes about three portions suitable for using in curries, or for making kebabs. You can use also use beef mince as alternative to lamb or mutton.
This recipe is one of many in my award-winning books, Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1 and 2.
- 30ml Oil
- ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 10cm Cassia Bark
- A few Bay Leaves (Asian Tej Patta preferable, but European Bay will do)
- 3 Green Cardamom Pods, split open
- 2 tsp Ginger/Garlic Paste
- 1½ tsp Kashmiri Masala Paste (optional). In this recipe I use Patak’s brand, but you can use whichever you prefer
- 1 tsp dried Kasuri Methi
- 1 tsp Mix Powder
- 1 tsp Mild Madras Curry Powder
- ¼-½ tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Tomato Purée (double concentrated, undiluted)
- 500-600g Lamb Mince (Mutton/Beef may also be used)
- 350-400ml Boiling Water
- Add the oil to a frying pan on medium high heat.
- When hot, add the cumin seeds, cassia bark, and green cardamom. Fry for 30-45 seconds to infuse the oil. Stir frequently.
- Add the ginger/garlic paste, stirring frequently until the sizzling sound lessens, meaning most of the water content has evaporated.
- Next, add in the tomato purée, kasuri methi, mix powder, mild Madras curry powder, salt, and the optional Kashmiri masala paste.
- Fry for 30 seconds, stirring very frequently, ensuring even distribution of the spices in the pan. Add a little water if the mixture starts to dry out to prevent burning, and to allow enough time for the spices to cook properly.
- Add the minced meat, breaking up any clumps and mixing in well, stirring very often.
- Once the mince has browned add 400ml boiling water, turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the water has evaporated. Add more boiling water during cooking if necessary.
- Remove the cassia bark, Asian bay leaves, and the green cardamom.
- The keema is now ready. Use it as you wish to as the main ingredient for curries or stretch your imagination and consider using it as a samosa filling, a pie, or even spread on a pizza. It’s very versatile.
Keema Dopiaza Curry
- The recipe can be scaled up as required. Simply multiply each ingredient, but if scaled up you will probably need a wider frying pan.
- You can freeze the keema until needed. I put mine in freezer bags.
- The keema can be used in any desired curry, for example, keema dopiaza (see the photo above). Add it at the stage where you would normally add alternative pre-cooked meat.