Today we are tackling keema. It is a lovely flavored ground meat, onion and pea mixture that is super easy to pull together. If you can brown hamburger, you can make this. It is a total weeknight dish since all you chop is an onion and you make this all in one dish in less than 20 min. I serve with with parathas and another vegetable. Last week we had Arvind’s favorite baked “fried” eggplant. But that is a recipe for another day.
Usually keema is made with ground lamb. If that is not something you can get easily or enjoy, substitute it out for other ground meats. I made it with turkey recently to keep it lean. You might find that chicken or turkey take a little more seasoning because the meat is a little blander, whereas lamb, hamburger or meatloaf mix have a little more umphf to them.
Next week I will be covering Bengali egg rolls. Unlike the Chinese food of the same name, these actually have eggs in them. And you can use your leftover keema in your egg rolls.
For those of you who love kabobs, we’ll cover keema kabobs later.
My apologies that I don’t have pictures of the final dish today. My photographer left for India today and has all sorts of pictures in his camera. I will edit this later to include them, so check back later!
1 large onion, small dice
1 T ginger garlic paste (or ½ T minced garlic and ½ T minced ginger)
½-1 T keema seasoning (see picture)
1 pound ground lamb (or ground turkey, ground chicken, hamburger, pork or meatloaf mix)
1/2-1 c water
2 c frozen peas, optional
1 T cornstarch mixed into 3 T water, optional
Heat oil in a skillet and mix in onions. Cook until they are just starting to brown. Pull the onions aside to make a small hole in the lowest part of your skillet. (On my stove, it is off to the side because of my crooked house). Add a pinch more oil, then add in the ginger garlic paste. Mash the paste with a wooden spoon to get as much of it touching the skillet as possible. Let the paste heat up a pinch. Mix into onions. Create a new free spot and add a pinch of oil. Add in the keema mix. You can go easy on this and add more later if you don’t add enough. It can get spicy if you do a ton, so go light to start and you can always add more later. Mix the keema spices and oil and let heat until you can smell the spices heating up. Then mix into the onions. Add in the ground meat. Break up the meat with wood spoon to get small pieces, about the size of peas. Brown the meat.
You can stop here if the meat is cooked all the way through. Particularly with lamb, you’ll probably want to keep going because the meat will get more tender with more cooking. Just test the dish to make sure you like how it tastes. If it is too bland, add in more keema seasoning.
Add the water and cover. Cook for 5 min. Mix in peas and cover up again. Cook for 5 more minutes. Take the cover off of the pan. Check to see if everything is cooked well. If it is saucy with a thin sauce, mix up the cornstarch/water mixture and add that in as well. The sauce will thicken up. If it isn’t as thick as you’d like, add another round of cornstarch/water. It should be the consistency of taco meat. Taste it and see if you like how it tastes. If it is too bland, add more keema spices.
Serve with parathas. Keep the leftovers for egg rolls (coming next week).
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