Keema is a ground meat curry made with ground beef or lamb. This dish has many parallels with chili. This recipe comes from Maya Kaimal MacMillan’s book, Curried Favors, page 139. We have found partially thawing, then draining the peas before adding to the dish reduces the chances for the keema to be watery.


2 cups thinly sliced onion

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp minced ginger

1½ lbs. very lean ground beef or lamb

6 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp ground turmeric

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1-2 Thai, serrano, or jalapeno chilies, split lengthwise and seeds removed

2 tsp salt

2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned, drained

1 cup water

1 cup frozen peas

1 tsp lemon juice

1. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, fry onion in oil until edges are nicely browned. Add garlic and ginger and stir 2 minutes, or until onion turns medium brown. Add ground meat and fry until it browns, stirring to completely break up lumps.

2. Stir in spices, green chilies, and salt until well blended. Add  potatoes, tomatoes, and water; bring to boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

3. Add peas and cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes. Mixture should be neither dry nor watery. If it seems dry, add a little water; if it seems watery, continue cooking with the lid off.

4. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat. Taste for salt.

Preparation time is about 1 hour.

Serves 6-8.

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