The main curry I grew up with was made with ground meat, or kheema. While I most enjoy vegetarian curries now, this quick recipe for kheema curry gives me nice feels of somewhat more ‘innocent’ times and also provides an iron and vitamin B12 boost.
The version I had at home was made using jarred paste or packaged spice blends for those quick family dinners, and there is nothing wrong with that. Here I have done it up using dried spices and herbs since I already have them all in my kitchen. If you are in a similar boat as mine, this qualifies as a pantry meal.
Green Kheema Curry
Adapted from Sailu’s Kitchen
Time: 1 hour
- 3 ripe tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 medium onions, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp minced/grated ginger
- 5 curry leaves (I used dried leaves)
- 3 green chili peppers, diced
(Remove the seeds if you don’t want it too hot.)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 400 g ground meat (lamb or lean beef are great for this)
- 250 ml water
- 150 g frozen peas, thawed in warm water and drained
- a nice handful of cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped
- salt, to taste
- Using a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes (skin, seeds, everything) until they form a smooth-ish paste. Set aside.
- In a large pan or wok over medium-high heat, fry cumin seeds in oil for 20 seconds or so to let the seeds crack and brown.
- Add the onions and stir-fry until onions are translucent. Then add garlic, ginger, curry leaves, and green chili peppers, and continue to fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and fenugreek. Mix well until spices coat all the aromatics and toast slightly, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the meat and break it up in the pan. Keep stir-frying until meat is cooked.
- Stir in the tomato puree until everything is well-mixed into a chunky paste. Then stir in water to create a sauce. Let the curry come up to a gentle boil then turn the heat down to medium-low. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Fold the peas and cilantro into the curry then let simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add salt to taste. I added almost 1 tsp salt.
- Serve kheema curry with a starch such as rice, naan, or roti.