Keema Matar is a very versatile and simple dish. Depending on the region in India, or even the family, the recipe tends to vary. This one is similar to the one my mother used to make before she practically gave up eating meat. No recipe of mine escapes a bit of minimalist tinkering. Instead of fresh tomatoes, I have used tomato paste to save on the time needed to reduce and caramelize the tomatoes. I have also done away with the mandatory garlic and ginger which is very much needed if you are going to make this dish with ground lamb, maybe even chicken or turkey. Eat this with flat bread, to roll into a tortilla, or as a topping on some bread or even pizza. Or you could just eat it with some rice. —The Minimalist Indian
shelled peas (frozen is fine)
a small pieces
1 and 1/2 tablespoons
hot paprika/cayenne (optional)
salt or to taste
- Heat oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.
- Crack cardamom and cinnamon in a mortar and pestle and add to oil.
- Fry till fragrant. Add the onions and fry till lightly browned.
- Make a slurry of the spice powders and add along with the tomato paste.
- Lower heat and saute until oil separates or alternately, the mixture comes together in a kind of lump and gets a shiny surface. Regardless of how weird that sounds or looks, do not cut short this step as this is central to the flavor. Add a spoon of oil if things start to stick to the bottom.
- Add the meat and mix well. Stir fry until the meat is brown. Add the peas, salt and half a cup of water. Saute on low heat until the meat is cooked through and everything is thoroughly mixed up. Give it about five minutes for the flavors to marry. Remove from heat.
- This is a great make-ahead dish. Simply heat up in the microwave or add a splash of water and gently reheat on the stove-top.