Classic Keema Matar

It really does feel like forever since I’ve sat down to write up a recipe. I’ve had a close family wedding and so many family gatherings in the space of the last two weeks, that I feel like I need time to myself to recover and get back into food blogging mode! I know many of you have been waiting for me to share this Classic Keema Matar recipe, I’m pleased to say I’ve finally sat down to write it up for you good folk.

Keema/Kima, as we call it in Bengali, is a staple curry in many Bangladeshi and Pakistani households. This particular version, Classic Keema Matar (mince with peas) is one of two favourites in my own house, the other being Aloo Keema (mince with potatoes). Both curries can be made following this recipe, simply replace the peas with potatoes.

Growing up keema (mince) was cooked often in our house, it was one of my second eldest brother’s most favourite things to eat and in fact, still is. He hated lamb/mutton meat, but strangely enough loved eating the mince (I guess it had something to do with the texture of the cut meat), so my mum lovingly prepared this dish for him, which is why Classic Keema Matar was so popular whilst growing up.

I prepare my mince in different ways when I cook; sometimes I brown the mince off first and then add onions, garlic, tomatoes etc. (this is the method I use when I don’t want to add extra oil to the mince, often for my lasagnes) but in this recipe I have cooked off the onions, ginger and garlic in oil first and then added the mince. It’s important to cook the mince uncovered when adding it to the onions like this, to stop it from clumping together. There really is no right or wrong way, you can choose to cook it whichever way you prefer, as long as the end dish tastes good.

You can use either mutton or lamb mince for this dish, I usually use mutton because that’s normally what I have at home. There is a slight difference in taste, mutton usually has a strong ‘meaty’ or ‘gamey’ taste, to avoid this taste my mum used to boil her mince beforehand and then cook it. I’m just too lazy for that, so don’t bother but you may do so if you want to, just make sure you add a little extra oil, as the boiling process will eliminate the natural fat from the mince itself.

I don’t normally, but on this particular occasion decided to add a couple of star anise petals, because I wanted to give the dish a unique aroma. You can choose to leave them out if you’re not keen on the subtle aniseed taste they add to dishes.

If you’ve followed any of my other recipes you’ll know I’m a BIG FAN of fenugreek (methi) seeds/leaves and adore adding it to my meat and chicken dishes, I even use it in a special fish curry I cook. Adding dried fenugreek leaves gives meat dishes a superior taste in my opinion, it just makes everything BETTER somehow! If you are able to get hold of dried fenugreek leaves, use them for this recipe.

You can follow this recipe and tweak it to give you many different variations; try adding peas and potatoes together, or add sliced peppers or even canned chick peas. If you want to be really daring, try adding a whole scotch bonnet pepper for a fiery kick! How about some (s)hatkora (citrus macroptera) if you like this? You can finely slice a few pieces and add that to the curry too to give it a Sylheti twist!

I’m hoping for lots of photos of this dish to be sent in because I have had a lot of requests for the recipe on my Instagram account, don’t forget to tag me when you upload your photos to your accounts. Here’s hoping this Classic Keema Matar becomes another favourite with you all!

Serves 8 – 10

You will need: for Classic Keema Matar

1kg mutton mince
150ml oil
4 onions
4 bay leaves
4 cardamom
3 – 4 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise petals
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp garlic
1.5 – 2 tsp salt (adjust to your preference)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1.5 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp mixed curry powder
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi leaves)
1 pint of water (for the final boil)
1 cup of frozen peas

Method:

Keema Matar

Start by peeling slicing 4 medium sized onions.

Keema Matar

In a saucepan, heat 150ml of oil.

Once the oil is hot add all the whole spices; 4 bay leaves, 4 cardamom pods, 3 – 4 cinnamon sticks and 2 star anise petals.

Once the spices have released their aromas add the sliced onions, 2 tsp of minced garlic, 2 tsp of minced ginger….

Keema Matar

….and 1.5 – 2 tsp of salt.

Give all the ingredients a good mix, cover the saucepan and leave to cook over a low – medium flame for about 8 – 10 minutes, till the onions become translucent and golden in colour.

Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the mince.

Keema Matar

Cook the mince over a high heat, stirring continuously to prevent clumps forming.

Once the mince looks brown all over (top right photo), cover the saucepan again and let it cook for 5 – 8 minutes.

The mince may look dry at this stage, that’s fine as we are going to be adding ground spices and don’t want too much liquid in the pan, to allow the spices to fry properly.

Keema Matar

Add 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1.5 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1.5 tsp cumin powder….

Keema Matar

….2 tsp mixed curry powder and 1 tbsp of dried fenugreek leaves.

Mix the spices and allow to fry for a 8 – 10 minutes over a medium flame. This will not only help the spices to release their taste/aroma, it will also help any large bits of onion to break down further.

Keema Matar

After this time is up, add water for the final boil. I added 1 pint of cold water, however if you like your curry gravy to be very loose, you may add more than this.

Bring the curry to a boil and add 1 cup of frozen peas just as the curry reaches boiling point.

Allow the curry to boil for 8 – 10 minutes over a high heat, then simmer gently for 5 more minutes. The Keema Matar is done when the peas are cooked and the gravy has thickened a little.

Classic Keema Matar

You may garnish the curry with coriander leaves or leave it plain.

Serve the keema matar with plain basmati or how about some Jeera rice? Alternatively, make some chapatis or naans to go with it!

4.3 from 3 reviews
Classic Keema matar
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 - 10
Ingredients
  • 1kg mutton mince
  • 150ml oil
  • 4 onions
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cardamom
  • 3 - 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise petals
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1.5 - 2 tsp salt (adjust to your preference)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1.5 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp mixed curry powder
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi leaves)
  • 1 pint of water (for the final boil)
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
Method
  1. Start by peeling slicing 4 medium sized onions.
  2. In a saucepan, heat 150ml of oil.
  3. Once the oil is hot add all the whole spices; 4 bay leaves, 4 cardamom pods, 3 - 4 cinnamon sticks and 2 star anise petals.
  4. Once the spices have released their aromas add the sliced onions, 2 tsp of minced garlic, 2 tsp of minced ginger....
  5. and 1.5 - 2 tsp of salt.
  6. Give all the ingredients a good mix, cover the saucepan and leave to cook over a low - medium flame for about 8 - 10 minutes, till the onions become translucent and golden in colour.
  7. Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the mince.
  8. Cook the mince over a high heat, stirring continuously to prevent clumps forming.
  9. Once the mince looks brown all over (top right photo), cover the saucepan again and let it cook for 5 - 8 minutes.
  10. The mince may look dry at this stage, that's fine as we are going to be adding ground spices and don't want too much liquid in the pan, to allow the spices to fry properly.
  11. Add 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1.5 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1.5 tsp cumin powder....
  12. tsp mixed curry powder and 1 tbsp of dried fenugreek leaves.
  13. Mix the spices and allow to fry for a 8 - 10 minutes over a medium flame. This will not only help the spices to release their taste/aroma, it will also help any large bits of onion to break down further.
  14. After this time is up, add water for the final boil. I added 1 pint of cold water, however if you like your curry gravy to be very loose, you may add more than this.
  15. Bring the curry to a boil and add 1 cup of frozen peas just as the curry reaches boiling point.
  16. Allow the curry to boil for 8 - 10 minutes over a high heat, then simmer gently for 5 more minutes. The Keema Matar is done when the peas are cooked and the gravy has thickened a little.
  17. You may garnish the curry with coriander leaves or leave it plain.
  18. Serve the keema matar with plain basmati or how about some jeera rice? Alternatively, make some chapattis or naans to go with it!

If you like the recipe please share with friends and family, also follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Questions? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook.

 

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Comments 12

  1. A
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I loved it. X

    5 November, 2017
  2. Pooja
    Reply

    Lovely recipe.. want to try it! Just one question do you wash the kheema i tried it but then it released a lot of water while cooking.

    26 October, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      No need to wash the Keema. x

      26 October, 2017
  3. Amina Hossain
    Reply

    Love this dish but I’ve never cooked it myself! just wondering though how do I wash the keema?

    9 September, 2017
    • Andrew lai
      Reply

      Thanks, beautiful and detailed.

      25 October, 2017
      • afelia’s kitchen
        Reply

        You’re welcome, I hope you enjoyed it. 🙂

        25 October, 2017
  4. Duli
    Reply

    Hello, thanks for the recipe 🙂 it’s hard to find mutton or lamb locally. Do you think beef mince would work for this recipe?

    7 August, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      Hi, yes I think it would work just as well as mutton and lamb. Let me know how you get on. 🙂

      8 August, 2017
  5. Masuma
    Reply

    Thank you soooo much for this recipe. It was super easy to follow and the flavours were spot on! Everybody loved the dish and it was really easy and quick to make 🙂 i love trying out your recipes x thank you xx

    2 August, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      You’re welcome Masuma, glad you found it quick, easy and tasty, what more can I ask for? 🙂 xx

      29 August, 2017
  6. Leena
    Reply

    Hi afelia….thanks so.much for this recipe!!

    Will try it out asap…just to make sure pls….you have 2 tsp of garlic written out twice and 2 tsp of ginger written out twice too.

    Is this a typo or have I not read the method properly and missed out where the 2nd lot of ginger n garlic are added?

    29 July, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      Hi, I hope you enjoy the recipe. Just to clarify that was a typing error, I have amended the recipe to include the right amounts. Thank you for pointing this out. 🙂 xx

      29 July, 2017

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