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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Atlas

The Simple Indian Dish Everyone Should Know

Keema Matar is my go-to lazy meal and probably the one I make the most because it’s so simple and unbelievably cheap. This recipe is perfect for beginners as it essentially boils down to throw stuff in a pan & stir and as you keep your spice cabinet stocked, this recipe only has 8 ingredients and can be simplified further. Instead of using garlic and ginger just get some garlic-ginger paste, if you don’t like spicy food then reduce the number of chillies and you can skip the peas altogether. It doesn’t have a lot in it but it has one hell of a flavour punch. I’ll often replace the ground beef with lamb, which comes out even better but costs a bit more. I will add though, do NOT skip the squeeze of lemon at the end. It makes all the difference.





1/2 onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, grated 1-inch piece of ginger, grated 3 green chiles 2 tomatoes 500g ground beef or lamb Spritz of lemon juice 200 g Frozen Peas

​1 tsp Mustard seeds 1 tsp Cumin seeds 10 black peppercorns 2 cloves 1 bay leaf 1 tsp hot chilli powder 1 tsp Ground turmeric 1/2 tsp Ground garam masala 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder



  1. Preheat a pan or wok to medium-high heat.

  2. Prepare your basmati rice in your preferred method, I prefer to make it myself in a rice cooker however packet rice can do the job.

  3. Medium dice the onions and finely dice your chillies. Blend your garlic and ginger together in a pestle and mortar or blender to make a garlic ginger paste. Fine dice your tomatoes, the smaller the better, you want these to melt into the sauce.

  4. Add a few tablespoons of water to your minced beef and mash it up until smooth. This is because traditionally keema isn’t as chunky as ground beef, typically a smaller grain consistency. Doing this just gives the keema a smoother texture when cooked.

  5. Toast your cumin seeds, mustard seeds & peppercorns for 20 seconds in a dry pan then add oil (or ghee) and your onions, chillies & garlic ginger paste and fry until lightly golden and your room is smelling wonderful.

  6. Add the rest of the spices and the tomatoes and fry for another 5 minutes.

  7. Add your minced beef to the pan making sure to break it up as much as possible and fry for 10-15 minutes or until the water evaporates. Try only stirring the beef occasionally to get good browning. Colour means flavour!!

  8. Once the beef is browned all over, and there is little to no liquid left add your peas and stir into to defrost. Leave to cook the peas through for 3 minutes.

  9. Squeeze a wedge (or about 1 tsp) of lemon juice into the keema and mix in. Serve up with rice or optionally some chapatis.

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