Kheema can best be described as a spiced minced meat dish. The term “Kheema” itself refers to minced or finely chopped. I don’t remember my mother making Kheema often when I was growing up but on the rare occasion when she did, I remember going to Russell Market in Bangalore with my Dad. He would select a leg of goat that the butcher would then proceed to debone and mince with a huge cleaver. An upturned log served as the base, the surface scarred with years of use. The minced meat would tend to be more coarse than the ones available in the super market today which are ground by industrial strength meat grinders. We would eat the kheema with hot rotis. While meat kheema was rare, my mother made the same dish with Soy Nutrella, a popular high protein substitute for meat more frequently. The taste was not the same as meat but we lapped it up nevertheless! This recipe is based loosely on what I remember from those days.
- Minced lamb (or minced meat of your choice) - 1 lb
- Onions - 2 medium, diced
- Tomato - 1 medium, diced
- Potato - 1 medium
- Peas - 1/2 cup
- Cilantro leaves - 1 small bunch, chopped and divided
- Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
- Kashmiri chilli powder - 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
- Green chillies - 4 to 6 (depending on your spice level)
- Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
- Oil - 3 tbsp
- Salt to taste
Boil the potato till it is is three fourth done, peel and cube.
Heat oil in a pan, add the onions and fry till light brown.
Slit the green chillies and add them to the pan along with the ginger garlic paste.
Fry for a few minutes till the ginger-garlic paste loses its raw smell.
Add the red chilli and turmeric powder and fry for a minute.
Put in the chopped tomatoes and fry till pulpy.
Stir in the green peas and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the minced lamb and cubed potatoes and mix well.
Stir the mixture well and cook on medium heat till the lamb loses its pink color.
Add part of the chopped Cilantro, garam masala powder and salt to taste.
Cook till the meat turns brown and is cooked well (approximately 20 - 25 minutes from the point the meat was added to the pan).
Garnish with the remaining cilantro.
Serve hot with rotis, bread or rice of your choice.
The kheema can also be used as a stuffing with puffed pastry sheets to make minced meat puffs (kheema puff).