Keema Matar

A dish more people should know about. An easy and delicious upgrade to all the other ground meat recipes. Keema matar roughly translates to "minced meat & peas."

2-4 servings

Time: 1 hr

By Ethan Chlebowski

Madhur Jaffrey describes keema as the first dish that Indian students abroad learn how to make to remind them of home. It's flat-out delicious and quite easy to cook once you have the spices. You can use ground beef or lamb for this recipe.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Spice base

    • cooking oil
      a drizzle15 g
    • mustard seeds
      , whole or ground
      a spoonful5 g
    • cumin
      , whole or ground
      a spoonful5 g
    • black peppercorns
      , whole or ground
      1/2 spoonful3 g
    • turmeric powder
      a spoonful5 g
    • chili powder
      a spoonful5 g
    • garam masala
      a sprinkle2 g
    • whole cloves
      , whole
    • bay leaves
    • ground cinnamon
      , whole
      1/2 stick
  • Aromatics

    • roma tomatoes
      , grated
    • onions
      , diced
    • garlic
      , grated or minced
      2 cloves
    • fresh ginger
      , grated or minced
      a 1" knob
    • green chilies
      , minced
    • salt
      a sprinkle
  • Beef base

    • ground beef
      450 g2 parts
    • water
      200 g1 part
    • frozen peas
      200 g1 part
    • lemon juice
      a squeeze
    • salt
      a sprinkle
    • garam masala
      a sprinkle
  • For serving

    • basmati rice
      , cooked
      to preference
    • cilantro
      , roughly chopped
      for garnish
    • roti flatbreads
      to preference


Step 1: Prep the spices & beef base

If your mustard seed, cumin seed, and peppercorns are whole, crush those down in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

  • Leave the cinnamon stick, cloves, & bay leaf whole to remove them at the end of cooking.

Grate (or finely dice) the tomatoes and set them aside.

Soften the ground beef: Add the ground beef to a bowl and mix in about 50% water. Mix the beef until it is smooth, moistened, and all the clumps are broken up. This will ensure no lumps and smooth, tender texture during cooking.

Step 2: Toast the spices & aromatics

Set a pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of oil, enough to cover the pan.

Once hot, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaf, ground peppercorns, mustard seed, and cumin. for 10-20 seconds until fragrant, being careful not to burn.

Add all the remaining aromatics except for the tomato and for a minute or two until they are softened and fragrant.

Step 3: Add the tomato & remaining spices

Stir in the remaining ground spices (chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala) along with another sprinkle of salt and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add the grated tomatoes and for 5 more minutes. If it looks dry or anything is threatening to burn, with a splash of water.

Step 4: Add the beef

Turn the heat to high, add the ground meat with another little sprinkle of salt, and break the meat apart while for about 8 to 10 minutes more or until cooked through and the mixture has thickened.

Step 5: Add the peas & finish

Turn the heat to low, toss in the peas, and stir in until they have just cooked through. Turn the heat off. Add the lemon juice and a final sprinkle of garam masala.

  • Taste it and adjust with salt, more lemon, or spices as needed.

Serve with rice or flatbreads (like roti). Garnish with fresh cilantro.



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