Keema Matar, a Quick and Flavorful Weeknight Dish
Keema Matar is a luscious, well-seasoned ground meat dish, which undoubtedly has its origins in the rich Mughal heritage of the Indian subcontinent. It is comfort food at its best, rich and satisfying.
Diwali is right around the corner. In fact, this year’s main celebrations will take place on Thursday, October 19th. So, it is the perfect time of year to share yet another of my favorite Indian foods, keema matar.
Unfortunately, keema is a dish that is often associated with fast food and shoddy cuts of meat. This is a regrettable turn of events, because keema was originally part of the sophisticated courtly cuisine of the mughal emperors. Hundreds of years ago, keema matar was served at weddings and other important celebrations.
When made with proper care and good quality ground meat, keema matar is still an exquisite and elegant dish. No wonder it has remained popular throughout the Indian subcontinent, despite its diminished reputation!
This is a relatively simple recipe where the flavor of the ingredients shines through. Thus, it is essential that you select the very best quality meat and peas available.
Many cooks suggest using frozen peas in recipes such as keema, which call for only a handful of fresh peas. You may have no choice if peas are out of season.
However, at the moment, we have gorgeous, sweet, tender spring peas in the market in Johannesburg. These seasonal peas are less starchy and more flavorful. Thus, I would strongly recommend using fresh peas in this recipe, if at all possible.
I have called for lamb mince because most Indians wouldn’t dream of eating beef. However, the truth is, any ground, red meat can be used.
What is most important for this dish is the quality of the mince you choose. Go for a lean mince from top cuts, rather than an inexpensive, fatty mince. Trust me, you will be glad you did.
I hope your family enjoys this delicious Indian main as much as mine does! Bon appétit!