Keema Matar, a Quick and Flavorful Weeknight Dish

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!

Keema Matar, a Quick and Flavorful Weeknight Dish | cookglobaleatlocal.comThe Ingredients

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.

Ground Meat

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!


Keema Matar, a Quick and Flavorful Weeknight Dish

Keema Matar, a Quick and Flavorful Weeknight Dish |
Jeanette Marie
Rate this recipe
2 ratings
Save Recipe Save to BigOven
Prep Time:  10 minutes - Cook Time:  35 minutes Servings:  8

This luscious ground meat dish is elegant, yet easy enough for a busy weeknight. The fresh peas add a brightness and mild sweetness to the dish. The perfect treat for crisp, cool evenings.

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4-6 green chilies, finely sliced (preferably serrano)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 4 white onions, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, ground to a fine paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, ground to a fine paste
  • 4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 kg lean lamb mince
  • 1 c water
  • 80 g fresh green peas
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 5 g fresh coriander leaves, to garnish

  1. Heat the canola oil in a medium casserole, placed over medium heat.
  2. Add green chilies and sauté for 1-2 minutes or just until soft.
  3. Add cumin seeds. When they become fragrant and begin to change color, add the onions and sauté until golden brown.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic pastes to the casserole. Sauté until they lose their raw fragrance (about 1 minute). Do not allow them to brown.
  5. Add the salt and tomatoes to the casserole. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tomatoes have juiced up and are no longer raw.
  6. Add coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper to the casserole. Stir continuously, while cooking for another minute or so.
  7. Raise heat to medium and add the lamb mince to the casserole. Stir for 3 minutes, or until meat loses its rawness.
  8. Add water to the casserole, stir to incorporate. Cover the casserole and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the lamb is cooked through and the water has evaporated.
  9. Add the peas to the casserole and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the peas turn bright green. Add the garam masala powder. Stir to incorporate.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat, garnish with fresh coriander leaves, and serve with fresh roti.

Ground beef or goat can be substituted for the lamb. What is most important is the quality of the mince you choose, not the type of meat.

Nutrition label for Keema Matar, a Quick and Flavorful Weeknight Dish

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.