Keema Matar

keema matar

Indian food is one of my family’s favorite types of cuisine. We try to have some kind of curry, daal, or other Indian dish at least once per week. The best part is that most of the spices commonly included in these recipes are great digestive aids as well as being delicious, and even my one year old loves them! Though I never get sick of saag paneer, I wanted to branch out and try something a little different than my healthified versions of typical takeout recipes. A little searching led me to keema matar, a super comforting dish that is sort of like an Indian version of sloppy joes. Keema means minced meat and can refer to any type, but lamb seems to be most typical. All of the recipes I found online used a pressure cooker, something I don’t have and don’t particularly want to buy, so I decided to experiment and came up with this recipe that can be made over the stove, all in one pan! The ingredient list isn’t short, but I have found that keeping my spice drawer stocked with all of these items not only enables me to easily whip up a flavorful curry, but comes in handy in many of our other favorite recipes as well.


  • 1-2 Tbsp ghee
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cardamom pods, slightly cracked
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1-2 green chiles, finely diced
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 lb ground lamb (or beef, etc.)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen peas (or fresh if in season)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste

How to make:

  1. Put ghee, bay leaf, cardamom, and cinnamon stick in a large pot over medium heat, stirring gently until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  2. Add onions and a pinch or 2 of salt; cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chiles, continuing to cook until onions turn brown and soft, about 5 more minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and spices, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add your meat, breaking it into crumbles and allowing it to evenly brown.
  6. Then add your water and another couple pinches of salt, cover, and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, allowing it to cook until most of the liquid has been reduced. Don’t rush this step as it is what gives the keema such a wonderful texture.
  7. Add your green peas and garam masala; cook for a few more minutes until peas are tender.
  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve. We love it by itself, but in the above photo we served it over cauliflower rice and it was delicious!

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