Discover Secrets of Indian home food






Keema is not only a family favourite but a dish that can go very far – particularly if you choose to add potatoes. You can make it with minced lamb or beef; I prefer lamb. It appeals as a dish that compliments beer very well – guy food box checked! Not to mention that kids love mince, you can just omit the chillies if needs be, and make meal time engaging by making a chapatti wrap!


  • 500g minced lamb (20% fat)
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 and a half inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2-3 green finger chilies, slit in half lengthways
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 and a half tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup frozen garden peas
  • 150ml passata
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • vegetable oil for cooking
  • 1 cup of water
Prep Time:
5-10 minutes
Cooking Time:
30-35 minutes
Cook’s Tip:

You can either have keema in a more pure form – say with no veg at all or just peas – or mix it up with different veggies. My brother is partial to keema saag, so with spinach for example. I personally like it with chopped fine green beans; which grandma and grandad used to grow. We’d always have it with spuds and peas growing up, as it goes a long way to feeding a large family.

Serving Suggestion:

Serve with freshly cooked chapattis, a side salad kissed with lemon juice and sea salt, and a dollop of Greek yoghurt.


1. We’re going to start with the ‘tarka’ which is the flavour foundation. Take a medium-large lidded sauce pan, saute the onions, cumin seeds and star anise in 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil on a moderate heat until the onions become translucent and soft.

2. Next add the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook out for a few minutes.

3. Now add the garam masala, turmeric and salt and toast for 30 seconds. If the pan is too dry add a splash of water so the spices don’t stick to the pan and burn. Cook out for a minute.

4. Then pour in the passata, stir, increase the hob heat and bring to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5-10 minutes. When you can see the oil has separated on the surface of the masala it’s ready to taste. Check your seasoning here and adjust to taste.

5. Place in the mince, coat in the masala using the end of your wooden spoon to break up the meat as you do so. Crank the heat up to high, you want to seal the mince. Then add in the water and mix. Bring to a simmer then cover with a lid. Allow to cook for 25-30 minutes or so.

6. Keep an eye on it, you may need to add more water so the meat doesn’t catch. If you go the opposite way and add too much water you can correct by simmering the keema without a lid so the liquid can evaporate and ‘gravy’ reduce.

7. Add in the frozen garden peas 5 minutes before the end of cooking.

8. Finally scatter with a flurry of chopped coriander leaves.