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! And kids love mince, you can just omit the chillies if needs be, and make it engaging by making a chapatti wrap!


  • 500g minced lamb (20% fat)
  • 1 large finely chopped onion
  • x2 cubes minced garlic (1 and a half tsp per frozen cube)
  • x2 cubes minced ginger (1 and a half tsp per frozen cube)
  • 2 tsp minced chillies (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp whole cumin
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 and a half tsp turmeric
  • 1 and a half tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp maldon salt
  • 1 cup frozen garden peas
  • x3 ladels of tinned tomatoes (blitz for smoother sauce)
  • chopped coriander – stalk and leaves (1 pinch of stalks, 2 pinches leaves or to taste)
  • 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/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. It freezes well too (the version with peas alone).

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, fry the chopped onion, cumin seeds and star anise in some vegetable oil. Cook on a moderate heat until the onions become translucent and soft.

2. Next add the garlic, ginger and minced chillies (remember you can add more chillies later if needs be). Allow to cook out.

3. Now add the garam masala and turmeric. If the pan is too dry add a splash of water so the spices don’t stick to the pan and burn. Allow the spices to cook out, then add in the chopped coriander stalks.

4. Then put in the tomatoes, increase hob heat, and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. When you can see oil on the surface of the spiced tomato mixture/the oil has taken on the tomato colour, that means it’s cooked and ready to taste. Check your seasoning here. If it needs more chillies add now. I season with salt at the end of the cooking for meat dishes, to ensure it does not toughen the meat.

5. Place in the mince and mix together thoroughly, crank the heat to max, and break up the meat as you are mixing with a wooden spoon until it’s all separated. 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 end of cooking.

8. Finally add your salt, season to taste, and scatter with a flurry of chopped coriander leaves.