Restaurant style aloo keema is a nicely spiced, dry Indian potato and beef or lamb curry that makes a nice change to the usual suspects.
Jalfrezi is number one in the UK for a reason. Vindaloo might be the most famous. A well executed madras is a wonderful thing. But sometimes you need to go a different way. Mix it up. Something new. Something fresh. Aloo keema fits the bill nicely. Well spiced beef or lamb. Creamy potatoes. A bit of heat from the green chilies. Just tasty.
It’s basically really good samosa filling. Not exactly but it’s similar. You could use it to make samosas though. That would work. Or you could serve it up along side other Indian restaurant classics and surprise your guests.
This is Indian restaurant style cooking. It relies on something called curry base. They use it a lot in restaurant style cooking. That’s how they crank out curries to order in under 10 minutes. That’s also how they get the smooth, rich sauce you haven’t managed to recreate at home.
Now you know. There’s a link to a how to guide below that covers off everything you need to know.
As always with Indian restaurant cooking there are things to do up front. Do your prep. That’s critical. Make your curry base and have some heated and ready to go. Pre-cook your keema. Measure out your ingredients.
Have everything ready. And wear old clothes or put on an apron. Indian restaurant cooking is messy stuff. If it doesn’t splatter you aren’t doing it right…
If you have not read the guide to Indian restaurant technique yet, do it now. It has pictures to help you understand the recipe. There’s also a guide to Indian ingredients in that post.
Once you’re ready to go, the whole thing comes together in 10 minutes. Aloo keema. Just like your local Indian restaurant or takeaway should be making…
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp garlic ginger paste
- 1 tsp kasoor methi - fenugreek leaves
- 2 tsp Indian restaurant spice mix
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 green finger hot chilies - thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste - diluted with water to the consistency of passata
- 15 oz curry base
- 12 oz cooked potatoes - cut in 1/2 inch cubes
- 12 oz pre-cooked keema
- a bit of water if needed while simmering
- juice of 1/6 lemon
- Combine Indian restaurant spice mix, kasoor methi, chili powder and salt in a small bowl.
- Dilute the tomato paste with enough water to get to the consistency of passata.
- Heat your frying pan (don't use non-stick) briefly over medium heat.
- Add 2 Tbsp vegetable oil. Use all the oil specified. It's important.
- When the oil starts to shimmer in the garlic ginger paste. Cook it, stirring constantly, until it stops sputtering.
- Turn down the heat and add the spice mix. This is the critical step. Stir it constantly for 30 seconds. If it starts to darken lift the pan off the heat. You want the spice mix to cook in the oil but not burn.
- Turn the heat up to medium high. Add the diluted tomato paste and stir until bubbles form (the oil will likely separate). This takes around 30 seconds to one minute depending on the heat.
- Add 3 oz of curry base. Stir until bubbles form (little craters really), around 30 seconds. Watch the edges of the pan. The curry can stick here.
- Now add 6 oz of curry base and stir briefly. Let it cook until the bubbles form again. This takes 1-2 minutes.
Add the rest of the curry base and let cook until the bubbles form. Turn the heat down to low and add the pre-cooked keema.
- Let the curry simmer for about 5 minutes. If it gets too thick add a bit more curry base. Don't add water.
Add the cooked potatoes and cook another 2-3 minutes to warm themthrough.
- Stir in the lemon juice, taste and adjust salt and lemon to taste.
- Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and green chilies if you like.
The recipe for curry base is here.
The recipe for indian restaurant spice mix is here.
The recipe for garlic ginger paste is here.
The recipe for beef or lamb keema is here.
If you haven't read about Indian restaurant technique yet, do that before you start cooking.
Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go.
If you are making multiple curries, have your curry base warming in a pot on the stove. If you are just making one, microwave it to warm it up right before you start cooking.
Indian restaurants pre-cook their meat so it's ready for service. This recipe assumes the same. To pre-cook chicken, simply simmer it with a bit of curry powder and salt in chicken stock for about 10-15 minutes - until it's barely cooked.
To pre-cook lamb or beef, do the same but plan for 1 to 1/2 hours for lamb and 2 hours or more for beef. You are making stew meat so you are braising until tender. You will need to keep an eye on the level of the stock. For beef use beef stock.