Keema matar is not your run of the mill curry. It’s a little different. Ground lamb or beef with peas. Sometimes different is really good. This is one of those times.
It’s not common on restaurant menus. Which is a shame. I’ve seen it once or twice. Discovered it in a restaurant in fact. But it’s rare. Outside the usual formula menus safe zone.
Which is too bad. That’s the problem with Indian restaurants these days. Everyone has all the same dishes. Some do it better than others. But it’s always madras and jalfrezi and butter chicken. Why?
India has one of the most diverse cuisines on the planet. There are literally thousands of dishes. And yet you see the same 20 curries on every single menu. So boring…
Dare to be different – make keema matar
You don’t have to be like them. You have the ability to stand out. Make something new. Make keema matar.
This isn’t hamburger helper. It’s a real curry. Done restaurant style. It has tons of flavour. And peas work so well in curry. Little green bursts of flavour. Up against a rich meaty curry. Balance.
I know it’s a leap of faith. I get that you’ve never even heard of it. But it’s not so far out there. It’s a meat curry. A little drier than some maybe. And it has some peas. Like aloo matar. Not scared of aloo matar, are you?
I’m being too harsh. I know. It just makes me crazy that restaurants can’t mix it up a bit. So I tend to rant about it. Sorry.
It’s outside the formula. Where only those who dare take control. Try keema matar. Try something new. You won’t be sorry.
This is restaurant style cooking
This is a restaurant style curry. Done using all the restaurant techniques. Just exactly like what’s going on in the kitchen when you go out to dinner.
Restaurant style cooking goes fast. Really fast. So be ready. Have everything at hand.
Have everything ready. Put on an apron or some old clothes. This is going to get messy. A bit of splatter is part of the fun. You are playing Indian chef here.
If you have not read the guide to Indian restaurant technique yet, do it now. This isn’t the same as traditional Indian cooking. So if you haven’t done it before it’s a good idea to read up a bit before you put oil to pan.
Lamb or beef?
You can do this with just about any ground meat. It’s most common with lamb or beef. It’s probably least common with turkey. Even I don’t think I’d like it with turkey. Don’t try that…
Both lamb and beef are good. They are very different though. Lamb tends to be a bit richer. To my palate anyway. Beef is more assertive. In your face.
It’s really up to you. What you like. I like lamb better. My wife likes beef. So we mix it up.
More beef than lamb though. Because keema matar is one of her favourite curries of all. For real. See – I’m not making this up.
Keema matar. For when you don’t want to toe the line. For when you dare to be different. Try it. You’ll see.
restaurant style keema matar
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1/2 onion – finely minced
- 2 tsp garlic ginger paste – recipe link below
- 1/2 tsp kasoor methi – fenugreek leaves
- 2 tsp Indian restaurant spice mix – recipe link below
- 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt remember you added salt to the keema already
- 2 tsp tomato paste with enough water to dilute to the consistency of pasatta
- 15 oz curry base – recipe link below
- 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
- 12 oz pre-cooked keema – recipe link below
- a bit of water if needed while simmering
- juice of 1/4 lemon
- salt to taste – or not
- a bit of sliced red chili to garnish – optional
- 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 add the onion and cook until translucent.
- Stir 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 peas (thawed if using frozen) and cook another 2-3 minutes to warm the peas through.
- Stir in the lemon juice, taste and adjust salt and lemon to taste.
- Garnish with sliced red chili if you like.