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Nearly restaurant keema matar with rice and chapati from above.
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5 from 3 votes

keema matar - nearly restaurant style

Keema matar is a deliciously spiced pea and ground lamb curry.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: keema matar, lamb curry
Servings: 4
Calories: 444kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


The onion paste

  • 2 cups onions - coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

spice mix

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp mild kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tsp kasoor methi - dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt - use a bit less if you are using table salt

keema matar

  • 12 oz lamb keema - the full amount of the recipe link below. You can take out the whole spices or not. Up to you.
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic ginger paste - see notes
  • the spice mix from above
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste plus enough water to dilute it to the consistency of tomato sauce
  • the onion paste from above
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste homemade or store bought
  • 1 cup peas


The onion paste

  • Place the onions in a microwave safe dish and cover with cling wrap. Do yourself a favour. Punch a couple holes in the wrap to let the steam escape. Microwave at 70 percent until the onions are soft and translucent. This takes about 10 minutes in an 1100 watt microwave oven.
  • Remove the onions from the microwave. Be careful. They will be hot. Let them cool slightly. 
  • Place the onions, 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 cup of warm water in a blender and puree until smooth. This is your onion paste.

keema matar

  • Make the keema (see link below). You can do this the day before if you want to.
  • Cook the peas. If they are frozen microwave until warm. If they are fresh shelled peas, drop them into boiling salted water and cook until they turn bright green (probably a couple minutes if they are fresh). Check one. If you like them more done keep cooking until you get what you like.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, kasoor methi and salt. This is your spice mix.
  • Heat 4 tbsp vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat until it shimmers.
  • Add the garlic ginger paste. Cook, stirring, until the garlic ginger paste stops spluttering. You'll see what I mean when you do it.
  • Turn the heat to medium low. Add the spice mix. Stir continuously until it starts to smell really good (about 30 seconds). This is called blooming the spices. It's a key Indian cooking technique. Watch it carefully. If it looks like it's sticking or burning lift the pan from the heat. If the spices burn you need to start over. No way around that.
  • Add the diluted tomato paste and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add half the onion paste and turn the heat up to medium high. Stir to combine. Cook for about a minute. Add the rest of the onion paste and stir again. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes. Don't worry if it looks dry. You can add a bit of water at the end.
  • Turn the heat down to medium low. Stir in the tamarind paste. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the pre-cooked keema. Simmer to heat the keema through. Add the peas. When the peas are warmed through you are good to go.
  • If the curry is a bit thick add a bit of water or chicken stock and stir. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.
  • Garnish with a of cilantro if desired.


Make your keema ahead of time and have it ready to go.
You can buy garlic ginger paste but it's easy to make and homemade is way better. Here's an easy recipe for garlic ginger paste. If you cook Indian fairly often it's so worth it to whip up a batch. It will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 893mg | Potassium: 703mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 465IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3.2mg