Today I bring to you “Matar Keema” – the first curry recipe from my curry library. I think curries are a great way to get the main food groups onto a child’s plate. And by adding green chillies or red chilli powder later on you get to serve the same meal to the rest of the family as well. It is a kitchen trick I insist one must use as it saves tremendous time, dishes & effort.
Matar keema, in my family circle, is a homey and flavorful Sunday treat! The word “keema” basically means minced meat, preferably lamb or chicken. It is a simple curry with same basics as other Indian curries but with 2 main ingredients – meat & green peas. My children like this best with a deep fried Indian bread called Puri. It is true that, cooking curry is a labor of love and takes a fair amount of cooking time, but don’t let this hold you back because it is also true that curries only get better as days go by. So go ahead & prepare this dish whenever you have extra time on your hands and freeze it to be served later.
Ingredients :- (serves 4)
• 2 Tbsp Ghee or butter
• 500 gms minced meat (chicken or lamb)
• 1 cup frozen or fresh green peas (boiled and set aside)
• 6 large tomatoes (pureed)
• 1 tbsp ginger (grated)
• 1 tbsp garlic (finely chopped)
• 2 medium size onion (finely chopped)
• 1 tsp turmeric/haldi powder
• 1 tsp coriander/dhaniya powder
• ½ tsp cumin/jeera powder
• ½ tsp garam masala (*for younger children skip this)
• 1-2 tsp salt (as required)
• 2 cups water
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 2 hard boiled eggs (optional)
*Ghee or clarified butter is butter that has been melted on low heat to allow most of the water to evaporate. You can easily find ghee in 1litre tins at almost all Asian grocery stores.
* Turmeric powder or haldi is a bright yellow powder used in curries for it’s deep peppery flavor and its fragrance. This is available in all grocery stores across Thailand.
* Cumin powder or jeera powder is a nutty flavoured essential ingredient for Indian curries also available along with other masalas in grocery stores all across Thailand.
* Coriander powder enhances the taste of the dish once combined with cumin powder.
All these spices have tremendous health benefits and are often used as medicinal herbs in India and other regions.
Heat the ghee in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the grated ginger, cinnamon stick and onions; sauté till the onions are transparent. Add in turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder followed by pureed tomatoes. Allow to cook for 7-10 minutes until the flavor is sealed in and an oily substance is visible on the sides of the mixture. Now add the minced meat to the pan (I use a 400w double blade food processor to mince the chicken. This is a quick method if you want to save time on chopping also). Turn heat up while you stir the chicken and break lumps that are formed. Add half a cup of water so it is not too dry. Once the chicken is cooked, pour in the green peas you prepared. Add a pinch of the garam masala (and slowly add on as according to taste). Lastly add in the garlic and mix all the ingredients well.
Keema in general is a dry dish but if you have toddlers at home, generously pour in some or all the water so that you have a curry base which is of course easier for younger children to swallow. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat. Garnish with coriander & boiled eggs.