Keema curry with peas

A year ago I would have turned my nose up at the idea of curry made with minced meat, “surely” i would have said “it’s just a messed up spaghetti bolognese?”. Thank goodness my housemate made some as i was leaving to see family last Christmas and i caught a whiff of subtly spiced, spicy curry and hastily shovelled a forkful of it in my mouth as i was running out of the door. Since then i have had cravings that came to a head when chatting on twitter and someone mentioning that it is a great way to use up lamb mince if you don’t want kofta kebabs or moussaka.

When running my eye down the recipe sat at work i was pretty happy to realise that i had most of the stuff i needed in my store cupboard, this is why i bang on all the time about having a drawer full of herbs and spices, it makes dinner so much easier to tackle when you are skint.

wpid-imag0325_burst003_2.jpgApparently this is quite an authentic recipe and you can really control the level of spice if you are making this dish for the faint of heart. I added one of my home grown chillies and my lips were still tingling a good hour later. Be warned!

You will need

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 2 -5 finger chillis (depending on your heat preference), chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger root
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 500g very lean lamb/beef mince (lamb is more traditional but beef is cheap, or use a vegetarian substitute)
  • 1 small cup frozen peas


  1. Roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant and then grind in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.
  2. Melt the butter with the oil in a large pan and add the onion, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns. Cook, stirring occasionally, over a medium high heat until the onion is well browned.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of the cumin/coriander mix, the garam masala, and the turmeric and fry for about 30 seconds whilst stirring.
  4. Add the tin of tomatoes and break them up with a spatula. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger and add to the pan with the chillis.
  5. Cook the mixture over a medium heat for about 10 minutes
  6. Add the minced meat and break up and mix into the mixture. Cover and cook over a low simmer for 35-45 minutes, adding the peas 10 minutes before the end. Check the seasoning and add more salt and garam masala if required.
  7. Serve with fluffy rice and a nice naan bread


Recipe adapted from

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