Monday, April 13, 2009

Lamb Kheema Recipe

I first learned about kheema, an Indian minced meat dish with spices and peas and served with bread, when I used to frequently stop by a nearby Indian/Pakistani grocer, which had this fantastic cafe in the back run by the aunties. You would often see single male South Asian engineers from nearby tech companies stopping here to eat after work. Unfortunately, the owner has since moved, so I have had to suffer.

Luckily, while at INSEAD Singapore, my roommate and I found a North Indian hawker at the Dover Market, across from INSEAD who had a half decent lamb kheema, but it was always scary to see that the hygiene rating was a C (normally A or B is good enough). I never got sick, but at least I was able to complete my kheema craving.

This weekend, with the help of my Indian roommates, we were able to re-create a kheema recipe from a cookbook. The recipe is somewhat based on Sanjeev Kapoor's Khazana of Indian Recipes

Here are the ingredients:


  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, thinly sliced
  • Coriander leaves, chopped, to taste
  • 4 TBS Frozen Peas (depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed (I'd be a bit more generous here)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder (or to taste, depending on how spicy you like your food)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 TBS ginger paste
  • 1/2 TBS Garlic paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb ground lamb

1. Chop the onions and tomatoes finely

2. Heat up about a tsp of oil and a similar amount of ghee in a pan on medium heat. Take care that the oil isn't smoking hot

3. Add in the cumin seed, mix them with the oil, and fry until the seeds start to bubble

4. Once the seeds are bubbling, add in the chopped onions. Continue to fry over medium heat until the onions start to carmelize and turn soft. Be sure that the onions don't start to burn on the edges, that means the heat is too high.

5. Once the onions are brown, add in the sliced green chilies, garlic paste, and ginger paste. Continue to fry the mixture until the chilies are soft, for about 1-2 minutes.

6. Add in the ground lamb, break up the meat into pieces and make sure that the onion/chili mixture starts to stick to the meat. You can turn up the heat a bit here if it helps to turn the meat brown. (Note: not recommended to have meat sit in a big ball as pictured - harder to break up!)

7. Once the meat is browned, add in the remainder of the spices: turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder. Mix in with the meat and continue the fry up the spices.

8. Add in the tomatoes, continue to fry until the tomatoes are "melted soft" and turned brown, and you see some oil leaving the spice mixture. (typically 5+ minutes)

9. Add peas to the mixture, and add 1 cup water to slightly thicken the mixture, add salt to taste, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.

10. Once finished, add chopped coriander leaves into mixture.

11. DONE! Serve with rice or chapatis


Steve said...

Wow, that onion is diced *fine*.

Looks good though, I may have to give it a try. I wonder if my grocery has ground lamb. Seems like they ought to, but I've never looked.

Kent said...

Should be easy to find in organic places, or if you can find a middle-eastern grocery shop, they'll have it. That's where I got mine - they ground it fresh from the lamb leg. Yum!