Thursday, April 5, 2007

Keema Matar

After all my railing against the dominance of Punjabi/North Indian/Mughlai food, the first recipe I'm going to post is for dish called Keema Matar, which falls firmly in that category. Ah well. This is an easy, one-dish meal, which was a staple of mine in grad school because it's so damn tasty. It was also a particular favorite of trophywife, who called it "the turkey thing":

I'm imprecise with the spices because like most Indian cooks, I cook by taste (andaaz, as mentioned before).

Keema Matar (ground meat with peas)


1. 1 lb ground turkey (any ground meat will suffice)

2. 1 lb peas (frozen will do fine)

3. 2 medium yellow onions, diced into 1/4 inch pieces

4. 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste [available at any Indian store, or make your own]

5. 1 tbsp oil (any cooking oil, really)

6. Chili, Cumin, and Coriander powder (to taste) [start with 1 tspn each of cumin and coriander, and 1/2 tsp of chili powder, then keep adding as you like]

7. Salt, sugar, to taste


8. Other veggies: a diced tomato can be nice, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms also go well with this. Make sure you dice the veggies relatively fine.


1. Heat oil in a large saucepan on high heat

2. Fry onions till they are translucent. Dust with salt, and the spice powders

3. Add ginger-garlic paste

4. Add peas (and other veggies, if desired)

5. Keep adding salt, spice powders

6. Add the meat.

7. Keep it up with they, yup, you guessed it, salt and spice powders.

8. When the meat browns, start tasting the mixture. If it is too salty/spicy, add some sugar. Otherwise, add salt/spice.

9. After the meat browns, turn the heat down to low, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, adjusting the spices to taste.

Serving Suggestions:

I like to eat this fresh out of the pot with some hot basmati rice. It also goes well with toasted bread, or naan, or pita. A little yogurt does well to cool the flames, if you've made it spicy. Stuffing a pita with this and yogurt/sour cream is really tasty.

Finally, leftovers can be used as the stuffing for an omelette. This might be my favorite thing to do with it.

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