This dish could also be called “How to Make Your Kitchen Smell Totally Drool-worthy”. It also makes your car smell rather appetizing if you have to transport it anywhere. I found this keema recipe on the BBC Good Food website and knew that my search for a truly excellent minced meat curry recipe was over… for now, at least! This is really easy to make and mild enough for anyone to eat while the depth of flavour is truly outstanding. It’s one of those dishes that you just can’t stop eating and find yourself craving after a few days without it. If you’d like to make this spicy then add chopped chillies to your taste along with the tomatoes; for once I actually like this without the extra heat. The cumin-coriander mixture makes around double what you need for the recipe, but make that amount anyway and store the extra as I reckon you’ll want to cook this curry again very quickly. Home made garam masala is tops in this dish if you have some on hand.
Unless you really dig unexpectedly biting into a clove (I am still scarred from a tragic clove-in-baked-apple experience as a child), I strongly recommend removing them before serving. I recently came across a great shortcut for doing this – rather than throwing the whole spices straight into the dish, first put them in one of those ball tea strainers. You’ll still get all the rich, fragrant flavour but at the end you can just fish out the strainer rather than go scavenging for spices. Genius!
2 onions, chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 black peppercorns
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 (400gm) tin nice chopped tomatoes – the Woolworths Select brand is ace
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 inches ginger, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
500gm lamb mince
1 cup frozen peas
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds together in a dry pan until fragrant and then grind them to a powder.
Melt the butter and oil together in a large pan and add the onion, cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns. Cook until the onion is seriously browned. This is the base of so many Indian dishes – you just can’t get away with anaemic onions!
Remove and throw out the cinnamon stick. Add 1 tablespoon of your lovely coriander-cumin mix, the garam masala, turmeric and salt and stir for half a minute.
Add the tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Cook over a medium-low heat for around 10 minutes.
Add the lamb and use a spatula to break it up into the tomato mixture. Once the mince is all broken up and combined, cover the pan and cook on a low simmer for 35 minutes. Then add the peas and cook until done. Check your seasoning and serve with bread and yoghurt.