Kheema with Peas (Minced Lamb Curry with Peas)

Kheema with peas in the cooking pot
Kheema with peas

Kheema is a minced lamb curry with peas. You can either buy minced lamb or buy some lamb and mince it yourself. Probably best made with minced leg of lamb, but if I’m in a hurry I just buy some minced lamb from the supermarket. It does need some fat content though or it will be “dry” and a bit flavourless.

Like all of these dishes it works best the day after, or if frozen and defrosted later. You can keep half the methi to add at the reheating stage, or even add a bit more.
It’s also really quick to make. Chop the onions first and start them softening while you look out and prep everything else.
Methi really is an essential ingredient. You can buy it mail order here: Spices of India
Green Chutney works really well with this, and I always serve with it, and some natural yoghurt.
(At any stage if the spices or mix start to dry and catch add a splash of water to recover it and avoid burning)

Ingredients

  • 500g minced leg of lamb
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 green cardamom pods, lightly cracked
  • 1 large onion quite finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½-1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (mirch), to taste
  • 200ml water, add a little more if too “thick”
  • 100g frozen peas (vary quantity as you like)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi)

Last minute additions

  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 chopped green chilli
  • Juice of half a lemon (optional)
  • Natural yoghurt (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a deep pan over medium heat and add the green cardamom pods for about 10 seconds.
  2. Add the onions, frying until softened and brown in colour. This will take up to 20 minutes
  3. Add the garlic and the ginger cooking for 1-2 minutes stirring frequently so they don’t catch and burn.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. You now need to cook the minced lamb. You’ve got two choices. Either fry it off with the rest of the spices (in which case you might need to turn the heat up a bit, but it’s hard to brown without burning the other ingredients, so I avoid this). Or, as I prefer to do, cook it in a separate hot non-stick pan (that way you can really brown it without scorching the other ingredients, also you can choose how much of the fat you add as some is needed to help the flavour.)
  6. Add the turmeric powder and chilli powder. Cook and stir well for 3-4 minutes until the mince is even coloured all the way through.
  7. Add the methi leaves, and the water, and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer on a gentle heat for 20 minutes.
  8. Lastly, adjust the seasoning and add the garam masala, coriander and chilli just before serving.
  9. Serve warm with some lemon juice and Indian bread (naan, chapati or parathas) and green chutney. A dollop of natural yoghurt doesn’t go amiss (an especially nice contrast if you like the Kheema quite hot.). I usually omit the lemon juice if I’m using my favourite Green Onion Chutney.

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