This recipe for Indian kheema or mince can be made with any meat you prefer -- chicken, lamb, pork, goat meat or any combinations of these meats like minced pork and veal.
The dish is extremely versatile and simply changing the masala can result in a great new taste each time.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola or sunflower cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 medium finely chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1 pound (1/2 kg) ground beef (you can use any ground meat you prefer for this recipe)
- 2 medium finely chopped tomatoes
- Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
- Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- Heat the vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil in a wok or deep pan on medium heat.
- Add the cumin seeds and fry for 1 minute or until the seeds stop spluttering.
- Add the onions and sauté till they turn a pale golden color.
- Add the garlic and ginger pastes and fry for 1 minute to get rid of the "raw" fragrance from them.
- Add the coriander, cumin, garam masala and salt to taste and sauté, stirring almost continuously, until the oil begins to separate from the masala (the spice and onion mixture). When this happens, you know the spices are cooked to perfection.
- Add the minced meat to this spice-onion mixture and sauté until browned. Stir often to prevent burning. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, stir and cook till they are soft.
- Turn the fire off, add the lime or lemon juice and stir to mix well.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with chapatis (Indian flatbread) or parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread) or plain boiled, fragrant basmati rice.
Tip: Add more substance to your masala kheema by adding in 1 cup of fresh or frozen green peas or 2 to 3 potatoes (washed and cut into 1/2-inch (1.5 cm) cubes or both, just after the meat is browned.
More About Masala Kheema
Don't let the name fool you. Masala kheema is not "chili hot." However, the garam masala in it does give it a warming heat that perfectly complements the natural flavors of the meat. Don't let the amount of the individual spices alarm you as the combination has been tried and tested thousands of times and it works every time.
Masala Kheema can be served as a main course for lunch or dinner, and being a dry dish, tastes great with chapatis or parathas. If you want to eat it with plain boiled rice, be sure to add a daal dish (soup like lentils). Add a leafy green salad and you have the perfect, well-rounded meal.
Masala kheema is the meal that keeps on giving. If you have any leftover, lucky you. It tastes even better the next day and makes a great toasted sandwich or wrap filling. If you can't or don't want to use it the next day, Masala kheema freezes brilliantly for later.