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Keema Matar Minced Lamb & Pea Curry

Lamb Keema Matar is classic Pakistani homestyle curry, it is incredibly simple to cook and springs to life with a thousand flavours!

Portrait image of a keema matar minced lamb and pea curry serfved with coriander leaves in a karahi bowl

Lamb Keema Curry!

This recipe is really rather exciting for me! It is one of my very favourite dishes and one I rarely get an opportunity to cook!

Lamb is expensive here and difficult to find, but if I am listing my favourite things then it will be Lamb, Curry, Peas & Chilli. Oh and beer!

I tend to buy a large piece of lamb for either my lamb madras or lamb rogan josh recipes. Then I mince down the trimmings and us it to make this recipe!

My version of lamb keema matar is mainly Punjabi and Pakistani in influence. It features spice heat from both fresh peppers and Kashmiri chilli powder.

It is also heady with Fenugreek. A herb/spice that I personally find synonymous with food from the North of the Indian subcontinent.

So yeah it is safe to say that this dish is not just a few of my favourite things.

It is without question ALL of my favourite things!

Portrait overhead image of a keema matar minced lamb and pea curry serfved with coriander leaves in a karahi bowl

Can I Use Beef?

Keema just means minced meat so yes, of course! Although I would personally change the spicing a little.

I have no idea why people accept that you can swap the meat in a curry and not bother to change the spicing.

I write about this a little in my pork vindaloo and beef vindaloo recipes.

If I am making this keema with beef mince I scale back the coriander and cumin in the recipe by half.

Then I increase the fenugreek by 50%.

This is a similar spicing to the one that I use in my simple beef curry with peas recipe.

If I am using beef I use ghee rather than oil to approximate the rich mouthfeel that you get from lamb.

I personally think it gives a much better balance.

If you are as “picky” as me then the cut of meat matters, for lamb I use shoulder. If I were cooking this with beef I would buy some neck and mince that.

But whatever keema or mince you can find in the shops would work equally well, just avoid the lean stuff. Minced meat needs fat to avoid it having the texture of grated polystyrene!

Portrait close up image of a keema matar minced lamb and pea curry served with coriander leaves in a karahi bowl

Serving Suggestions.

Look no further than the good old Mr naan bread to serve as your bread for this recipe, although chapatis work really well too!

I often round out this dish by serving a kachumber salad on the side.

That whole minty, onion combination works perfectly with the rich lamb keema and explosions of sweet garden peas.

As a Brit I do have an affinity for serving this with Bombay potatoes. It is the who minced meat and potato thing that reminds me of frugal dinners growing up!

If you want to serve it with rice then try a jeera rice, a Pakistani rice flavoured with cumin, cinnamon and sometimes bay.

Square image of a keema matar minced lamb and pea curry served with coriander leaves in a karahi bowl
Yield: 2 Servings

Lamb Keema Matar Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Keema matar is one of the lesser-known Indian Curries, one that features minced or ground meat usually lamb or mutton and sweet green peas. It is simple, delicious, homely and a recipe you all need to know how to make!

Ingredients

  • 350 g (12.5 oz) Ground Lamb Shoulder
  • 125 g (1/2 Cup) Onion
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Medium Spiced Red Chilli Peppers
  • 30 g (1 Tbsp) Ginger
  • 6 Black Peppercorns
  • 4 Green Cardamom
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Fenugreek
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 250 ml (1 Cup) Water
  • 175 g (1 1/4 Cups) Frozen Peas
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala

Instructions

  1. Cut the onion into a 4-5mm dice.
  2. Mash the garlic and grate the ginger.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan over a medium high heat
  4. Add in the black pepper, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf and allow to sizzle for 30 seconds.
  5. Throw in the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. When lightly browned add in the ginger, garlic paste and chilli and cook for a further minute.
  7. Add in the minced lamb turn up the heat to high.
  8. Cook until browned which should take around 5 minutes.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium and add in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and fenugreek and stir.
  10. Throw in a generous pinch of salt and the water and then cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove the lid and add in the peas before turning up heat and cooking until the liquid has reduced by half which should take 3-4 minutes or so.
  12. Take off the heat and stir in the garam masala and allow to sit for 2 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 276mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 10gSugar: 10gProtein: 44g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

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John B

Thursday 13th of August 2020

Tried many of your recipes with excellent results. Unfortunately this time not so got. Not sure what I did wrong. It was chilli warm but no flavour and with fatty lamb taste. Any ideas, suggestions.

Brian Jones

Saturday 29th of August 2020

Hi John... Sorry it took a while to respond you wrote to me whilst I was on a break. Sorry to hear that you are not a fan of this, I am not sure what went "wrong" I make this as often as I can get lamb and I love it. My only thought is that the lamb that you had was particularly fatty or pumped full of liquid which means when you add more water at step 10 it would water everything down?

I would possibly try and not add so much water at step 10 if the base of the pan has a reasonable amount of liquid covering it, and if that liquid looks very fatty drain most of it and just add water.

Also I also must add that this Is not meant to be a typical "curry" dish and it is not very saucy, it is very much a spiced lamb mince recipe.

Brian

Tim

Wednesday 17th of April 2019

What kind of chile?

Brian Jones

Thursday 18th of April 2019

Use the type of chili that you are comfortable with using, all have different flavour profiles and heat intensities but most importantly we all have different tolerances to capsaicin. What is mild to one is often a raging pit of fire to another.

Karen McDonald

Sunday 3rd of June 2018

I made this last night and it was fabulous! Easy to follow directions and it was so flavorful and delicious! My husband and I had to push ourselves away from the table to keep from eating the entire recipe in one sitting. This is a keeper for sure. We will be making this regularly.

Brian Jones

Monday 4th of June 2018

Glad you like it Karen it is a firm favourite for us too!

Rob

Monday 22nd of January 2018

It does look great and I do love a Keema, but technically peas are not Paleo.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 23rd of January 2018

Glad you like it Rob, although I suspect you have got the Paleo reference from Pinterest, something I have no control over as Pinterest add their own tags that I can not influence. I don't name check or claim that my recipes fit into any particular dietary system.

All the best...

Brian

linda

Tuesday 16th of January 2018

This looks fabulous. I am a big fan of curry!

Brian Jones

Monday 22nd of January 2018

Thanks Linda