Keema Matar is a classic Pakistani curry featuring minced lamb or mutton and peas in a delightfully simple but spicy gravy.
What is Keema Matar?
This recipe is really rather exciting for me, one of my very favourite dishes and one I rarely get an opportunity to cook! I have waxed lyrical about green peas pretty much from day one and my love of curry is hardly subtle here either.
Not forgetting lamb, a meat I often lament not being able to buy very often.
I love lamb so much that I have been known to buy a whole beast and have it dispatched. Just to get my hands on the rarest of all meat finds here in Hungary.
My version of lamb keema with peas features spice heat from both pepper and Kashmiri chili powder.
It is also heady with Fenugreek, a herb/spice I find synonymous with Northern Indian and Punjabi food.
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!
Minced Meat and the Brits!
Us Brits are certainly not shy of minced meat, we love the stuff. In fact one of our most popular Christmas recipes, minced pies originally contained meat.
Now they are a boozy sweet dish, but you can check out a more trad recipe here.
I did develop a different curry in lieu of being able to get lamb. Whilst I do love my beef and pea curry but it just ain’t a keema matar!
The dish is originally from the north of the Indian Subcontinent, think Bangladesh, Punjab and Pakistan.
It goes by many names, from keema mutter to keema peas but they are all the same at the core.
As a result, the addition of Indian spices is not a huge leap. Particularly given the long association between British and Indian food.
Cooking a Lamb Curry!
If you ask me lamb is the perfect meat for an Indian Curry because it has such a big flavour. Let’s face it an Indian curry is full of huge big flavours, not only that but complex flavours too.
As a result, Lamb can cope with slightly bolder flavours.
Many people mistakenly think that you can just swap out one meat for another when creating a curry.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Now you could make this with beef, but for me, it is not a straight-up trade. Lamb is a rich meat much more so than beef.
Consequently, I would scale back the ground coriander and cumin whilst increasing the earthiness of turmeric and fenugreek.
It is just a matter of balance, and the fundamental aspect of cooking with Indian spices is balance.
If all you can taste is spice and not the meat then you have done it wrong!
- 350 g Ground Lamb Shoulder
- 125 g Onion
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Chile
- 35 g Ginger
- 6 Black Peppercorns
- 4 Green Cardamom
- 2 Cloves
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Tbsp Ghee
- 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
- 150 g Frozen Peas
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- Finely dice the onion, slice the chilli and mash the garlic to a paste.
- Grate the ginger.
- Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and when hot add in the black pepper, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf and allow to sizzle for 30 seconds.
- Now add in the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- When lightly browned add in the ginger, garlic paste and chilli and cook for a further minute.
- Add in the minced lamb and cook for 5 minutes over a very high heat so that it sears and releases the fat.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and fenugreek and stir,
- Throw in a generous pinch of salt and 250ml of water and the cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add in the peas before turning up heat and cooking until the liquid has reduced by half which should take 10 minutes or so.
- 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: 459 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 128mg Sodium: 281mg Carbohydrates: 36g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 9g Protein: 43g