I’ve recently been obsessing over Indian and Indonesian food, so please bear with me as I go through this phase.
Many Indian foods can take a long time to cook, are somewhat complicated, and require a vast array of ingredients that many folks don’t keep on hand. Kheema Mattar does not fit that mold. It’s a quick dinner that’s easy and cheap to make. And it is NOT overly hot and spicy.
By the way, “kheema” means “ground meat,” and “mattar” means, from what I’ve found, “peas.” And that’s just what you’ll need: ground meat and peas.
The recipe is from “India: the Food and the Lifestyle.” And here’s the thing: I didn’t think it was flavorful enough. Good flavor, but it should be stronger. Next time, I will pretty much double the amount of spices and ginger/garlic paste. I do wonder if the recipe was “dumbed down” for the average non-Indian palate.
What you’ll need:
- 2T vegetable oil, or ghee, if you have it
- 2t cumin seeds
- 1 large onion, ¼-inch chop
- 1T garlic and ginger paste (if you don’t have any, throw some chopped garlic and peeled ginger in a food processor)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1t curry powder, hot, mild or sweet
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1t ground coriander
- 0.5t chili powder
- 0.25t ground turmeric
- pinch of sugar
- pinch or two of salt
- 0.5t ground pepper
- about 1 lb lean ground beef or lamb
- 2.25 cups of still-frozen peas
What to do:
Heat the oil or ghee in a large fry pan on medium heat. When the oil’s hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for about 30 seconds, until they start crackling.
Add the onion, garlic and ginger paste, bay leaves and curry powder and fry until the onion starts to soften.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, then add the coriander, chili powder, turmeric, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds.
Add the ground beef and cook for about 5 minutes, until the meat is no longer pink. Then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the frozen peas and simmer for 10-15 more minutes, until the peas are hot. If there is liquid in the pan, just keep the pan on the heat and let the extra liquid cook off.
Serve with naan, basmati rice or another of your favorite Indian side dishes.