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"Instant" daal of gram flour - Pithla

Red Lentil Daal

Keema Matar

This is a dish that is found throughout North India as well as Pakistan and it is popular because it is easy to make, relatively cheap for a meat dish and very tasty. I like to serve it as part of a meal with chapatis or rotis and vegetables.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Keema Matar
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 500 g lean lamb or beef mince
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee or cooking butter
  • 1 small bulb of garlic peeled and crushed finely
  • 1 inch of ginger root scraped and crushed
  • 1 small red onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom optional
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 inch of cinnamon or cassia bark
  • 200 g plain yoghurt
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder adjust according to preference
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing


  • Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan. Cast iron is best but an ordinary non-stick will do.
  • When hot add all the whole spices.
  • Turn the heat down and stir around for 15-20 seconds until the spices change colour and emit a strong fragrance. Keep covered when not stirring as the cardamoms can burst in the hot oil and cause burns.
  • Now add the ginger, garlic and onion. Cook on a medium flame for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. if there is still a strong smell of raw garlic and onion, add a splash of water and continue cooking until the water has evaporated and the raw smell has reduced. Now add the mince and salt and stir this to coat evenly with the spiced oil. Continue to roast the mince on high heat until it is browned and most of the water has evaporated. Add the chilli powder and carry on roasting until oil starts to separate from the meat. Now add the yoghurt,peas and garam masala and a small splash of water.
  • Turn the heat down and cook with a lid on until the peas are fully done. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

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