A dish concocted in the royal kitchens of the Mughals, Keema is a delicious way to prepare ground beef full of enticing spices like ginger and cardamom. It is a meal in itself actually, with potatoes, green peas and raisins. This is my interpretation, as its preparation varies across northern India and Pakistan.
For 500 gr (about one pound) of ground beef.
1- In a large pan, place some olive oil and fry gently three to four garlic cloves crushed, an inch of fresh ginger root grated, a teaspoon of curry, a teaspoon of turmeric, salt & pepper, the seeds of four to five cardamom pods and half a stick of cinnamon.
2- When the spices give out their aroma, add about 10 small potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes. Mix well and let it cook for about 15 minutes mixing often.
3- Add the ground beef, 200 gr of green peas (half a cup to a cup) and about three quarters of a cup of golden Sultana raisins. Mix well. Do it gently so as not to crush the green peas. Let it cook uncovered on medium to low fire until the potatoes are tender and the meat well done.
4- Don’t forget to take out the cinnamon stick before serving.
And to go with it, Raita –a delight from the Indian Subcontinent. I serve it with almost every meal, even if it is not Indian food. It is healthy, lessens the effects of spicy food, helps digestion and cleans the palate.
1- Just mix some salt and cumin in plain yoghurt.
2- Top with fresh mint and khalas! (that’s it!)
3- To vary, you can add some shredded cucumber.