Keema Matar
Keema Matar
5 from 23 votes
This Indian-style minced meat curry is made with ground lamb and peas. An easy, one-pot keema curry recipe that’s packed with flavour and deliciousness. Perfect served with chapatti!
Keema Matar

Keema Matar! The mere mention of this dish takes me right back to the bustling streets of India where it originated. A staple in North Indian households, Keema Matar has roots that dive deep into the culinary history of the subcontinent.

Legend has it that this dish was a favourite among the royals and was served at grand feasts. It’s no wonder that it has withstood the test of time and still remains a cherished recipe in many kitchens worldwide.

If I were to gauge its difficulty on a scale of one to ten, I’d place it somewhere around a five. It’s moderately easy if you follow the steps, but the magic lies in getting the flavours just right.

That being said, even if you’re just starting your culinary journey, don’t be deterred. It’s as much a joy to prepare as it is to consume!

Speaking of variations, while the classic Keema Matar is undeniably delightful, there are numerous ways to spin it. Some folks add potatoes for a starchy kick, while others might throw in a dash of cream for a richer texture.

The foundation remains the same, but these subtle changes can lend a unique twist, making the dish an exciting endeavour every time it’s prepared.

So, what makes Keema Matar so exceptional? It’s a symphony of ingredients. The minced meat, a base that carries flavours so well, paired with the vibrant pop of peas.

The aromatics, including cumin and ginger, create a scented backdrop, while the fiery chillies add that kick that many, including yours truly, can’t do without.

In a world where time is always of the essence, Keema Matar stands out as a dish that doesn’t demand hours in the kitchen. Sure, it’s not an instant meal, but the time spent crafting it is rewarded tenfold when you dig into its delectable depths.

Lastly, whether you’re trying Keema Matar for the first time or revisiting an old favourite, the end result is always a delightful plate that promises comfort and nostalgia in each bite. Pair it with some garlic naan, and you have a meal that’s nothing short of a celebration.

What Ingredients to Use & Why

To truly appreciate the majesty of a dish like Keema Matar, one must delve deep into its components. Each ingredient, carefully chosen, plays its part in this culinary ballet.

From providing depth, flavour, or just that unique twist that elevates the dish, each has its role. Let’s embark on this journey of flavours and see what makes our beloved Keema Matar the gem that it is.

Minced Meat: The cornerstone of our dish, minced meat, serves as a canvas. It absorbs the flavours of the spices, becoming incredibly savoury. Depending on personal preference, one can opt for lamb, beef, or even chicken. For a vegetarian twist, minced tofu or textured vegetable protein (TVP) make great alternatives.

Olive Oil: Beyond just frying, olive oil imparts a subtle fruity note, providing depth to the dish. While olive oil is a healthier choice due to its monounsaturated fats, ghee or butter can be used for a richer flavour and a more traditional touch.

Cumin Seeds (Jeera): These tiny seeds burst with a warm, earthy flavour, setting the aromatic foundation for the Keema Matar. Aniseed or caraway seeds can stand in if cumin isn’t available, but they will give a slightly different aroma.

Ginger Paste: Ginger offers a zesty punch, bringing a brightness that counterbalances the hearty meat. While fresh ginger is always best, ground ginger can serve as a quick alternative.

Garlic: Garlic, with its pungent charm, infuses the dish with a depth that’s hard to replicate. In a pinch? Garlic powder can be used, but the fresh aroma of real cloves is incomparable.

Onions: Their sweet caramelization offers a beautiful contrast to the spices, imparting a necessary sweetness and body to the curry. Shallots can be an alternative, offering a milder, more refined flavour.

Tomatoes: These add tanginess and a slight sweetness, rounding off the spices and giving the curry its characteristic texture. Canned tomatoes or tomato puree can be alternatives, although fresh tomatoes are preferred for their natural zest.

Bullet Chillies: These pack a punch! They add a spicy kick, elevating the dish’s warmth. Depending on heat tolerance, one could opt for milder green chillies or even red bell peppers for a non-spicy variant.

Spices: These are the soul of Keema Matar, each bringing its characteristic flavour. Together, they create a tapestry of warmth, heat, and earthiness. For those seeking shortcuts, pre-mixed curry powders might work, but individual spices ensure an authentic taste.

Peas (Frozen): These little green gems add a burst of sweetness, contrasting beautifully with the meat’s savouriness. Fresh peas, when in season, can replace frozen ones.

Coriander: A sprinkle of freshness, coriander leaves uplift the dish, offering a fragrant finish. Parsley can be an alternative, although coriander is more traditional to the dish.

As we wrap up our deep dive into the ingredients of Keema Matar, remember this: While the components are crucial, it’s the love and care with which you prepare the dish that truly makes it special.

Each ingredient has its role, its moment to shine. Together, they create a melody of flavours, a dish that comforts, delights, and reminds us of the joys of good food.

The Timeless Appeal of Keema Matar

Keema Matar is one of those comforting classics that has, over the years, become a staple in my kitchen. The beauty of this dish lies not just in its rich flavours but also in the stories and memories it invokes.

Originating from the bustling streets of North India, Keema Matar is an embodiment of the region’s love for spices and hearty meat dishes. Every bite takes me on a nostalgic trip to the alleyways of Delhi or the vibrant markets of Mumbai.

The amalgamation of minced meat with fresh peas, all wrapped in an aromatic gravy, has been a favourite of many, including the royals.

While the dish’s traditional roots are deeply set in Indian culture, its appeal has traversed borders. I’ve come across many variants as I’ve travelled. From the bistros in Paris to the street stalls in Bangkok, Keema Matar has found its place, with each region adding its unique twist.

What truly fascinates me is the adaptability of this dish. While the core ingredients remain constant, there’s always room for experimentation. I’ve tried it with various meats – lamb, beef, and even chicken. For my vegetarian friends, a tofu version has been a hit.

Beyond just the main ingredient, the spices offer a realm of possibilities. Sometimes, I lean towards a milder, creamy version, perfect for a cosy winter evening. At other times, the fiery maven in me opts for an extra dose of chillies, creating a dish that’s not for the faint-hearted.

However, no matter the tweaks and twists, one thing remains consistent – the joy it brings to the dinner table. Paired with fresh garlic naan or steaming basmati rice, Keema Matar is the hero of many of my dinner parties.

Mastering Keema Matar in My Kitchen

Diving into the realm of cooking, I’ve had my fair share of hits and misses. But mastering Keema Matar has been one of my most rewarding culinary journeys. Let me take you through my escapade into perfecting this North Indian delicacy.

The first time I tried my hand at Keema Matar, it was an ambitious attempt to recreate a dish I had tasted. The robust flavours had left such an indelible mark that I was eager to recreate it.

The choice of meat is crucial. While lamb offers a richer, deeper flavour profile, chicken provides a lighter touch. After a few trials, I found my sweet spot with a mix of lamb and beef. It gave the dish the perfect balance of richness and subtlety.

Then came the dance of the spices. The cumin, with its earthy tones, sets the stage. The ginger and garlic bring a zesty undertone. But it’s the combination of chilli, turmeric, coriander, and cumin powder that truly makes the dish come alive. Each spice, with its unique note, adds to the symphony.

The addition of peas, those tiny green bursts of sweetness, contrasts beautifully with the savoury meat. And while the traditional recipe calls for fresh peas, I’ve found that frozen peas work just as beautifully, especially when peas are out of season.

Over time, I’ve learned that patience is the secret ingredient. Giving the dish its time on the stove, and letting the meat simmer in the spices, is what makes all the difference. It’s a labour of love, but when I see the delight on the faces of my loved ones as they dig in, it’s all worth it.

Whether it’s a casual Sunday brunch or a festive dinner, Keema Matar has carved its special place in my kitchen. And while the journey to mastering it had its challenges, it’s a dish that I now wear as a badge of honour in my culinary repertoire.

My Affair with Indian Spices through Keema Matar

Every time I step into my kitchen, I am reminded of the allure of Indian spices. Their magic came alive for me, particularly through Keema Matar. Delving into this dish has been like reading an intriguing novel, one where each chapter introduces a new spice, each with its backstory and character.

Cumin, the first spice I toss into the hot oil, whispers tales from ancient bazaars. As it sizzles, its aroma beckons memories of old family recipes and tales of trade routes. It’s more than just a spice; it’s a bridge to the rich history of a subcontinent that has been a melting pot of cultures.

Then there’s turmeric, the golden beauty. Known as ‘haldi’ in Hindi, it’s a staple in Indian kitchens. Every time I sprinkle this sun-hued powder into my Keema Matar, I am reminded of its medicinal properties. It’s not just a spice for flavour; it’s a testament to the age-old wisdom of Ayurveda.

No dish feels complete without a touch of coriander and cumin powder. They come together in a harmonious duet, offering an earthiness that grounds the dish. Their mingling feels like an old Bollywood song – timeless, classic, and evocative.

But what’s life without a little kick? The chilli powder does precisely that. It doesn’t just bring heat; it brings passion, vibrancy, and life to the dish. It’s a reminder of the warm Indian summers, of festivities and celebrations.

My journey with Keema Matar has made me realize that cooking isn’t just about following a recipe. It’s about understanding the soul of each ingredient, respecting its origin, and then weaving a story around it.

Evolving Traditions: Keema Matar Across Borders

It was during one of my overseas trips that I stumbled upon a unique version of Keema Matar. The experience was revelatory. It was like meeting an old friend in a new avatar. And that’s the thing about recipes; they evolve, they travel, they adapt, and yet, they retain their essence.

In the heart of London, I tasted a Keema Matar pie. The flaky crust encapsulated the spicy minced meat and peas filling. It was a beautiful marriage of British and Indian culinary traditions. The dish spoke of colonial legacies, shared histories, and culinary exchanges that transcend borders.

Later, in a New York diner, I encountered a Keema Matar burger. Juicy lamb mince, seasoned with the traditional spices, served with a side of mint chutney.

It was a bit of nostalgia served in a bun. This dish, in its own way, narrated tales of migrations, of home away from home, of Indian flavours meeting the Big Apple.

Such experiences made me reflect on the fluidity of traditions. Recipes, like stories, are passed down through generations. But as they travel, they metamorphose. They blend with local flavours and adapt to regional palates, and yet, somewhere, they remain true to their roots.

Every time I cook Keema Matar now, I think of its journey. From the bustling lanes of North India to chic urban cafes around the world. It’s a dish that’s global in its appeal and yet deeply traditional in its soul.

As I serve it with a side of garlic naan or perhaps a crusty bread roll, I am reminded that food is more than sustenance. It’s a narrative, a conversation, an ever-evolving tapestry of cultures, histories, and memories. Dishes like Keema Matar are the threads that bind us all together.

The Whimsical Dance of Onions and Tomatoes in Keema Matar

Oh, the romance of cooking! It’s something I’ve been deeply passionate about. Among all the affairs in my culinary world, the one that’s most poetic to me is the dance between onions and tomatoes in Keema Matar.

Whenever I whip up this dish, there’s always a point where it feels like I’m crafting a Bollywood love story right in my pan.

Onions, with their layers, represent depth. They sizzle and soften, becoming translucent – almost like they’re shedding their inhibitions.

The aroma that arises when they hit the pan is tantalizing, and the entire kitchen starts to resonate with an aroma that is both inviting and familiar. Every time I see those onions glaze and shine, it reminds me of how raw emotions, when cooked right, turn golden.

Then enter the tomatoes. Juicy, tangy, and bursting with vibrancy, they introduce an element of freshness to the tale.

As they cook down, the acid from the tomatoes balances out the sweet richness of the onions. This union, right there, is the crescendo in our culinary love story. They mingle, they merge, and they create a base that’s unparalleled in its robustness.

I often find myself lost in thoughts when these two ingredients harmonize in the pan.

Their duet is a reminder that sometimes opposites attract. The slight bitterness of onions meeting the acidic sweetness of tomatoes results in a symphony of flavours. A symphony that sets the perfect stage for the minced meat and spices that follow.

Rediscovering My Roots with Keema Matar

My culinary journey has taken me to various corners of the world. I’ve tasted a multitude of flavours, experimented with exotic ingredients, and learned techniques from global cuisines. But no matter where I wander, my heart often yearns for the comfort of home-cooked Keema Matar.

Every time I sauté cumin seeds and hear them crackle, memories of my grandmother’s kitchen flood back. I recall the tales she narrated, stories interwoven with history, love, and a touch of spice. The ginger paste, the chopped garlic, the minced meat – each has a story, a connection to my roots.

When the peas are added to the simmering mince, it’s like the refreshing green of my homeland fields. I’m reminded of the bustling markets where fresh peas are sold in jute sacks, their vibrant green contrasting with the earthen hues around. Their sweetness balances the spices, making the dish wholesome and hearty.

Every spoonful of Keema Matar, when served with garlic naan, is a journey back to my roots. It’s more than just a dish; it’s an emotion. It symbolizes family gatherings, festive celebrations, and those quiet moments when food did more than satiate hunger – it nourished the soul.

Sometimes, I give it a gourmet twist. Maybe a splash of wine or a sprinkle of an exotic herb. But the essence remains the same. It’s a dish that binds me to my ancestry, a flavour that feels like home.

Embracing the Spice Trail with Keema Matar

In my years of exploring the world through flavours, the quest for spices has been nothing short of an odyssey. Every spice on my shelf has a narrative, a whisper from a distant land. And when I think of Keema Matar, the story is richly embroidered with the tales of these spices.

Turmeric, the golden child of my spice cabinet, has been an integral part of my culinary narrative.

With its warm hue and earthy notes, it doesn’t just add colour but also infuses a distinct warmth into the Keema Matar. Every time I see that vibrant yellow hue seeping through the minced meat, I’m transported to the sun-drenched fields where turmeric roots flourish.

Then there’s the red chilli powder, fiery and unapologetic. It’s a testament to my love for heat in my dishes. With every pinch, I’m reminded of the bustling bazaars, where mounds of red chillies are sun-dried and then ground to perfection. Their piquant flavour adds depth and an element of adventure to my Keema Matar.

Cumin, with its nutty aroma, always makes its presence known. I still remember the first time I sensed its aromatic richness – at a local market in a small town.

Since then, whether whole or in powdered form, cumin has been a non-negotiable for my Keema Matar. It’s the kind of spice that lends a comforting familiarity to the dish.

Frozen Peas and Fresh Memories in Keema Matar

Among the myriad ingredients that make Keema Matar the dish of nostalgia, it is for me, the humble pea holds a special place. Frozen peas, those tiny green gems, are more than just a vegetable in my kitchen; they are the bearers of countless memories.

Every time I open a packet of frozen peas and hear the gentle clink of those icy morsels, my mind drifts back to the winters in my hometown.

Winters, when fresh peas were a luxury, and every meal was a celebration. While today’s fast-paced world has given me the convenience of frozen peas, the emotion attached remains as fresh as ever.

Adding these frozen peas to the simmering Keema transforms the dish. The burst of sweetness they introduce acts as a beautiful counterpoint to the medley of spices.

Their vibrant green not only enhances the visual appeal of the Keema Matar but also reminds me of the verdant fields where these peas were once plucked.

As the Keema Matar simmers to perfection and the aroma fills my kitchen, I often close my eyes and take a moment. A moment to be grateful for the journey, the memories, and the simple joy that cooking brings.

And as I take that first bite, it’s evident – every pea, every spice, every ingredient is a chapter of a beautiful story that I’ve lived and cherished.

The Allure of Olive Oil in Keema Matar

Olive oil, an ambassador from the Mediterranean in my kitchen, has significantly shaped my culinary adventures.

Every dish has a soul, and in my Keema Matar, that soul is undeniably nurtured by olive oil. When I pour that glossy liquid into the pan, it’s not just oil; it’s a golden elixir carrying tales of ancient olive groves.

Using olive oil in Keema Matar might not be traditional, but I have my reasons. Its fruity undertones and the slightly peppery finish complement the robust flavours of the dish.

As the oil heats up, there’s an aromatic whisper that promises something delectable is about to unfold. It serves as the stage where spices perform their magic, where minced meat gracefully dances, absorbing flavours and aromas.

Moreover, olive oil’s richness elevates the textures. It ensures that the meat remains juicy, and tender, and every bite is a morsel of perfection.

Furthermore, the health benefits are a bonus! Rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, it adds a nutritious touch to my dish. So, every time I serve Keema Matar, I’m serving not just flavours but also well-being.

Bullet Chillies: The Silent Firecrackers in Keema Matar

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my culinary endeavours, it’s that looks can be deceiving. Take bullet chillies, for instance. Tiny but mighty, these little firecrackers are the unsung heroes of my Keema Matar. Their vibrant hue might suggest innocence, but oh boy, the kick they pack is anything but subtle.

Incorporating bullet chillies into the dish is my way of adding an unexpected twist.

Their heat isn’t immediate. It’s a crescendo, slowly building up, teasing the taste buds, and then delivering a punch that’s both delightful and surprising. Unlike other chillies that scream their presence, bullet chillies are the strong, silent types. Their spiciness is refined, elegant, and has depth.

Beyond the heat, they also introduce a fresh, slightly tangy note. It’s this balance of heat and tanginess that makes them invaluable in my Keema Matar.

As they simmer along with the meat and spices, they infuse the dish with a warmth, a zest, that’s unparalleled. They’re a reminder that sometimes, the smallest things bring the most joy and flavour.

These tiny wonders have taught me a lesson – in the kitchen and in life. It’s not always about the size or the volume. Sometimes, it’s the quiet, unassuming ones that make the most impact

Check Out These Other Recipes

As I savoured every mouthful of the Keema Matar, it whisked me away on a culinary journey, exploring the richness of Indian flavours.

And if you’re just as enchanted by this cuisine as I am, you’re in for a treat! I recently dived into the spicy notes of Keema Aloo and let me tell you, it was an absolute delight, especially with a side of soft Naan Bread.

The warmth of Chicken Karahi, with its rich, robust gravy, is something that lingers on your palate long after your meal.

For those who like a hint of tang and spice, the Chicken Tikka Masala offers a harmonious blend that’s tough to resist. And, if you’ve got a penchant for mutton, the Mutton Shinwari is a treat waiting to be explored.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these recipes. Do try them out and share your feedback in the comments. Every bite will take you deeper into the heart of Indian cuisine.

Keema Matar

Keema Matar

by Nabeela Kauser
This Indian-style minced meat curry is made with ground lamb and peas. An easy, one pot keema curry recipe that’s packed with flavour and deliciousness. Perfect served with chapatti!
5 from 23 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 4
Calories 522 kcal


  • 500 g Minced Meat
  • 50 ml Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds Jeera
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 3 Garlic chopped
  • 2 Onions
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 2 Bullet Chillies
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 200 ml Water
  • 200 g Peas Frozen
  • Coriander


  • Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat until hot
  • Add the cumin seeds and sauté for 1-2 minutes
  • Add the ginger paste and chopped garlic cloves then sauté for a further 1-2 minutes
  • Add the finely diced onions and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat until softened
  • As the onions are cooking chop the tomatoes then add into pan and cook for 4-5 minutes
  • Add the salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder then cook the spices for 2-3 minutes – you may need to add a few tablespoons of water to prevent the spices from burning and to allow the spices to release their colour
  • Add the mince and break apart then cook for 6-8 minutes on medium heat
  • Add the water and cover then cook for 20 minutes on medium heat
  • Add the frozen peas then cook for 6-8 minutes
  • Add the finely sliced bullet chillies and chopped coriander
  • Serve immediately with fresh garlic naan and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 522kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 27gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 690mgPotassium: 924mgFibre: 7gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1601IUVitamin C: 86mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 85mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Cooking, Curry, Food, Keema, Lamb, Minced Meat, Recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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10 months ago

5 stars
My husband found you on youtube and is a biiig fan of all your dishes he has cooked for me. Today i made this for him on our first day of ramadan and wow was it a pleaser. Allah bless you for sharing your recipes.

Meg Hadlington
Meg Hadlington
10 months ago

5 stars
When a recipe say add cream I avoid making this meal as I’m unable to have cream , any suggestions please . Thanks


Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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