A lot of time has been spent indoors recently due to the unpredictable weather. There is something rather homely and comforting to be inside a warm house as the rain storm causes havoc outside. We’ve had over two weeks of rain, virtually non stop, so I am guessing that the hosepipe ban for the south of England must surely have been lifted or at least close to being lifted. My garden is so lush and green to the extent that it is looking positively tropical.
So when the rain ceased slightly I made a dash for my local ethnic food stores to gather supplies in order to make some tasty dishes for the coming days. Upon returning home laden with exciting vegetables, spices, meats and fish, I decided to prepare Keema Masala for supper. Keema Masala is in many respects the Asian version of chilli con carne or bolognese, hence it is very straight forward to make. The word ‘keema’ derives from the ancient Turkish word for minced meat and the ‘masala’ is the blend of spices that make up the dish, namely the garam masala.
I tend to eat mine with flat bread or naan and mop it up this way, but eating it with rice is equally pleasurable. I like to compliment the dish with some homemade raita to help balance the spice from the keema masala. It works a treat.
Lamb Keema Masala
1.5kg minced lamb
3 tbs mustard oil (or vegetable/olive oil if you don’t have mustard)
1 and a half onions, chopped
5 garlic cloves
3 fresh green chilli
5cm ginger, grated
6 black peppercorns
5 cardamom pods
3 bays leaves
3 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground almonds
2 tbsp tomato puree
50 ml boiling water
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
handful of fresh coriander to garnish
1. Warm the oil in a pan and then add the onion and garlic. When it begins to darken after 3-5 minutes add the ginger, green chillies black peppercorns, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves and gently fry all the ingredients for another couple of minutes.
2. Add the remaining spices: ground coriander, turmeric and cumin as well as the garam masala and stir thoroughly and then add the ground almonds and tomato puree along with 50 ml of boiling water.
3. Place the minced lamb into the pan and stir into the fragrant ingredients. When the lamb has become brown add the salt and natural yoghurt. You will need to stir it frequently at this stage so that the mince does not clump together.
4. Leave to simmer for 25 minutes. You can cook it earlier in the day and reheat it when you are ready to eat.
Note: You may find you need to add a very little boiling water when reheating it.
5. When served garnish with fresh coriander.
7 tbsp yoghurt
1/2 cucumber, grated
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cumin
pinch of paprika
pinch of black pepper
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and then place into a small serving bowl.
2. Serve chilled.