A British staple is good old spaghetti bolognese – we all grew up eating it and many regard it as the ultimate comfort food. These days I rather gravitate towards the Indian twist on the bolognese known as ‘lamb keema masala’. My girls adore it too and I personally like to eat it with some hot Indian flat bread. It has onions and garlic in it, like bolognese, but how it differs is the range of fragrant spices that go into it: cloves, cardamom, coriander, cumin, garam masala and ginger. I like to dice a large potato and throw that in too and it soaks up all the glorious flavours.
So how about this giving my keema a go next time you think of cooking a mince dish? It’s versatile, very easy to prepare and tastes really delicious. Bolognese with a twist. I hope you agree.
Lamb Keema Masala
800g minced lamb
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 red onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 fresh green chilli, finely chopped
5cm ginger, grated
6 black peppercorns, roughly ground
5 cloves, whole or ground
5 cardamom pods, whole or ground
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground almonds
1 heaped tsp of tomato puree
1 tsp salt
1 large potato, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 handfuls of peas, optional
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 leaf and gently fry all the ingredients for another couple of minutes.
2. Add the ground mince and chopped potato and stir into the onion, garlic and spices. Allow the lamb to brown, but use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the mince and make sure it does not clump together.
3. Now add the ground coriander, cumin, turmeric and garam masala, along with the ground almonds and tomato puree. Don’t forget to add a little salt. If you are adding peas add them at this stage. You can add a little water – around 100ml will do – to moisten it all.
3. Gently simmer, with a lid on for 20 minutes, stirring intermittently. Check that the potatoes have softened.
4. 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. Garnish with fresh coriander when serving.
It’s great with boiled rice or Indian flat bread.