Keema Curry is Sloppy Joe’s Indian cousin. Keema Curry isn’t ketchup-y, but he’s still tomato-y. What he lacks in sweetness he makes up for in spiciness. And he’s not so much into buns, but maaan does he love rice.
This is one of those dishes that comes together effortlessly. It’s mostly ground meat in a tomato-based sauce, with spices and any vegetables you have lying around. Common vegetables to add are peas, but I’ve seen this made with bell peppers, too. This recipe uses spinach because it’s what I had on hand.
This was actually my first attempt at making Keema Curry. I pretty much winged it and was very happily surprised at the results. I’m pleased that I’m slowly approaching the Successful Improvisation stage on the cooking abilities scale, but then again, it’s not terribly hard to sauté meat and vegetables and not have it taste good. But I’m gonna pat myself on the back anyway, not just because my fragile ego demands it, but because this is a very tasty dish indeed! Let’s make it.
You will need:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, grated
- 2 shallots, chopped (½ an onion works fine)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 handfuls spinach OR 1 cup peas OR 1 chopped bell pepper OR all of that
- 2 green chilies, sliced lengthwise (optional)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
- salt to taste
- chopped cilantro, for garnish
In a large pan, heat the oil or ghee over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger and shallots/onions and stir until the shallots/onions begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
Add the ground meat, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and chili powder. Break up the meat and stir to combine. Allow the meat to brown, about 8-10 minutes.
Next add the vegetables and green chilies if you’re using them. Allow the vegetables to soften or wilt, about 3-5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, including all liquid from the can. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt to taste.
To serve, spoon on top of rice and garnish with cilantro. Add a dollop of yogurt to make things interesting, and perhaps some mango pickle if you’re in the mood.