Keema | Indian-Style Ground “Meat”

Origins:

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Picture by: www.123rf.com

This dish comes from the Northern regions of India, where non-vegetarian cuisine is more popular partly due to the influence of Islamic and Christian practices and to the rise of different interpretations in Hindu beliefs in the Central and Northern Indian regions.*

This dish is traditionally made from goat/lamb/beef; however, through different regional commodities in the global evolution of this dish, it has been made from chicken, turkey, and, in this case, tofu. Other regional substitutes in the dish are the additional vegetables that can be incorporated.

But here’s what lies in the essence of keema, which cannot be substituted: the use of a ground protein, the 4 staple powdered Indian spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric and red chili powder), tomatoes and onions, and garlic-ginger paste.Without these, the full, rounded flavor of this curry will not be the same.**

Time:
Chopping and mixing: 15 mins
Cooking: 15 mins

Ingredients:

Spiced “Meat”:

  • 1 packet Extra firm tofu, ground with a fork (my 1 packet had 2 slabs of tofu in it)
  • 1 packet of Keema spices (easiest way to get the right flavor)
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomato
  • 2 tbsp garlic-ginger paste
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup of sweet green peas
  • 2 green onion stalks, chopped
  • 3 small sweet peppers, sliced
  • 2 farm eggs, fried (OPTIONAL)

Directions:

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In a frying pan on medium meat, add the ginger-garlic paste. Once that has fried for 30 seconds, add the chopped onions. Cook the onions until they are translucent.

Stir the spices into the paste and onions for about 2 minutes. Then, add the crushed tomato. Stir everything and let it meld for about 5 minutes.

Add the ground tofu to the mix and stir that in. Then, add the packet of keema spices. You can make your own spice mix if you like – look up the recipe for that. Stir and let this cook for another 5 minutes.

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Then, add the sweet peas and let those steam for 1.5 minutes with a lid on top of the keema.

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OPTIONAL: in the middle of the keema, make a well and add 2 eggs to fry them. Put the lid so the top of the egg cooks as well (for about 3 minutes).

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Once done, add the green onion and sliced sweet peppers on top.

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Where should I buy these ingredients?

Pretty much most of my ingredients were bought from the local indian market by my apartment in Raleigh, NC- “Around the World”. For all things Indian, Pakistani and even British – this is the place to go. My tofu was bought from the local asian market – Grand Asia.

My eggs were sourced from Al-Aqmar Farm – my parents’ local farm in Selma NC where their chickens live free-range.

How many does it serve?

This recipe serves about 4 people

What does this pair well with?

Fried Eggs, Naan, Rice with crisp fried onions and cinammon, fresh green chilis, and thinly sliced pan-fried potatoes. To drink, I served Jasmine essence sparkling water that I got from World Market- it was a delicate and beautiful flavor!

Additionally, you can use this “meat” to make samosas, parathas, and sandwiches. Also, to make an indian-spiced pasta dish!

Other toppings can include cilantro and lemon juice.

How long can it last?

This is best when eaten fresh, but can last up to 3-5 days.

*https://www.quora.com/Why-do-Hindus-in-some-parts-of-India-like-Kerala-and-the-North-East-eat-beef
**http://www.sailusfood.com/2013/03/20/keema-matar-non-veg-recipes/
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