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While we don’t advocate eating out at buffets for fear of over indulgence sometimes you go with what you have and then you realize something awesome is about to happen…

That’s what happen to us the first week Tara arrived in Halifax. Just in case you’re “not in the know” Tara is originally from the States and came to Halifax a month earlier than anticipated due a truck deciding it would rather knock Meegan over than stop at the crosswalk. Suffice it to say life has been a little chaotic around these parts.

One particular day last week we needed some lunch and as we were out around the larger shopping areas we were inundated with fast food options. Instead we opted for an Indian restaurant that happen to have a lunch buffet…The most evil word when life is stressful and you’re hungry: Buffet. Luckily the restaurant was small, meaning the buffet really was just a few main dishes to choose from. We both tried something called Keema (“minced meat”) and LOVED it. So much so we decided to try and make it at home.

Not only was it easy to make, the recipe was so simple that changing it up to fit our needs (think more vegetables) didn’t do anything to the taste. It was delicious. We encourage you to step out of your food “comfort” zone and give this one a try…

(The recipe we used came from HERE and is actually Pakistani.)

Keema (Kheema / Qeema):

It is typically minced mutton curry with peas or potatoes. Keema can be made from almost any meat, can be cooked by stewing or frying, and can be formed into kababs. Keema is also sometimes used as a filling for samosas or naan.”

The ingredients

  • 2 pounds Ground Beef (Keema)
  • 3 medium Onions (finely chopped)
  • 5 cloves of Garlic (Lehsan) (peeled & minced)
  • 1″ piece of Ginger (Adrak) (peeled & minced)
  • 2″ piece of Cinnamon Stick (Dal Cheeni)
  • Cloves (Loung)
  • ¼ tsp. Red Chilli Powder (Pisi Lal Mirch) (or to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric Powder (Pisi Haldi)
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin Powder (Pisa Zeera)
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander Powder (Pisa Dhania)
  • 2 tbsp. Plain Yogurt (We used Greek)
  • 3 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • Clarified Butter (Ghee) or Cooking Oil
  • 1 cup Water

Side note: The pictures we’re posting for this recipe will be way out of proportion from what the recipe called for. We like to cook more than what we need for a meal to use the week’s lunches or freeze for later. We doubled this recipe and have plenty of good eatins’ to look forward too.

The spices can be put into one bowl and mixed together since you will put them all in at once a little later on. Look at the pretty colors!

Once your spices are all mixed up and ready to go, set them off to the side and get to choppin the garlic / ginger / onions…

 

For our added vegetables we went with some that were not only vibrant in color but flavorful and in season from our local farmers market: Carrots (three different colors), red peppers and asparagus.

 

When everything is chopped and ready to go, get that oil nice and hot and throw in the garlic / ginger before the veggies. This way the tasty goodness of both the garlic and the ginger will get in the oil and really come out in the dish. After a minute or two toss in the vegetables and saute. An important thing to remember when sauteing your vegetables for this dish is to not let them cook for too long. Just a few minutes to let the onions brown should do the trick. The rest of the veggies will cook while simmering.

– Side note: Because we made such a big batch we used a large pot to make this dish. A large frying pan will probably be sufficient if you are making just what the recipe calls for.

Onions brown? Good! Now comes the part where you’ll feel like one of those chefs on Iron Chef as you add the spices (all at once) and the yogurt / tomato paste. Okay maybe you won’t feel like an Iron Chef but Tara did! We both may or may not have done a little dance at the delicious smell coming from the pot (true story)! Continue to saute for another 10 minutes or so.

 

– Side note: To keep the spices from burning while sauteing add small amounts of water during this step. Keep a watchful eye during this part, as spices can burn fairly easily in the hot pan.

(Seriously doesn’t it smell AMAZING?!?)

Add ground beef and continue to saute for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the one cup of water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, bring to a nice simmer (low heat) and let it cook for another 30 – 45 minutes until beef is thoroughly cooked.

 

Time to EAT!

We used a delicious wild rice mix to go with the Keema Matter. Traditionally this dish would only have onions with peas added at the end and served with either rice, naan or potatoes but the nice thing about trying recipes at home is you get to change things up and discover your own delicious ways of eating!!!

And trust us when we say:

~ Now that’s good eatin Folks!

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