For us, whenever I cook minced lamb or chicken,we look forward to the leftovers more than ever. Having leftovers of such dishes in my fridge is utterly comforting for the next couple of days, simply because the ways to eat them are plenty – garnish with lots of fresh herbs and here you go – tuck them inside rotis (flatbreads) with pickled onions,stuff between buns or simply turn into a sorta shepherd pie.
This may well be the kind of dish which shouts home to me.The scent of spices and meat cooking together comes close to nothing. It is the kind of food which compels me to spend long hours in the kitchen, till I smell the exact aroma which haunts me from my mom’s kitchen.Hearty, satisfying and with delicate flavors – at the end of cooking, it is so rewarding (especially with the leftovers).Anything with minced meat is so welcoming in itself, potatoes just make it better. The central pleasure for me here are those-earthy, creamy & dense – purely alleviating the whole meat & potatoes experience.
‘Keema’ translates to any kind of minced meat in hindi. Aloo is potatoes.Hence the name. It is more of a dry stew than a soupy curry – slow cooked with all the spices.More than the look, it’s the flavors that count here.Those bold indian spices ensure delicate flavors which present a potent treat for your taste buds.
The list of spices is long but these are your everyday ones.It may look like a long method but the actual work that you have to do is no so much. I try not to add lot of oil because it makes the dish quite heavy – which we don’t prefer. I like the dryish look & texture of it. You can add more oil to this recipe if you like it more rich.
- 1 lb minced lamb/beef/chicken (I use 80% lean)
- 2 medium potatoes, cubed
- 3 tbsp mustard oil (substitute with canola/vegetable)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 green cardamom pods , cracked open
- 1 ” cinnamon stick
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2″ fresh ginger shoot, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp kashmiri chili powder (adjust to tolerance)
- 3 tbsp plain yogurt
- salt to taste
- To garnish – chopped cilantro
Coarsely grind together:-
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1.5 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns (adjust to tolerance)
- 4 cloves
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- In a cooking pot with lid,on high, heat up the oil till you see ripples on the surface and it smokes slightly.
- Reduce the heat to medium.Temper the oil with bay leaf ,cinnamon stick and green cardamom pods. Add the onions next.Cook the onions till they turn light brown.About 3-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic & ginger next and saute for about 1 minute till you smell the aroma.
- Next, add the coarsely ground spices to the pot.Toast the spices for another minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes next along with turmeric and red chilli powder.Cook for 3-5 minutes or till you see oil separating on sides of the pan.Add the potatoes next, mix together, reduce heat to low and cover the pot.Let cook covered for 8-10 minutes till the potatoes are almost 70% cooked. Remove the lid.
- Turn heat to high and add minced lamb to the pot & and work it with a spoon for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat.The meat will start separating,changing color, sweating and becoming watery.Do not worry, everything is going as per plan.
- Next, add yogurt, 1/4 cup water and salt to the pot. Mix well.Turn the heat to the lowest possible on your burner, cover the pot with lid and let simmer on low heat for about 22-28 minutes.You ll need to stir and check periodically to ensure that lamb is not sticking to the bottom. Add more water if needed
- Remove the lid,check the salt and cook on high again for 5 minutes till everything comes together.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm with flatbreads & salad.