One of the fusion pasta dishes which I make often for the kids. They absolutely love it. It is an indian fusion version of pasta in a meat sauce. Hearty and comforting, a bowl of keema pasta is a full meal which is a favorite for all age groups.
You can scratch cook the keema or repurpose leftover keema from dinner last night. A super simple pasta to make and has fresh made sauce. I do add a little smoked paprika for color and a tiny bit of fresh mint for that smokiness you expect from a well “bhuna” keema. Its an absolute winner dish with them. You can add a little cream to finish at the end if you like especially if you are using chicken mince.
The keema base is traditional indian kind – a spicy & tangy sauce made with fresh chopped onions, fresh pounded ginger & garlic and fresh tomatoes (or you can use canned tomatoes if you wish). Then go in the ground cumin, coriander and paprika(or red chilli powder), make it as spicy as you like. You can add some dried herbs like oregano as well. Once the minced meat (or ground chicken) goes in, bhuno(saute) it on low medium heat with the masala base till the meat is smoky and attains a brownish color.
I use the pasta water to thin out the base, and if you want you can add some vegetables like carrots, peas or peppers depending on how your family will enjoy it. It is so exciting to see how the kids enjoy the taste of indian dishes presented this way, in a way that appeals to their senses without trying to “sneak” anything. Double up the recipe if you want a larger batch. Here I used GF brown rice pasta, however substitute with any shape or kind or flavor of pasta that your family likes.
- pot & pans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1.5 tbsp ginger garlic simply pound 2 cloves of garlic & 1/2inch fresh ginger shoot using mortar pestle.
- 1+1/4 cup chopped tomatoes substitute with canned tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Red chilli powder(to taste)
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- 4-5 chopped fresh mint leaves (or any herbs you like)
- 150 gms ground lamb/beef/chicken (85-15 lean)
- salt to taste
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice to taste
- 200 gms pasta of choice, I used fuisili ,cook according to package instructions, reserve 1/2 -3/4 cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta and keep ready.
- In a wide saute pan, heat up the olive oil on medium heat.
- Once warm, add the chopped onions to the oil. Saute for 4-5 minutes till the onions start turning little brown, dont brown them too much.
- Next add the pounded ginger and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the ground spices next and saute for a minute so as to toast them in oil.
- Add the tomatoes next and sprinkle some salt, reduce the stove to low medium and let the tomatoes cook down.The tomatoes will soften and become saucy, continue to cook them till you see that they thicken and tiny oil bubbles start appearing on the top. Dont dry out too much.
- Add the ground meat now(I used ground lamb). Break down the meat using a wooden spoon and mix it with the masala. Cook the meat with the masala for good 8-10 minutes to low medium heat till you see that it has browned. Conitune sauteing the meat for another 5 minutes till you see that the oil is seperating.
- Add the salt (keep in mind that the pasta water that we are going to add little later is salted too), chopped mint and lemon juice now. After the meat has finished bhuno(browning), thin out the meat sauce with the reserved pasta water. Dont add too much water at once, start with 1/3 cup water and then go up from there depending on how much you need. Let the sauce heat up once you add the water.
- Once the sauce is warm, add the cooked pasta and fold gently with the meat. Add more water if you feel its dry. Check and adjust the salt as well.
- Let everything cook for 2 minutes, dont stir too much since the pasta is soft and might break.
- Switch off the stove, add some fresh cracked pepper(optional) and serve warm.
- Add 1/2 cup of frozen vegetables to the pasta.
- Add 2 tbsp of cream to finish the sauce, highly recommend it if you are using ground chicken.
- You can use the same recipe with vegetables. Just substitute the keema with equivalent amount of finely chopped vegetables and cook them down to soft before adding the pasta.