Thursday, October 13, 2011

Keema Matar (Indian Spiced Ground Veal with Peas)

I got a great deal on some ground veal at the store last week (I love those manager's specials!) and saw this recipe. I haven't made Indian food in a while and have never had anything like this so I thought I'd give it a try.

The recipe is really easy and is a great weekday meal you can get together easily under an hour.

If you like Indian food, this is very satisfying and if you're skeptical, this is kind of a good "starter" meal.

(For those who have issues with veal, you can substitute ground beef, lamb, pork, turkey or chicken in this and still have a great dish.)

Keema Matar (Indian Spiced Ground Veal with Peas)
(from Padma Lakshmi, here)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 pound ground veal
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 firm, ripe tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon minced ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon minced fresh hot serrano chilies, or to taste (optional)
3 cups frozen peas
1 lemon, juiced, or to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, or to taste
Indian flatbreads (rotis, chapatis) or tortillas, as an accompaniment


Begin by heating the oil in a large saute pan over med/high heat.

Add the onion once the oil comes up to temp. Add some salt and pepper.

Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the onion turns translucent.

Add your meat, add some more salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink.

Add the garlic, ginger, tomatoes and garam masala. 

Add your chiles at this point, but if you're cooking for kids, go really easy or leave them out completely. You can add some cayenne papper as a substitute. For some reason my daughter doesn't mind a little heat from cayenne but I'd be hesitant to throw in serranos. 

The tomatoes will let a lot of liquid into the mix. Let this cook for about 10 minutes.

 I kind of crushed the tomatoes against the pan as I stirred.

Add the peas and stir to combine.

Cook until the peas have thawed.

Add the lemon juice and cilantro.

Stir to combine and continue to cook until the peas are done to your liking.

The longer they cook, the softer they will get.

I served with whole wheat chapatis. They are very much like tortillas, so if you don't have an Indian market nearby, just spoon the meat into a tortilla and eat like a little burrito. I'd heat the tortillas up in a cast iron skillet first for some texture.

Like I said earlier, this is a really easy meal to throw together and packs the Indian flavor punch in the best ways. The meat is tender and a little spicy and slightly sweet. The peas add a great texture and flavor that most Americans would be very pleased with. It tastes like a very rich dish without too much fat.

Do yourself a favor and give it a try!



  1. This looks really easy to make...I will plan to cook it this week and let you know how mine turns out. Thx for posting.

  2. it was very easy. i bet turkey would be a really good sub for the veal too. i'm looking forward to how it works for you!


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