Keema Mattar

On a day to day basis, I try not to overeat. You know, be conscious of what I’m eating and all that jazz. For the most part, I do alright. But then I have those moments where I lapse. Big time lapse (segue to today’s recipe imminent). One of those times is when keema matter is on the cards for dinner (told you). This is a perfect recipe to cook if you need a hug in a meal. You can mop it up with hot chapatis (my preference), plain basmati rice (the hub’s choice) or even stuff it in a fluffy white bap if you like. If you want to elevate it to the next level though (we are talking “ohmygaaaahhh” level ) you need to do two things. One – cook the dish in mustard oil and two – use minced mutton instead of lamb. But like I said, if you can’t source those two things, worry not. It’s still going to taste shamazing. Enjoy! And then come back and tell me how it was 🙂 

Keema Mattar
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 5-6 tbsp mustard oil (you can also use vegetable or sunflower oil)
  2. 2 bay leaves
  3. 3 cloves
  4. 2 green cardamom pods crushed open
  5. 1 black cardamom pod crushed open (optional)
  6. 1 1/2 large onions, cut into rough chunks
  7. 3/4 tsp salt
  8. 2 fresh green chillies
  9. 2" ginger
  10. 3 garlic cloves
  11. 1 tsp salt or according to taste
  12. 1 tsp garam masala
  13. 1/2 tsp paprika
  14. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  15. 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  16. 1/4 tsp chilli powdder
  17. 5 tbsp tomato passata (you can also blitz fresh or tinned plum tomatoes into a paste)
  18. 800g minced mutton/lamb*
  19. 1 small potato, diced into 1cm cubes
  20. 100g peas
  21. Handful fresh coriander with stems, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Coarsely grind onions in a processor and place in a bowl. Now coarsely grind the chilli, ginger and garlic*
  2. Heat oil in a non stick pan. Once hot add the bay leaves, cloves and cardamoms.
  3. When they begin to sizzle in the oil, add the coarsely ground onions. Add 3/4 tsp salt and cook for 3-4 minutes on a medium to high heat.
  4. When they turn translucent and soft, add the ground green chilli, ginger and garlic mixture. Cook for a further 9-10 minutes until everything turns a deep golden brown shade. If it sticks to the pan at any point, add a splash of oil or alternatively water.
  5. Now reduce the heat and add the remaining 1 tsp salt and all the dry spices and mix well. Cook for 20 seconds. Now stir in the tomato passata and cook for 2 minutes. When the oil begins to separate from the masala sauce, add the mince and potatoes and mix together.
  6. Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil. Now reduce heat to low/medium setting and place lid on the pan. Allow the mince to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes, then add the peas. Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle on fresh coriander and mix.
  8. Taste for salt/chilli and adjust accordingly. If you would like the dish to be a little "drier", continue to cook until it has reduced down. Alternatively, if you prefer it "wetter" you can always add little more water than suggested.
Notes
  1. * If you don't have a processor, just finely chop onions and chilli and grate ginger & garlic.
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/

Roasted Lamb & Spinach Curry

Lamb and Spinach Curry is the ultimate dinner party dish and is perfect for special occasions. In this recipe, the lamb is slow roasted in order to ensure that the sauce thickens nicely and that the lamb tenderises perfectly so that it melts in your mouth. I also pre-marinaded the lamb in an aromatic yoghurt sauce so that each individual piece of lamb has it own flavour. I made this dish at a recent Spice Club dinner and it went down really well!  I think the key to this dish is cooking it slowly, yes it does take a little longer but it’s well worth the wait-believe! Best served with basmati rice or freshly made hot chappatis nom nom nom nom…
Recipe shown below serves 12. You can either divide by how many servings you want it to yield or use http://www.easysurf.cc/recipe.htm.

Serves 12

What we need:
For the marinade:-
1000g lamb, boneless leg cut into 2.5cm cubes
4 garlic cloves, grated
2″ ginger, grated
4 tbsp cream
6 tbsp yoghurt
4 tsp salt
2 tsp kasturi methi (fenugreek leaves)
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp meat tenderiser powder
For Masala:-
3 tbsp olive oil
6 onions, roughly chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
5 bay leaves
5 black cardomoms
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves
3 cloves garlic
2″ ginger
2 tsp salt (or according to taste)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala
pinch of pepper
2 green birdseye chillis, chopped
3/4 tin plum tomatos
2 handfuls of fresh coriander
300g pureed spinach

How we do:

  • In a bowl: Mix together the lamb and all of the ingredients listed above under the ‘marinade’ title. Refridgerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 170 C.
  • In a large open pan, heat the olive oil. Fry off the onions until golden and tender. Remove and grind in a food processor.
  • Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in an oven proof pan. Add the whole spices listed above. when they begin to sizzle, add the ginger and garlic. Mix well and add the remaining ground spices and salt.
  • Cook for a couple of minutes whilst stirring. Now add the ground onion paste to the pan as well as the green chillies.
  • Mix well and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes , stirring every couple of minutes. Now add the tomatos and fresh corriander. Cook the masala for a few minutes until the oil begins to separate.
  • Now add the marinated lamb and mix well.
  • Add 2 glasses of water to the lamb masala and place in the oven.
  • Check the lamb and stir it every 10 minutes. When you do this,if you think the gravy (masala) has thickened, you add some more water.
  • Keep an eye on the lamb curry and cook until the lamb is tender (I cooked it for about 3 hours). Once tender (you can tell if the lamb is fully cooked if it breaks apart easily) add the spinach and mix well until it blends with the masala.
  • Remove from oven. (NB. You can remove the whole spices from the lamb curry if you want).
  • Garnish with cream and fresh coriander.