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Lamb keema matar plated

Lamb Keema Matar

Course dinner
Keyword Habanero Pepper
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 797kcal


For the cucumber raita - kheera raita

  • 1 English cucumber medium-sized, peeled and very finely diced seeds and all. Ideally, that should weigh about 16 ounces when diced.
  • 16 ounces whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 ounce fresh cilantro finely chopped, stalks and all
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

For the lamb keema matar

  • 1 habanero pepper finely chopped, seeds and all. By all means, for less fiery heat, swap the habanero for some milder chilies - perhaps serranos or cayennes.
  • 1 pound finely minced lamb I used a boneless leg steak that my butcher kindly minced for me – just perfect. You want to be looking for a fat content of at least 15%, but not much more than 20%.
  • 2 yellow onions medium-sized, peeled, and very finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated. I keep my ginger in the freezer and it grates really easily from frozen, skin and all.
  • 1 can chopped peeled tomatoes 14-ounce can
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes peeled and roughly cut into 1 inch chunks. A not too floury variety like Yukon Gold or Russet would be a grand choice.
  • 4 ounces frozen green peas
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 green cardamom pods lightly crushed
  • 1/2 ounce fresh cilantro roughly chopped, stalks and all
  • 2 heaped teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cilantro
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 heaped teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil – the odorless cooking variety
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter


Making the raita

  • This is really easy. Just thoroughly combine all the ingredients in a suitably sized serving bowl and pop it in the refrigerator. Let people help themselves to the raita when you serve the keema matar.

Making the keema mata

  • On a medium heat, melt the coconut oil and butter in a saucepan big enough to hold all the ingredients for your keema matar. As soon as the buttery oil starts to foam, add the chili, onions, garlic, ginger, cardamom pods, fresh cilantro, and bay leaves. Stir well and let the mix slowly fry on a low-medium heat for about five minutes with the occasional stir. You’re aiming here for the onions to completely soften and just begin to pick up a little golden color.
  • Once that happens, drop the heat to low and add the ground cilantro, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, and salt. Continue to cook on that low heat with a few stirs for another five minutes. If the mix starts catching on the bottom of the pan, add a few teaspoons of water – just barely enough to stop it catching. Time now to brown the lamb mince.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and thoroughly mix in the minced lamb. Use a spatula to break the mince apart so there are no clumps. Keep on stirring so all the lamb begins to brown a little but doesn’t get a chance to stick to the bottom. About five minutes or so of that slow stir-frying on medium-high heat should do the trick with the lamb.
  • Now add the canned tomatoes, sugar, and water. Stir well, let the pan come up to a slow simmer, and then drop the heat to low. Cover the pan with the lid just slightly ajar, and let it simmer away for 30 minutes with a few good stirs.
  • Add the potatoes and continue to simmer with the lid ajar for about another 20 minutes - so that the potatoes are just cooked through. When they are, taste for salt. The potatoes will absorb quite a bit of the saltiness, so you may well need to add more to your taste. Good. Almost finished.
  • Stir in the frozen peas together with the lemon juice, and cook on low for a final five minutes. Done - ready to serve with your kheera raita and warm flatbreads.


On the kheera raita
I like to make this first because the flavors develop nicely as it sits in the refrigerator while you make your keema matar. It also keeps really well for at least three days - chilled - in a well-sealed container. So, I tend to make more than enough at one go - using one cucumber and a matching amount of yoghurt to get that half-half ratio.
A word about the flatbreads
I like mine generously buttered and then warmed through on a plate for about 45 seconds on high in the microwave.
To drink?
A light, crisp beer – very cold - is rightly popular with curry. Otherwise, a fruity cordial mixed with sparkling water is a grand choice. My favorite is a large glass of lime cordial and soda water, with plenty of ice and lemon.


Calories: 797kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 731mg | Potassium: 1925mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1332IU | Vitamin C: 79mg | Calcium: 289mg | Iron: 7mg