Kheema, a North Indian classic, is a spicy curry made with minced meat and fresh peas, simmered in a pot with ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes and a bunch of warm spices. Think of it as the Indian version of the American favorite, chili. While traditionally, ground mutton or goat meat is used in kheema, you can use any kind of ground meat or create a vegetarian version like I have done, with minced mushrooms or cauliflower.
Making the kheema may seem a little daunting, but don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. It’s a pretty simple, one-pot concoction that’s easy and quick enough to make even for a weeknight dinner. And you can play with the ingredients; stir in a few veggies like green peas, diced potatoes and even chopped spinach! Serve it in its humble form to be mopped up with pav or naan or simply mixed in with steamed basmati rice for a hearty meal.
I often double my kheema recipe; my family loves to eat it in its true form and then I like to play with the leftover, turning it into something beyond my imagination – stuffed in kheema puffs or kheema triangles for quick appetizers, turned into a party food as kheema tartlets or as a topping for the kheema pizza, bubbling with melted cheese hot off the oven!