Keema curry – so versatile and great for kids!

18 Jul

For those who do not know it, keema curry is made from minced beef.  This dish is great for kids as it is mild and really tasty.  It is versatile too.  I use it to make stuffing for my Whole Curried Poussin (recipe to follow at a later date) and it goes great with jacket potatoes for a healthy supper.  Make lots as it freezes really well without the peas, as these have been frozen once.  Just add the peas before reheating, fantastic.  Apparently, Keema curry is one of the least favourite choices in Indian cuisine.  I am as guilty as the next person for never trying it in an Indian restaurant but I will definitely make it more often at home in the future.  Always buy good quality mince meat otherwise you will have a greasy meal but, other than that, this recipe is virtually indestructible.  It is great for novice curry cooks as there is no risk of overcooking the meat or the meat being too chewy and, in the current climate, it makes a fantastic meal for pennies!  Any type of mince will do, even quorn or soy mince for vegetarians.

When mince pies where first made in the 16th Century, they contained shredded meat that was bulked out by dried fruit and spices.  The spices were brought over from the Holy Land and it was thought important to add three spices to the pies to represent the gifts taken to Jesus by the Three Wise Men.  There are a few superstitions about mince pies.  Being a Derbyshire lass I always like to know about these so I have listed a few below.

  • It was thought lucky to eat one mince-pie on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas, ending on the 6th January. 
  • Bad luck would also be the curse if you stir the mincemeat the wrong way when making it.  Always stir it in a clockwise dierction.
  • Refusing a piece of mince pie at Christmas dinner means you will have bad luck for the coming day. Some sources, on the other hand, say you’ll have bad luck for a whole year. So eat up.
  • Mince pies should always be eaten in silence.
  • Never cut a mince pie with a knife as you will cut your luck.
  • Make a wish when you eat your first mince pie of Christmas.

Well here is the recipe.

Keema curry                                                  Serves 6

  • 2 lb lean minced meat (beef, pork, lamb, chicken or vegetarian options)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 4 cloves, ground
  • 1 brown cardamom, ground
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 200ml canned tomato soup (I use Heinz)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green or red chilli, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint 
  • Handful of frozen peas
  • Wedges of hard-boiled egg to garnish (optional)
  1. Heat half the butter in a large, lidded saute pan and fry the mince for about 10 minutes until brown all over.
  2. In a separate pan or wok, heat the remaining butter and stir fry the onion, ginger and garlic over a medium heat until golden.  Add the turmeric, ground coriander, chilli powder, cloves and cardamom.  Mix well, adding a little water if the mix seems too dry.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190C/180cC fan/gas 5.  Add the stir fry to the mince with the tomatoes and ketchup.  Mix well, cover and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Take the dish out of the oven and stir in the soup, red pepper, chilli and garam masala.  Return to the oven and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes. 
  5. Switch off the oven and remove the dish.  Stir in the peas, mint and coriander.  Return the dish to the oven for a few minutes to enable the peas to warm through.
  6. Freeze at the end of Step 5 in rigid containers if required and thaw completely before reheating.
  7. Serve with rice, garnished with wedges of boiled egg if desired.

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