Are you a fan of keema? If you haven’t discovered it yet, think shepherd’s pie filling, but with a delicious, warm, spicy kick. We adore it. I first started making a similar version as a party nibble, stuffed into little lettuce cups, but we also just have it with rice. It’s a really easy, yummy way to spice up lamb mince (if you’re only using it in your shepherd’s pies, you’re missing a trick), and it’s a great, affordable way to feed the whole family. We don’t seem to eat at the same time as much on weekdays, so I sometimes knock up a big pan of keema, then Mr E and I will eat ours with rice, and the boys will heat theirs up later, which I think is where the whole stuffed chapatis/quesadilla idea came about (I’ve got to be honest, I was going to call these quesadillas, but y’know, it almost seems a fusion dish too far, plus since I decided to write this recipe up, we’ve started buying chapatis and they’re delicious).
Anyway, to celebrate this fab recipe, Red Tractor Lamb has come up with the Keema Sutra (I know!) which is great as it highlights the sheer versatility of this lovely recipe. Once you’ve mastered the base lamb keema recipe, you can do all sorts of other things with it: tacos, pasta bakes, toasties… Obviously the amount of heat you use is going to be very much dependent on how much your family like spicy food. Maybe start with a tiny sprinkling of green chilli and work your way up.
For the basic keema, you’ll need:
450g lean lamb mince
1 tbsp oil – I use rapeseed
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
1-2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp curry paste of your choice
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 – 2 tsp white sugar
2 tbsp tomato purée
75 frozen peas
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
Bunch fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish (and also for the salsa)
For the salsa:
1/2 red onion, very finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1 mango, stone removed, peeled and chopped
Handful chopped coriander
For the chapatis:
1 pack chapatis
1 pack Indian paneer, grated
To make the keema, heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and cook the onion and garlic gently until just softened. Add in the ginger, chillies and curry paste. Cook for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the lamb mince and stir fry until the lamb is uniformly browned, then add the tomatoes, sugar, and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the frozen peas about five minutes before the end of the cooking time. If it looks like it’s getting too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water. Season to taste.
Meanwhile, make the salsa by chopping up the onion very finely. Squeeze over the lime juice, stir and set aside while you chop the tomatoes and mango. Add a handful of chopped coriander and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir together.
Heat a clean frying pan, brushing with a small amount of butter. Place a chapati into the frying pan and allow to cook for a few seconds until it starts to puff up a bit, then spoon on a generous couple of spoonfuls of keema. Sprinkle over a handful of paneer, then top with a second chapati. Press down gently. Flip over to brown the other side, then slice into four and serve with the fresh salsa.
One thing to look out for when choosing your meat – whether it’s beef or lamb – is a quality mark like the Red Tractor logo – It means the meat is farm assured and is of top quality. Fancy having a go at keema? Let me know how you get on!