Actually, keema is the only Indian beef recipe I've ever heard of, period (though about half the time I go with lamb intead). As opposed to whole pieces of meat, ground meat really allows garam masala to penetrate in, resulting in an extremely flavorful dish. When I make it for friends, I call it "keema-it's-like-Indian-chili-but-better." When I'm home, I ask my mom to make it because her version, even blindfolded with one hand tied behind her back, is still way better than mine.
Once you've added the meat, keep it over low heat and don't overcook or it will end up tough since it's dry like a stir-fry instead of a braise like chili.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely minced
- 1 serrano chili seeded and minced
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 pound high-quality ground beef, or lamb
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves, plus more to garnish
- coarse salt
- lime wedges, to garnish
- Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet.
- Fry the onions, garlic, ginger and chili until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the garam masala, stir well to coat, and continue cooking for another minute, stirring frequently.
- Add the beef, breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon, and cook until no longer pink on the inside.
- Add the tomatoes and a few tablespoons of water, turn up the heat until the pan sizzles, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Taste and adjust salt, then add peas and cilantro and cook until just warmed through.
- Serve over basmati rice garnished with more chopped cilantro and a lime wedge.
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