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Asian, Indian

Photo by: Joseph DeLeo
Comments: 2


Keema just means ground meat but the recipe here is for that fabulous sharp and spiky Indian dish of ground lamb with peas that makes a reviving feast in a bowl. I’ve come across versions of this all over the place but the recipe that prompted me, finally, to try it – even though what I do differs somewhat – comes from Vicky Bhogal’s wonderful book, Cooking Like Mummyji.

Yield: Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, grated or finely chopped
  • 1¾ cups canned chopped tomatoes or 1 x 14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 inch root ginger, finely grated or chopped
  • 1 birds-eye red chilli, finely chopped with seeds, or other small hot chilli
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1½ lb ground lamb
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Juice of ½ lime, or to taste


Heat the oil in a wide saucepan – big enough to take everything comfortably later – and add the onion and garlic. Cook on a high heat until golden brown. Turn the heat down, and add the can of tomatoes, ginger, chilli, salt, garam masala and a 1/3 cup chopped cilantro. Stir until the mixture becomes shiny, and then add the ground meat, breaking it up with a fork in the sauce.

Add the frozen peas, stirring everything together for a few minutes, and then add the boiling water. Bring the pan to the boil and then turn it down to a very gentle simmer. Cook for about 20–30 minutes, by which time most of the water should have evaporated and the lamb will be tender and the peas cooked through. Squeeze in some lime juice to taste and sprinkle the remaining chopped cilantro over the finished dish, or into individual bowls as you serve.

I love warmed thick flat breads with this – and most supermarkets sell naans or rotis now – but even without the added carb, just spooned straight into my mouth, this keema does the trick.

© 2004 Nigella Lawson

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

597kcal (30%)
1127mg (47%)
47g (72%)
18g (88%)
123mg (41%)
20mcg RAE (1%)
29mg (48%)
106mg (11%)
5mg (29%)

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  • kararota

    09.19.13 Flag comment

    @Phylhudson - thanks for reaching out! Cookstr chooses not to include an automatic scaling tool, as we're committed to publishing the recipes exactly as they appear in the cookbooks, and for some recipes the ingredients don't stay exactly at the same proportions when you scale up or down. I hope that you try this recipe and let us know how it turns out!

    All best,
    Kara Rota
    Director of Editorial

  • Phylhudson

    09.19.13 Flag comment

    I would like to make this for a party of 6. Is there a way to adjust the measurements on the website to reflect the larger party?


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