Indian-style ground meat curry (Kheema)

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

This is a staple in most Indian homes. This traditional Indian version of an American chili is a work of art. Slow cooked ground meat, either wet or dry and fried, brings together a wonderful combination of spices and herbs to satisfy your palate. This is my own version, adapted from a number of recipes to bring forward the use of herbs.

You can adapt this recipe with meat of your choice, or grated or finely cut paneer for a vegetarian version.

For more of my own recipes click here.


Serves 4 


2 tablespoons oil

2 onions, finely diced

1 lb ground meat. Beef, or lamb, or combo, or chicken. Vegetarian version can be made with finely diced or grated paneer.

Green chiles, finely diced. To taste

1 tablespoon Ginger paste

1.5 tablespoon garlic paste

1 heaped teaspoon cumin powder

1 heaped teaspoon coriander powder

Red chili powder to taste

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tomatoes diced fine, or canned, or 2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup yogurt

1/2 cup frozen peas

Optional: 2 small potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes.

3/4 cup cilantro, minced

1 tablespoon garam masala

Lime juice

Salt to taste


Heat oil in a pot and add onions and green chiles. Cook on medium till they are caramelized and browned. Add the ginger and garlic paste and sauté till cooked through, about 1 minute. Add the dry spices, except garam masala, stir and cook for another minute.  Add meat (and potatoes if using) and mix well and cook till the meat has browned well. Add the tomatoes and yogurt and cook till the tomatoes disintegrate. You may need to add a touch of water at this stage so as not to burn the meat and spices. Add peas and most of the cilantro and stir in, cook for 5 minutes more. At this point you can decide if you want a dry curry or wet curry. Simmer till you reach the consistency you desire. 

Finish the dish by turning off the stove and adding the garam masala and mixing in. Top with the remaining cilantro. 

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