Looking for a curry dish that is ever so slightly different? Then, you should definitely give keema a try. What is Keema curry? Keema is a rich and fragrant dish that is packed full of Indian spices. It's tasty and really filling. Today, I will tell you everything you need to know about keema, tell you how it's made, and even what it tastes like. Let's all dig in and enjoy!
Quick Answer | What is Keema Curry?
Keema curry is a meat dish from the Indian subcontinent. Unlike 'traditional' curries, it isn't made with chunks of meat but instead consists of strongly spiced minced meat. This can be either lamb or beef or, on the Indian subcontinent, goat.
Keema also contains a vegetable element, normally peas. While not a particularly saucy dish, it still goes really well with both rice or naan bread. Keema isn't traditionally served as a spicy dish. It includes yoghurt in the recipe, making it about 4/10 on the spiciness scale, with 10 being the hottest.
If you want to know more about how keema is made and what it tastes like. Read on.
What is Keema Made of?
The predominant ingredient in keema is minced meat. As a general rule, when ordering from an Indian restaurant, this tends to be either beef or lamb. Traditionally, the dish was made using ground-up goat meat, but you'll unlikely encounter this in Indian restaurants.
The full name of keema is actually "Keema Matar". Which translated literally from Urdu means, "minced meat and peas". This should give you a good idea about what else is in the dish.
Here's what else you'll find in keema: -
- Onion base gravy
- Garlic and Ginger
- A little Chilli
- Indian spices like cumin and garam masala
- Tomato (both paste and puree)
The key ingredients to this dish are the spices and the liquid elements. Keema is not a dry dish as such. Think of it a little as the same consistency as other minced meat-based foods such as chilli con Carne and you'll be about there.
What Does Keema Curry Taste Like?
Keema curry is really tasty. It is exceptionally rich. If you can finish a full bowl of keema, then you are doing well.
It can be quite an oily dish. The minced meat isn't drained during cooking, so you'll notice this in the consistency when eating keema (particularly lamb).
It normally utilizes a fairly simple spice profile. You'll have the warm smoky notes of both the cumin and garam masala, undercut by a little (but not too excessive) chilli heat.
Both the addition of freshly chopped onions and onion gravy add an onion element to the dish. You'll often find tomato used, which adds just a touch of sweet tomatoey tang.
The entire dish is finished with a dollop of yoghurt stirred in, making keema quite thick, rich and creamy. You'll often find a hand full of peas added too. These work great to add a splash of colour and slightly vary the keema dish's texture (as it can get a bit samey after a while).
Keema tends to be a darkish brown in colour.
You'll sometimes see keema served as a side dish. It is also used in other Indian recipes, such as a stuffing for keema naan. Some Indian restaurants sometimes bulk up other curries by adding keema to the sauce.
How Hot is Keema Curry?
On a scale of 1 – 10, where 10 is the hottest, keema sits at no more than a 4. I would say it is at the milder end of 'medium'. It does contain a little chilli, but being hot isn't what the dish is known for.
In terms of other things that you have tried that will be of an equivalent spice level, it is like a very mild chilli con Carne. It probably won't make your nose run, and you won't be running for a glass of iced water after you have eaten it.
What Curry is Similar to Keema?
Here's the thing about keema: it tends to be pretty unique. Certainly, in British Indian restaurant cooking, there aren't too many dishes made with ground beef or lamb.
If you are looking for a similar spice level, then rogan josh could be a great choice. Like keema, it is normally made with beef or lamb. It also contains cumin and garam masala along with onions.
If you want a vegetarian option, daal tarka could be an excellent option. Just like keema, it is rich and filling. It is also loaded with tasty Indian spices. Daal is also a little saucy, so it is great to mop up with a piece of naan bread.
If you want to taste Indian spiced lamb, but want a smaller portion, give meat samosas a go. They are often stuffed with something that comes very close to keema.
What is Keema Curry? | Final Thoughts.
What is keema curry? In a few words, amazingly tasty. This mild curry dish, made with minced meat and peas, is full of strong Indian flavours and will definitely not leave you feeling hungry. Next time you are out, give keema a go. While it doesn't win any awards for the best-looking curry. It is definitely one of the tastiest. Enjoy!