Lamb Keema— Spiced Minced Lamb
I've been trying to develop a recipe with the same measurements for spiced minced beef and lamb, but in the end, no dice. In order to have well-spiced beef keema and well-spiced lamb keema, different quantities of masala are needed because lamb is a stronger meat.
I keep minced meat in my freezer because it's a staple in so many dishes. I add mince to simple tomato sauce to give myself a super quick meaty pasta dinner; it is a core ingredient in my favorite meat-filled puff pastries; and it's a great addition to Nani's Pasta.
This cuisine rarely calls for minced meat that hasn't been spiced first, though it requires some fiddling to get the balance between the meat and masala flavors. My mom's trick is the opposite of what many chefs recommend when selecting mince: she opts to use the leanest mince to avoid excessive fat from melting, which has a tendency to make the meat too wet and oily. I've grown to prefer leaner meat as well, not just for the health benefits, but also because it's less likely to have an overwhelmingly meaty flavor. It is, however, important to note that the ratio of spice to meat is down to personal preferences. The recipe below is my optimal blend, but please adjust to your own preferences. It may take some trial and error to work out your ideal balance.
I prefer to buy mince from a butcher and ask for leanest available. I am a stickler for well-prepared meat so I prefer fresh mince over the supermarket packaged meat but I haven't always had the luxury of a butcher so I won't diss the supermarket. Find the best you can, and go with that.
TOP TIP: Freeze the keema in Ziploc bags or those amazing reusable and environmentally-friendly silicone ones. I like Stasher the best. #notsponsored
•lamb mince (0.5kg)
•turmeric •ground cardamom
•ground cinnamon •crispy fried onions
In a metal bowl, combine 1lb lamb mince (0.5 kg) with two tablespoons minced ginger, one tablespoon minced garlic, one tablespoon ground coriander, one teaspoon ground cumin, one teaspoon salt, half teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
Using clean hands, mix everything together till it is all well combined. Then set the bowl aside and wash the raw meat off your hands with soap and water.
Heat a deep pot on medium heat. Pro tip: do not add oil. Once the pan is hot, add the mince directly to the pot. I use a wooden spoon to break up any big pieces of mince.
After about five minutes, you'll start to see the oil pooling in the base of the pan. This is the fat that has melted off the mince, which should be drained away. Options for doing this: you can use a turkey baster; you could lift it out with a big spoon; you could even even carefully pour it out.
Return the drained mince to the stove and continue cooking till the meat is completely dry. Anytime you see oil in the pan, drain it out as best you can.
When the mince is fully cooked, take it off the heat. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper levels till you're happy with the flavor. The final step is to stir in three tablespoons of crispy fried onions. This stuff is amazing and has such a great umami flavor. I find that it gives the keema a final little boost.