Keema Recipe – A quick and cheap one-pot meal exploding with flavour

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This is one for the meat eaters amongst you, although this could be adapted as a vegetarian dish (I like to substitute Aduki beans for mince).

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For people wanting to include good quality, good provenance meat into their diet, availability and cost can be an inhibiting factor. Minced meat can be a great affordable option.

It seems that every culture has a proliferation of minced meat dishes at their disposal, from the bland and dull, to the downright titillating and orgasmic.

The following dish is firmly rooted in the latter camp in my opinion.

Keema is perhaps not really a dish, per say, but more of a concept. It is eaten throughout the Indian subcontinent and it’s diaspora, but has as many varieties as there are people to make it.

Keema itself simply means minced meat, and depending where you eat it could be any kind of meat, but generally lamb or beef. Venison is one of our favourite go-to meats for keema.

What makes it special is the intense, explosion of flavours that accompany it. This is why I think minced meat is the perfect medium for it, as is takes on whatever spices you are adding to it so well.

The dish itself is hugely adaptable, allowing you to add or subtract ingredients to suit your palate or dietary needs.

On top of this it is super quick to make, requiring just a single pot, and the minimal list of ingredients means it pretty damned budget-friendly.

In no way am I claiming this to be an authentic version of a keema, it’s merely a simple, nutritious, flavour bomb of a meal that our whole family enjoys.


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 495 kcal


  • 50 g butter
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 500 g minced meat of your choice
  • 500 g sweet potatoes (white potatoes can also be used)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 120 g chopped kale (about 2 good handfuls)


  • In large pan, melt the butter and add the diced onions. Sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften and become translucent.
  • Add the minced meat and cook for approximately 10 minutes until browned.
    Meanwhile, peel and dice the sweet potato into 1-2cm chunks.
  • When the meat has browned, add all the spices and stir.
  • Add the can of chopped tomatoes and sweet potato. Chop the kale and add to the pot and stir all the mixture together.
  • Add a little extra water to the pan if it needs it.
  • Cook for 5 minutes then taste. Adjust the seasoning to suit your tastes. You can add a little sugar/sweetener if the tomatoes are too tart.
  • Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes or until all the sweet potatoes have softened. Add a little more liquid/water if necessary, although keema is often quite a dry dish.
  • Serve hot, anyway you like, and stuff your face. Ignore everyone and everything as you enter into a fragrant, spicy paradise of comfort eating.

How you eat your keema is entirely up to you. Our kids love it with a little rice, whereas we tend to just eat it as is. There are many ways of consuming it: in a bun (pav) like a sloppy joe, cooked into a naan bread, folded in to scrambled egg, and so on.

We always make at least double to give us a second meal. I usually steal the leftovers and have it with a couple of fried eggs on top as a breakfast that starts the day with a zing. But the choice is yours.


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