When it’s cold and blustery outside, like it often has been this winter, there’s nothing more comforting than a quick, spicy, delectable stew after a long day at work. Simran grew up enjoying this Indian ground meat curry, Keema, which will remind some readers of American chili, albeit with a different flavor profile due to the spices. You can serve it with brown or white rice, store-bought naan or even toasted whole-wheat pita bread. Make a double batch and the leftovers can be rolled up in a wrap for lunch the next day.
We make our keema recipe with ground beef, but you can use lamb, turkey or even chicken. You can omit the potatoes or replace them with peas, if you’re trying to reduce your carb intake. And if you’re feeling indulgent or entertaining guests, deep frying the potatoes and then sprinkling them with garam masala adds extra flavor and texture.
Top the stew with a dollop of yogurt or raita to cool down the dish and provide a creamy counterpoint to its spices.
Serves 2 adults and 2 kids
2 cups potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 tablespoons garam masala, divided use
2 cups onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound ground beef
14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
½ cup water
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet tray with foil. Toss the cubed potatoes with 1 tablespoon garam masala, 2 tablespoons oil and a generous pinch of salt. Spread seasoned potatoes on the prepared pan and roast for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, season with a generous pinch of salt and saute for 7 to 8 minutes, until the onions have softened and are beginning to caramelize.
- Add 1 tablespoon garam masala, plus the garlic powder, chili powder, fennel and cumin to the onions. Stir to combine and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper, then crumble the meat into the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes more until the beef is browned.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Midway through the simmering time, add the roasted potatoes to the pan so the potatoes can braise along with the beef for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper as needed.
Quick Cook: A spicy Indian stew for a cold night