Keema matar

Total Time
1 hr 13 min
20 min
53 min
Made from ground meat and peas and seasoned with spices, this dish from the Indian subcontinent shows that simply prepared food can indeed yield rich, intricate flavor. The rich flavor comes from sautéing the spices first until they toast slightly and release their rich fragrance and flavor, rather than stirring them into the sauce at the end of the cooking time. When browning and breaking up the ground beef, keep the chunks between 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch for the most appetizing texture in the finished dish. You can substitute ground chicken for the ground beef, if you like.


Vegetable oil

2 tsp

Uncooked red onion(s)

1 medium, thinly sliced

Ginger root

1 Tbsp, fresh, peeled and minced

Table salt

1 tsp

Ground cumin

1 tsp

Dried ground coriander

½ tsp

Ground cardamom

¼ tsp

Cayenne pepper

¼ tsp

Cinnamon stick(s)

1 average, about (4-inch)

Uncooked lean ground beef

1 pound(s), (10% or less fat)

Uncooked potato(es)

¾ pound(s), all-purpose, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz


½ cup(s)

Frozen green peas

1 cup(s)

Plain fat free yogurt

3 Tbsp


cup(s), fresh, chopped

White pita(s)

1 large, (about 4-ounce) nan (Indian flatbread), or lavash bread, cut into eighths


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in the ginger, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt, the cumin, coriander, cardamom, cayenne, and cinnamon stick. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the spices are very fragrant, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the beef to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it browns, about 6 minutes. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, water, and the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the peas and yogurt to the skillet, stirring until the yogurt is blended. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat until the mixture thickens slightly, about 7 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  4. Spoon the keema matar into a large bowl, then sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve with the nan. Yields 1 1⁄4 cups keema matar with 2 pieces nan per serving.