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Indian Favorite Kheema Mattar With A Difference…..No Meat! No Kidding.

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One of my favorite, easiest, and quickest, Indian recipes is Kheema. Kheema is simply spiced ground meat, any sort will do. Beef, Lamb, Chicken all make a fine kheema. Add in peas and you have Kheema Mattar a star dish of North Indian roadside dhabas, aka truckstops around these parts. Some of the best food anywhere in the world is found in roadside stands, carts, and small diners. I’m not counting the roadside cart I ate off of in a jungle in Mexico while on a horseback trek about a hundred years ago. It tasted great going down though, and laid me out for about a week afterwards but nobody’s perfect. 

The same thing happened to me in a funky truck stop (which is giving it an upgrade) off of the I 50 in Nevada several years back and it wasn’t anywhere as good as what I got in Mexico…the food that is. Which brings me to kheema. The best way to explain it to those who haven’t ever eaten it, is it’s similar to American Sloppy Joes only 1,000 times better! Kheema’s a great week-night dish, cheap and easy to make and a great party dish. You could serve it on sliders, or like I do wrapped in naan bread or chapattis. 

But what if one doesn’t eat meat? Then what happens to the kheema cravings. Well, nothing if you use one of the meat substitutes out there. My husband got off the meat wagon a couple of years ago. He still eats fish and yeah. we do have meat on holidays but other than that no. I decided to try  Beyond Meat and their ground meat substitute, and hoo boy! I was not disappointed!                          

So, if you’re looking to make a vegetarian kheema, this works great! If you want to go the meat route, then this is the original meat version of  Indian kheema that I’ve made for years.

Kheema

Here’s What You Need:

1 lb of ground Beyond Meat
 
2 chopped onions

4 shallots

A  2 inch piece of ginger peeled and chopped

1 serrano chilli. If you’d like it a bit hotter add one more.

2 Tbs of vegetable oil.

The onion mixture

2 Bay leaves

2 Tbs of tomato paste

1/4 tsp of turmeric

1/2 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder

2 Tbs of ground coriander

2 Tbs ground cumin

2 Tbs plain yogurt

3 tsps of salt

1 tsp ground pepper

1 and 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen peas

1/4 tsp garam, masala 

fresh cilantro chopped

 

Here’s What To Do:

Put the onion, shallot, ginger and chilies into a food processor and grind them up.

Heat 2 Tbs of vegetable oil in a skillet.

When the oil is hot add in the ground up onion mixture

Add in the bay leaves…

…and stir everything around for about 2 minutes or so until it’s a nice golden color.

Toss in your crumbled ground meat substitute and stir fry everything for about 15 minutes or so. Don’t let it stick. If you’re not using meat this takes a bit less time.

When it’s browned add in 2 Tbs of tomato paste.

Mix it in well, then lower the heat to a simmer and add in:

1/4 tsp of turmeric

1/2 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder

2 Tbs of ground coriander

2 Tbs ground cumin

 Stir around for about 1 minute then add in the 2 Tbs plain yogurt…

…3 tsps of salt…

…and 1 tsp ground pepper.

Cook for another 5 minutes.

If you are making this with meat… Now here is where I add in 3/4 of a cup of water bit by bit until all the water is absorbed. However, I didn’t need to add any water with the vegetarian version it’s your call on this.

If you’re adding fresh peas now’s the time to put them in. If you’re using frozen peas hold off a bit.

Put the lid on the pan and let simmer for about 15 minutes or so.

Now add in the frozen peas.

Finish cooking . This takes another 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in 1/4 tsp of garam masala and top with  some chopped fresh cilantro

And bingo! Non meat Kheema Mattar.

I served these wrapped in chapattis with a mint yogurt raita.

Fast, easy, and cheap. 

You can serve these with chapattis, naan bread, or even on hamburger buns, though I’ve never done it that way . It would resemble the classic Vada Pav. Indian potato vada patties served on sliders. Definitely making those this summer!

 Anyway, I loved the ground Beyond Meat, which also makes an excellent Bolognese. I’ve been using these products for quite a while, but this is the first time I incorporated them into an Indian recipe. It won’t be the last.  Coming up next on the blog…more fun with my Homdoor Tandoor oven hopefully with some vaccinated friends.

Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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