Kheema is a north Indian minced meat dish that can be prepared with ground beef, lamb, or chicken. As ground lamb isn’t always readily available at local grocery stores, I used ground beef for this recipe. Usually, kheema consists of an array of Indian spices that are toasted with onions, ginger, garlic, and then slow cooked with tomatoes. In an effort to save time, I decided to make a quicker version of kheema, using some unusual ingredients.
You’ll be surprised to find ketchup and soy sauce here, but the combination adds a depth of flavor that can only be achieved by cooking the dish for a longer period of time. I also used a spice mix consisting of garam masala, cumin powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
The first step is to fry onions in a large pot or wok over high heat until slightly caramelized. Then reduce to medium heat and add minced garlic, ginger, and serrano peppers. Cook for just about 30 seconds before adding the ground beef. Once beef is added, break up with your spoon or spatula and add spice mixture. Then add ketchup, about a 1/4 cup of water, and soy sauce.
Once the kheema is cooked, garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with rice or roti. If you don’t have roti, white corn tortillas are a delicious substitute.
1/2 large yellow onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 inch ginger (minced)
2 serrano peppers (minced)
1 lb ground sirloin beef
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
juice of 1/2 lime
cilantro for garnish
Begin by chopping onions and mincing garlic, ginger, and serrano peppers. Mix cumin powder, garam masala, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to make spice mix. Heat up 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or large pot over high heat. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes until softened and caramelized. Then reduce to medium heat and add garlic, ginger, and chilies. Saute for about 30 seconds before adding ground beef. Begin breaking up with spatula or spoon and add spice mix. Continue to cook, mixing well with your spoon. Once beef is almost cooked, add ketchup and water and bring to simmer. Add soy sauce and mix. If you want to make a saucier dish, add more water. Once meat is cooked, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. Serve with roti or rice and enjoy!