Keema, people! This is maybe my ultimate Indian comfort food. I still love mac ‘n’ cheese, but there’s just something about keema.

Any given Saturday afternoon, you could find my dad making huge messes in the kitchen and staining the countertops with turmeric. Keema was one of the many things that graced the giant pressure cooker (he makes everything in a pressure cooker or a cast iron griddle… nothing else). My dad’s version (sorry, Dad!) is too oily. It’s super delicious, of course—but it could be less oily. I proved that with this adapted recipe.

The great thing about keema is that it’s easy, versatile and keeps well. Eat it straight up, with veggies, on a salad, put an egg on it (instant breakfast!), stuff potato cutlets with it (I must do that soon…), make samosas, make-ahead for later. Go nuts. Traditionally, it’s made with peas and little cubes of potatoes as well, but those are out for paleo pals so I skipped those and had my veggies on the side.


Paleo & Whole30-approved

  • 2 onions, minced
  • 2 T olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (use a bit less if you don’t like things too spicy; add the seeds too if you want it hot-hot)
  • 1 lb ground beef or lamb
  • 1 T garam masala
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 regular 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • juice of one lemon
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Using a big pan, fry onions on medium high heat for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Throw in the garlic, jalapeño and ground beef. After the beef is browned, add all the spices, tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 10+ minutes. Taste and adjust spices and salt as needed. Add lemon juice and top with cilantro. EAT.

Ideas, thoughts and other uses:

  • I make keema so often that I started making a keema masala (mix of all the spices) so I don’t need to pull out seven jars every time I cook it.
  • Eat with roasted curry cauliflower or cauliflower rice.
  • Potato cutlets. I promise to make these and then make the Internet a recipe.
  • This keeps very well, so you can make a big batch and freeze it if you like.
  • Throw more veggies in for a one-pot meal like palak keema.

Hope you enjoy your pile of meat! If you have any requests for future Indian fare, please let me know in the comments!



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    • says

      Hey Kati, I use a standard 14-16 oz can of tomatoes (I added a note in the ingredients list to make that more clear), but looks like you have the means to double the recipe if you want!

  1. Happy girlfriend says

    Our friends just gave us a big bag of cherry tomatoes, how many should I use to replace the can of tomatoes?