Keema or Keema Matar, is a semi-dry Indian curry, made with ground meat (Keema) and green peas (matar or mutter), seasoned with Indian spices. Here’s a 30-minute recipe for this easy homestyle curry using the Instant pot or stove.
This dish, like many meat dishes in the northern part of India, is said to have Persian roots and was brought to India by the Mughals.
The simplicity and ease of this dish makes it a weeknight treat, and its elegance makes it an entertaining classic. Folklore has it that during the Mughal period, the royals used to serve Keema Curry on special occasions.
Delicious 30-Minute Weeknight Dinner
Customize This Keema Matar Recipe
Ground Meat Variations: It is very easy to customize this keema recipe to your style and taste. You can make chicken keema, mutton keema (goat), or use your choice of ground meat, turkey, beef, pork, or lamb.
Add Potatoes: You can substitute peas with potatoes and you have yourself another classic from Indian cuisine, called “Keema Aloo” (Minced meat with potatoes). This is a semi-dry dish and you can enjoy it with Naan, pita bread, or with steamed basmati rice.
How to Make Keema Matar on the Stove
Keema Matar can be made in a skillet, in a sauce pan or in a pressure cooker. The recipe shown in the video is the pressure cooker Keema recipe, which I made in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO. Making keema curry on the stove-top is simple and easy too.
- Start by heating a skillet on medium high heat. When it’s ready, which takes about 30 seconds to a minute, add oil, chopped onions, crushed ginger and garlic. Sauté for a minute.
- Add salt and all dry spices and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Then, add 1/4 cup water along with 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. Adding water makes it easier to stir and blend the tomato paste. Stir and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add 1/2 cup water and ground meat. Adding the water with the meat helps in incorporating the spice mix with the meat. Use a wooden spoon or a tall spatula to break the meat it into smaller chunks. Mix it well.
- Cover the skillet. Reduce heat to “Medium” and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once in between. If using ground chicken or turkey, adjust the cooking time to 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid, turn on the heat to Medium-high and add frozen or fresh peas. Sauté for 2-3 minutes so that the extra liquid evaporates and peas cook through. Turn off the heat. Stir in some fresh chopped cilantro and you’re done!
Serving Suggestion for Instant Pot Keema
I use this instant pot recipe as a base to many fusion dishes in my home. We love making Indian Sloppy Joes with it, or wrap it in a tortilla, add some cabbage slaw and make a Keema Matar Wrap, and my kids’ favorite twist to this is Keema Quesadillas! Check out the the recipe for these delicious quesadillas here.
Another great option to have this curry is Keema Naan Pizza. It is simply delicious. I like to cut it up in pieces and serve it as appetizers for cocktails or big parties too!
Keema in Instant Pot | Stove (Ground Meat Curry)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 bay leaves (optional- added to enhance flavors)
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 serrano chili or jalapeno, seeded and chopped (skip for mild)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger or grated (1-inch ginger)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves garlic)
- 1½ cup tomato, pureed (3 roma tomatoes pureed) or 3-4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pound ground meat (chicken/ turkey/ lamb/ beef)
- ½-¾ cup water to be added in 2 parts
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed while keema is cooking
- ¼ cup cilantro freshly chopped for garnish
- Turn on the Instant Pot on Sauté and adjust to high. Wait till it displays 'hot'. Add oil, chopped onions, bay leaf and serrano pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add minced ginger and garlic, stir and cook for another minute.
- Add pureed tomato, salt and spices, and sauté for 2 minutes. If adding tomato paste instead, add ¼ cup water to help the paste integrate.
- Add ground meat and stir well to break up the meat. When ground meat looks well integrated with the sauce, turn off Saute. Add ¼-½ cup water and deglaze the pot. Scrape off any brown bits stuck at the bottom.
- Close and lock the lid. Cook on Manual or Pressure cook for 10 minutes at high pressure (sealing mode). After cooking, release the pressure manually (QR).
- Open the lid and turn on Saute. Check for seasoning and add frozen or fresh peas. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the curry reaches your desired consistency and peas cook through. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and enjoy with rice, roti, or naan!
Stove top recipe
- Heat a heavy bottom wide sauce pan on medium-high heat. Follow step 1-4 from the Instant Pot instructions above. Add 1½ water and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the lid, increase heat to Medium-high. Add thawed peas, add ½ cup more water if needed, and cook another 3-5 minutes until the peas cook through and the curry reaches your desired thickness. Turn off the heat. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with rice or naan!
Notes & Recipe Tips
- Ground Meat: Traditionally Keema is made with minced lamb meat. But, Chicken keema or beef keema is a popular choice too. You can make this dish with ground turkey as well. Cooking time remains the same for all.
- Tomato: A combination of pureed tomato and tomato paste enhances the taste of this dish. But if you only have one kind on hand, use 1.5 cups of pureed tomato OR 4 tablespoons of tomato paste.
- How to Make it Creamy: For a creamy texture and taste, add 2-3 tablespoons of milk and simmer with the peas. Milk adds a subtle richness and cuts through the acidity of the tomatoes, making the curry creamy.
- Keema Aloo Variation: Another popular variation of this recipe is Keema Aloo. To make that, skip the peas and add 1 cup peeled and 1-inch cubed gold potatoes along with the meat.