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  • Writer's pictureSushma Saksena

Keema Matar

Updated: Jun 17, 2019

When we were children we used to go to different places during our summer vacations. That was the time when we travelled by train with lots and lots of luggage. We had a big hold-all, steel trunks for our clothes, a trunk for miscellaneous articles, a bag for our food in addition to a tiffin for fresh food and a surahi for cold water.

My father was a connoisseur of food with princely habits. Complementing him, my mother was an excellent cook. With this combination it was inevitable that our tiffin contained the most delectable vegetarian and non-vegetarian items. Most of the time we had bhuna keema or mutton shami kabab or bhuna gosht. More often it was keema or kabab because they were easier to consume while travelling and had no bones that had to be disposed off.

As I told earlier, Papa had a lordly disposition. He would carry almost everything he would require with him in the train carriage. Papa would reach the railway station with his wife, children, holdall, steel trunks and surahi much before the train time. The two orderlies accompanying him would neatly lay out the luggage on the platform while we children would sit on the trunks. Once the train came, the orderlies would take out our bedding from the holdall and put it on our berths. So, would start our royal journey.

I still remember this particular journey even though I was very small – hardly four or five years old. We were waiting for our train at Mathura Station with our retinue when my father saw a food vendor preparing piping hot roomali rotis. Papa felt that hot roomali rotis would go perfectly with the keema that mother had packed in the tiffin. Papa asked his peon to get some roomali rotis from the vendor but the vendor refused saying that he was preparing roomali rotis on someone’s order. Papa felt very strange. He got up himself, and went to the vendor and said: “Please give me two roomali rotis, charge whatever you want to. Actually, I wanted my children to taste your excellent roomali rotis, so I had sent my man to get some roomali rotis from you.” I don’t know what went in the vendor’s mind but soon enough he sent two-three roomali rotis to us.

Papa then told Mummy: “Bhai, please open the tiffin and give keema and roomali roti to the children. They should know that a roti can be made as thin as a handkerchief.” I can truthfully say that I can still feel the taste of Mummy’s delectable keema and those roomali rotis on my tongue.

So, today I will share the recipe of the same keema matar with you. You can get roomali rotis from the market. I don’t know if you would get the same roomali rotis, but you would definitely enjoy the keema matar.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cooking Time: 20 - 30 minutes

Total Time: 1hr 30 minutes

Serves: 4 persons

Ingredients for keema marination:

1. Mutton keema: 500gms

2. Turmeric powder: 1 tsp

3. Red chilli powder: 1 tsp

4. Cumin powder: 1 tsp

5. Coriander powder: 2 tsp

6. Garam masala: 1tsp

7. Garlic paste: 1 tsp

8. Ginger paste: 1 tsp

9. Curd: 200 to 250 gm

10. Fresh green chilli paste: 1 tsp or 1 finely chopped green chilli

11. Salt to taste

Keema Marination:

1. Clean the keema and get rid of all the excess fat, if possible.

2. Add few small bones for flavour. (optional)

3. Mix all the dry spices, salt and curd with the keema in a pan.

4. Mix it well.

5. Cover the pan with aluminium foil or a lid.

6. Put aside keema in the fridge for marination for at least 2 to 3 hours.

Ingredients for tempering:

1. Garlic - 3 to 4 cloves (finely chopped)

2. Cinnamon stick - 1”

3. Bay leaves - 1 large or 2 medium

4. Green cardamom - 5 to 6

5. Cloves - 1 tsp

Other ingredients:

1. Finely chopped Onion - 2 (medium)

2. Finely chopped fully ripe tomato - 1 (large)

3. Peas - 1 cup

4. Fresh green chillies - 5 to 6 (chopped)

5. Garam masala powder - 1 tsp

6. Degi Mirch powder - 1 tsp (optional)

7. Tomato puree - 1 cup

8. Water - 2 to 3 cups

9. Salt according to taste

10. Ghee – 2 tbsp

11. Oil - 2 tsp

Method for Keema Matar:

1. Take a heavy bottomed non-stick wok. Heat ghee and oil in it.

2. Add all the ingredients of ‘For tempering’ in hot ghee and sauté until fragrant.

3. Add chopped garlic until it will become slightly brown in colour.

4. Add chopped green chillies.

5. Add chopped onion, mix well and keep frying until onions are translucent.

6. Add marinated keema.

7. Cook on medium to high flame for 15 min until oil separates.

8. Add tomato puree.

9. Add 1 tsp of Degi Mirch powder for a nice red colour. Mix it well.

10. Add fresh or frozen green peas one cup.

11. Sauté for few more minutes until oil separates.Sauté the keema nicely until it becomes brown. Otherwise it wouldn’t give nice taste.

12. Add one glass around 100 ml water. Mix well.

13. Transfer the keema in a pressure cooker and give 2 to 3 whistles.

14. Turn off the gas.

15. Wait until pressure will subside. When you open the lid check weather your keema is done or not, (every keema takes different time to cook) if feel it’s not cook properly. Close the lid again and give one or 2 more whistle.

16. Place the keema matar in a serving dish and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

17. Keema matar goes well with roomali roti as well as rice.


1. Keema matar is supposed to cooked in pure desi ghee. But nowadays, health conscious people don’t want to eat much ghee. So you can always use half refined oil with half pure ghee. Or even you can skip the ghee during cooking and reserve 1 tsp as your final touch in the serving bowls.

2. In some part of UP and Bihar, people used to cook non veg in mustard oil. if you also like the flavour of mustard oil, you can use that. Mustard oil has all the same properties as olive oil. So it's good for your health.

3. If you can marinate keema for 4-5 hours it will cook easily and fast. But if you are running out of time, try to rest the marinated keema at least for 1-2 hrs.

4. Kashmiri red chilli powder is totally optional. If you want to give a nice red colour of your keema so add Kashmiri red chilli powder.

5. Saute the keema nicely until it becomes brown. Otherwise it wouldn’t give nice taste.

Nutritional Facts:

Per serving;

Calories: 357 kcal

Fats: 17.04 gms

Carbs: 19.18gms

Protein: 17.255gms

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Aug 29, 2020

Hi, the recipe is awesome. I am in the process of preparing the same. Just one question, when do you use the finely chopped tomatoes?

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