Weather for aloo kheema

It's really bizarre weather for almost-approaching-summer. Nature is such a funny thing. For years and years farmers in Australia have cried for rain and there has been none. While this year the rain has been good, now it's raining when the farmers need to be harvesting. The result is spoiled crops, damaged hay and losses. Partner comes from a farming family and it's heartbreaking to see someone work so, so hard and then it all going belly-up. How do farmers do it, whether here or in India? How do they go to work each day, not knowing the outcome? It's such an important job, feeding people, and we think so little about it and about those who do it. Till I met Partner, I had never really thought about 'where' my food comes from or who's responsible for it.

I do love my food though. And when the day is grey and wet like today and has the potential to really depress you, I simply LOVE a good, spicy curry. The mince-potato curry is one of my favourites. It's uncomplicated, quick to cook and always, always satisfies. It's also great for bulk cooking. Got 10 people coming over for dinner? Make this, you won't be disappointed.

Prep time: 15-20 mins, cooking time: 1½ hours covered; Serve with: Steamed/ boiled and drained rice
Aloo: potato, kheema: mince

Beef/lamb mince 500 gm
Potatoes 4 medium, diced
Tomatoes 3-4, finely chopped
Onions 1-2, finely chopped
Bay leaves  2
Cloves 2
Peppercorns 6
Dried chilli 2
Cardamom 2, slightly crushed
 Ginger paste 1 TSP
Garlic paste 2 TSP
Vegetable/canola oil 5 TBS
Turmeric ground ½ TSP
Cumin ground 1 ½ TSP
Coriander ground 1 TSP heaped
Garam masala ground 1 TSP heaped
Red chilli ground/powder 1-2 TSP
Frozen/fresh peas ½ CUP
Fresh coriander to garnish
Salt to taste
  1.  Heat oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Once the oil is hot, add the dried chillies, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns; cook for a couple of minutes till chillies turn black. 
  2. Add onions and cook them, stirring intermittently till they turn golden and soft.
  3. Turn heat up to medium and add the chopped tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes are soft and pureed but not completely dried out. 
  4. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and chilli powder and cook till the spices are well-blended and ‘smell’ cooked. Keep stirring frequently to mix the spices and tomatoes and to avoid spices sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook till tomatoes are almost dried out.
  5. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring and mixing for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the mince and cook for another 5 minutes or so till the mince changes colour and is well coated in the spicy mixture. Turn heat up and bring the mix to boil, the mince should start giving out water.
  7.  Once it boils, reduce heat and cook till mince dries out a bit.
  8. Add the peas and a cup of water* and stir to mix. Cover and cook till the potatoes can be ‘cut’ with a fork and till the mince is tender. Stir a couple of times while cooking. 

The amount of water will decide how much ‘gravy’ you have. Since the mince was not browned before adding, it will release water. The tomatoes will release water as well. Adjust your water amount accordingly. However, it’s recommended not to use more than 2 cups else the curry will be too watery.


Anonymous said...


I have been reading this blog and your old one for quite some time now. I don't think I ever commented. But the kheema recipe really got me going. I do it in a similar manner. The only difference is I marinate the kheema in all the spices for a couple of hours and then cook it. No peas for me and the tomatoes go in the grinder along with the spices. Adding a spoonful of curd makes gives it a nice tangy taste.

JB said...

@ Maddie: Hey there, glad the kheema got you going. Seriously, the marination idea sounds super. I've got some mince in the freezer, will definitely try it your way as well. Yum, I'd probably dry it out a bit though and serve it with roti/parantha. Will give feedback once I try it. Thanks for writing in. And reading. :)

Anonymous said...

yum, but i also marinate the same way as Maddie mentions

Sree said...

gonna try with chicken. hope it works.

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