Aloo Matar Keema screams homey comfort food.
One of my goals for this site is to not only share innovative recipes, but also share the daily homestyle foods that we grew up eating. The regular menu items that we see at Pakistani restaurants- chicken tikka masala, chicken boti, chana masala, etc.- although delicious, are not staple everyday foods. This aloo matar keema, or daal (lentils), or aloo palak (potato and spinach curry) are just a sampling of what day-to-day normal balanced meals sound like.
I grew up eating aloo keema (this same dish, but without green peas) served alongside spaghetti. Spaghetti, or any noodle/pasta for that matter, is not traditional to Pakistani cuisine. But for whatever reason, keema (minced meat curry) and spaghetti seems to be a recurring dish that’s common to many families. I don’t know what the history behind it is, but I’m sure there is an entirely colorful and interesting story to it. The recipe I’m sharing today is one I learned from my mother, and the only change I’ve made is to add green peas (my husband loves them here!). This is a homey and soul-warming dish, and can be served however you please- with fresh roti (unleavened flatbread), chawal (rice), or even overcooked spaghetti ❤️
Pakistani Minced Meat Curry with Green Peas and Potatoes / Aloo Matar Keema
- ½ cup neutral flavored oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced thin
- 1 green chili (jalapeño or serrano), stem removed
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced or pureed
- 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste, optional
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt, to taste
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Heat oil in a large vessel over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add green chili, cumin seeds, and black pepper and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add beef and sauté until lightly browned.
Stir in tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, tomato paste, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin, and salt. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until the oil begins to separate from the meat and spices, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add splashes of water and stir as necessary to help tenderize the meat and to prevent burning at the bottom of the pot.
Add the potatoes, peas, and ½-cup water. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until desired consistency and the vegetables are cooked through (but still retain their shape), adding additional water as deemed necessary. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro.