Chicken Keema is the epitome of Pakistani comfort cuisine. It’s both healthful and tasty, and it’s ideal for a simple evening meal or as part of a more extensive spread to share with guests. Keema is a stew made with minced meat and spices. It’s the one thing I always go for when I’ve had a tough week and am in need of some reinforcements, and that’s the time when I always bring it out.
What is Chicken Keema Recipe?
keema recipe chicken is maybe my favorite Pakistani meal, I was overjoyed when my friend Kulsoom volunteered to cook it as one of the first recipes for the blog. I really hope that you like it just as much as I do! Despite the fact that you won’t find keema on the menu of the majority of restaurants, it is a household staple that is firmly embedded into your desi subconsciousness.
It is possible for it to take on a number of different forms. To spell it, you may either use a Q or a K. For this dish, you may substitute ground chicken, goat, beef, or even turkey instead of turkey. You may create a sandwich out of it, eat it with rice, roti, or white bread, or you can just eat it by itself. In the recipe, you should make use of vegetables such as peas, potatoes, or green bell peppers.
chicken keema recipes is the workhorse of your evening meals; whether you want to fold it in soup (like this) or stack it in khichri, you can do just about whatever you want with it (like this). I began with the original recipe that my friend Kulsoom had and used it as a foundation for my own, increasing it so that the keema would have a grainier texture and a more distinct flavor.
- Neutral oil: I normally use canola oil but sunflower or vegetable oil works well too.
Small red or yellow onions: I find both varieties work well. In the Philippines, small red onions are more widely available so I used them in the recipe. If you are in the US where the product is bigger, go for 1 medium-sized onion.
- Crushed garlic: You can buy this at the store or just crush it yourself using a food processor or mortar and pestle.
- Crushed ginger: You can again, buy this at the store or make it at home. Peel a roughly 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, and mince it in a food processor.
- 1 bird’s eye chili: If you want to add some extra heat to your keema, throw in a fresh chili. We typically use a fresh green bird’s eye chili in Pakistani dishes but feel free to substitute it with a locally available variety – just remember to adjust for your preferred level of heat.
Cloves: Use whole cloves to infuse the keema with a lovely aroma. Don’t substitute them with clove powder.
- 1 black cardamom pod: It helps temper the smell of meat, and imparts the dish with a smoky flavor. If you don’t have black cardamom, don’t swap it out for green cardamom (they are very different). Just leave it out if you can’t find it in your pantry.
- Red chili powder: I always like to use Kashmiri red chili powder because of its beautiful color. If you don’t have the Kashmiri variety on hand, you can use cayenne red pepper – just remember to lower the amount to adjust for heat (cayenne is hotter than Kashmiri red chili powder).
- Ground Chicken: You can substitute ground chicken with any ground meat of your choice. If you are, however, going to use red meat like beef or lamb, I would recommend cooking it for longer (up to 30 – 40 minutes).
- Salt: I usually use 1 teaspoon of table salt for roughly 1 pound of ground meat – adjust to taste!
- Roma tomatoes: We traditionally use Roma tomatoes in Pakistani dishes since they are on the tart side, and release less water. If you are using bigger tomatoes, just make sure their weight is roughly the same as the onion.
- Garam masala powder: I love how the garam masala powder gives the keema a tangy finish.
Cilantro: It’s always nice to garnish the dish with finely diced cilantro to give the keema some freshness, and color.
HOW TO GO ABOUT MAKING IT:
- Brown onions: Heat oil in a medium-sized heavy bottom pot. Add chopped onion, and brown on medium-low heat until evenly brown.
- Saute ginger, garlic, and chili: Lower heat, and add crushed ginger and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. Add chopped bird’s eye chili, and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Fry spices: Add whole and ground spices, and fry on low heat for roughly 1 minute until fragrant. Add a splash of water to deglaze the pan if necessary.
- Cook the ground chicken: Increase heat to high, and add ground chicken and salt. Crumble with a spatula, and fry until no longer pink. Add 1 cup water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer on low heat for roughly 10 minutes.
- Fold in tomatoes, and fry on high heat: Remove lid, increase heat to high, and add chopped tomatoes. Fry the tomatoes, stirring frequently until the oil begins to separate. This process is called “bhuna.”
- Garnish with cilantro, and serve: Remove from heat, and place in a serving bowl. Dust with garam masala powder, and garnish with cilantro if using.