Monday, February 22, 2016


Continuing on the subject of comfort foods, I might as well let you in on the most popular, most requested  and eagerly consumed item in that category .......kheema or masala ground beef. Call it what you may, chopped meat, hamburger, these are Americanized names for kheema. Easy to put together, kheema is and will always be number one in this house.  My son claimed it as his favorite food in Grade 1. The teacher had to call me to clarify the spelling! My husband requests it almost every time he is asked to choose dinner. Growing up the kids ate kheema with rice, bread rolls, chappatis and even puff pastry. With that resulting popularity over the years, my daughter now has developed a distinct aversion to it, refusing to eat it anymore!

Ground beef is sauteed with browned onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, yogurt and a few masalas making a boldly spiced sauce. Fresh chiles and cilantro add a herbal tinge. And a generous squirt of lime juice complements the meat. Heat some chappatis or rice, stir fry some veggies and you have a delicious meal.

Serves 4

1 pound Ground Beef (See NOTES below)
2 tablespoons canola Oil
3 medium Onions
2 large Tomatoes 
2 tablespoons minced Garlic
4 coins of Ginger
1/2 cup low fat Yogurt 
1 teaspoon Chile Powder (more if you like spice)
1 1/2 teaspoons Garam Masala
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1-2 Green Chiles, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped Cilantro 
1 lime, juiced

Slice onions thinly.

Heat canola oil in a saucepan or Dutch oven.

Add onions to hot oil and saute till golden brown. Add more oil if needed. Fry over medium high heat.

Cut tomatoes in half and then crosswise into very thin slices.

When the onions are brown, add tomatoes, ginger, garlic, yogurt, chile powder, garam masala and kosher salt. Stir well until the sauce starts coming together. Tomatoes will start to get mushy. Smash them with spatula or spoon into the gravy. Make sure to blend the yogurt into the sauce. You shouldn't see any flecks of white. Saute for 3-5 minutes.

Add ground beef to sauce. Use the back of your spoon to break up any lumps. Once the meat is well mixed, cover saucepan and let meat cook on a medium flame for 15 minutes.

Remove lid and add cilantro, green chile and the juice of the lime. Stir to mix and serve with chappatis or rice.


Ground beef is our first choice. You could use lamb, pork, chicken or turkey in place of beef. 

The Hindi word kheema literally translates into English as minced or chopped meat. An angry, threatening Indian might say "I'll make kheema out of you" if he feels he has been wronged. He will not mince his words. I leave you with that 'pun'ative information.