Keema Matar (Minced Lamb & Green Peas) Recipe

Keema (aka kheema or qeema) is a flavorful minced meat (beef or lamb) dish said to have originated in Persia but extremely popular in the Indian sub-continent. Other meats such as mutton, chicken or turkey can also be used in this recipe. Try this delicious version with matar or mutter (green peas). You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make.


Oil – 2 Tbsp
Bay Leaf – 1
Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch piece
Black Cardamom – 1
Green Cardamom – 2
Whole Cloves – 2
Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
Ginger – 2 tsp, minced
Garlic – 2 tsp, minced
Green Chilies – to taste, finely chopped
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – to taste
Salt – to taste
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Tomatoes – 2 large, pureed
Ground (Minced) Meat – 1 pound, any variety
Frozen Green Peas – 1/2 cup
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Water – 1/2 cup or little more
Cilantro – finely chopped for garnishing


1. Heat Oil in a medium non-stick pan on medium heat.
2. Add Bay Leaf, Cinnamon Stick, Black Cardamom, Green Cardamom and Whole Cloves. Stir for 30 seconds.
3. Add Onions and a little salt, mix well, cover and cook for about 15 minutes stirring frequently.
4. Add Ginger and Garlic, mix well and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes until Onions turn brown and oil starts to separate from the mixture.
5. Add Green Chilies and Tomatoes, mix well, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Be sure to stir a few times in between.
6. Remove cover and continue to cook until oil starts to separate from the mixture again.
7. Add Red Chili Powder, Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder and Cumin Powder. Mix well and switch off stove.
8. Add the above Masala to a pressure cooker and add washed and drained ground meat. Mix well and cook until the color of the meat starts to change.
9. Add water and salt, mix well, close the pressure cooker lid and cook for 1 whistle on medium heat.
10. After the first whistle sounds, reduce the flame to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes. More whistles may sound and that is OK.
11. Remove pressure cooker from heat and allow the pressure to go down before opening the lid.
12. Add Green Peas (cooked in the microwave for 1 minute with a little water) and Garam Masala and cook for 2-3 mintues.
13. Garnish with fresh Cilantro.
14. Serves 4

Tip: Save over half the cooking time with ready made masala. Watch our “How to make Masala (in Bulk)” video.

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39 thoughts on “Keema Matar (Minced Lamb & Green Peas) Recipe

  1. I Remove the elastic due to latex allergies, rinse the lamb and follow your recipe. Rolled the meat around a twig of marjoram. I added hickory bacon on the exposed meat just for fun and held that in place with toothpicks. (That is called larding.) I used an old steel bread pan as it was the right shape to keep the roast together a bit.

  2. Yeh Guys,

    I cooked this last night and was yummy….I used beef and mattar and followed the recipe step by step and the dish came out superb. Thanks for an authentic recipe.

    Cheers and keep up the good work

  3. Hi,
    recipe looks good.
    However a little confused- the quantity of onion looks more than 1 large one? Similarly it looks as though you have used more than 2 tomatoes…
    Please would you kindly clarify?
    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Simran,

      Small, Medium, Large…they are very subjective. Also, sometimes, the camera angles play tricks. This recipe is pretty forgiving so a little more or less here and there will not overly affect the outcome.

  4. Made this this evening. Didn’t use a pressure cooker but followed all other steps. Was pleasantly surprised… Very tasty. Will be using your site again. Thank you.

  5. Namaste! Thanks for all your great recipes! Everything I have made from your site has been delicious and comforting.

    I am a vegetarian and made the Keema with vegetarian ‘burger’ crumbles and it worked really well!

    Thanks again!

  6. Loved this recipe… it turned out very good last week… your video is very useful for a new cook… Thanks a lot for all your recipes.

  7. Hello,

    Thank you for the recipe! When you puree a tomato, do you just run it through a food processor or blender? Do you core and skin the tomato first? Also, and this is kind of a silly question, what does it mean when you talk about the oil separating from the tomatoes or onions? I hear this expression a lot but don’t know what I’m looking for.

    Thank you for the recipe and for all of your help!
    Ann Marie

    1. Hello Ann Marie,

      I just made this and used 4 Roma tomatoes. I just cut them into large pieces and used and immersion/stick blender to puree them.

      The goal is to cook out the moisture from the onions and tomatoes which concentrates and deepens the flavors. While you are cooking the onions or tomatoes, you will reach a point where you will see them getting dryer and deepen in color and you see the oil start to come out of them. It may take a while, and you may have to adjust the heat. You don’t want them to burn. You are building flavors. Keep giving them a stir, and be patient…you will be rewarded.

  8. hi, still awaiting for an answer to my question. also, why is it important to cover and cook the keema, cant i cook it uncovered?

  9. hi, i had a question for you, what will be the quantity of ingredients, if one is making this recipe for 10 people? also, including some other spices like curry powder?

  10. Hi,
    I was just wondering what are the ingredients of the garam masala that you use? I’m kind of new to Indian cooking so that’s why I don’t know. Thanks so much and I would appreciate it if you replied soon. God bless!

    1. Hi Jessica,

      Basic ingredients for garam masala are cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves. Each different brand you purchase will have these plus a host of other ingredients mixed in (black peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mace, etc). Garam masala also differs from region to region. I would suggest trying a couple of different brands to see which one you prefer…after all, your taste matters most.

  11. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this recipe, i have made it before and Iam back for more as forgot how to make it.

    Im so glad i found your website as i was looking for punjabi recipes as obviosly I m punjabi and thats all i know because of my mum and every time i cook something its never right! Oh but my mum got a real surprise as its always right these days hee hee heee hee hee I have not told her my secret yet showmethe Hip hip hooray !

    Big Cuddle to both of you ! X

    1. Hi,
      I was just wondering what are the ingredients of the garam masala that you use? I’m kind of new to Indian cooking so that’s why I don’t know. Thanks so much and I would appreciate it if you replied soon. God bless!

  12. Hi Hetal/Anuja,

    I just made this receipe with ground turkey burger and it came out great!!! I also do not have a pressure cooker but I cooked my turkey burger separate from the Masala mixture then added it all together. I also used can peas and the juice from it in place of water. My husband liked it and so did others who had never tasted indian food before…Thanks so much.

  13. Hi Hetal/Anuja,

    I do not have a pressure cooker which whistles, how long do i need to cook the meat for it to be approximately equal to 1 whistle?


    1. Without a pressure cooker, it’ll take about 1 hr to 1:15 min.
      A lot depends on the meat and wheather it is fine ground or coarsely ground. Also, it will need more water than what is mentioned in the recipe. So keep adding a little water at a time, cook covered, stir occasionally and allow it to cook.
      The other option is that you try to get some tenderizer, it will reduce your cooking time by about 15-20 min.
      Hope that helps!

  14. Thanks for the prompt reply. After we add chicken, we wait till the color change, in this case with all the masala, its hard to tell when its done so could you pls tell me, roughly how long would i have to cover and cook to make sure its fully cooked. With bones or breasts its easy to see but with keema mixed with masala, w/o tasting it, its hard to tell. 🙂


    1. Once the chicken is in the pan, even with all the masalas, you will be able to see a color change.
      Make sure the keema does not lump up, use your ladle and keep seperating the chicken. Once the chicken is all seperated, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
      Hope that helps!

  15. Hi guys,

    Want to try this recipe with chicken, do i still have to pressure cook it for 20mins or less since here the chicken gets done so fast.


    1. If you use chicken, you do not even need to use a pressure cooker. Just cook the chicken in a covered pan until done.

  16. Hi Bindu,
    The soy granules (dry), you can follow the instruction on the box and soak them and then pressure cook them. They taste a lot better and absorb a lot more flavor.
    The soy granules that you get at American grocery stores, in freezer section, do not need to be pressure-cooked. After making the masala, add the soy and a little water and cook till the soy starts softening up (don’t let the say dry out, it’ll get rubbery). Add peas and cook for another few minutes and it’s done:)

  17. RE: No pressure cooker – I made keema quite often without a pressure cooker, just in a large, open pot. Steps 1 – 7 are pretty much the same – after the onions are browned and the herbs aromatic, I add the beef and cook until browned. Then, instead of only 1/2 a cup of water, I use about 2 and a half to 3 C of hot water with a cube of beef bouillon soaked in, and I simmer everything on medium-low, stirring occasionally.

    The cooking takes about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes, until the meat has soaked up all of the water. You can add a bit of butter (1 Tbsp) about halfway through. Steps 12-14 are also the same.

    I usually serve this over basmati rice, with pickle and naan. Bindi is a good accompaniment, or potatoes and cauliflower.

    1. I have never used a pressure cooker for preparing kheema and it comes out so delicious, also I don’t add the black ilaychi to it. Yogurt (curd) which is one important ingredient in kheema is also missing!

  18. Unfortunately, we don’t know how long it would take to make the Keema-Matar without a pressure cooker. And if you are not using one, I would suggest using some kind of tenderizer to speed up the process just a little bit. Also, I would cook it a pan that has a tight lid and cook on low heat to cook the meat through and through.

    1. I was a cook in the British army for over six years and I’ve never cooked a curry as good as this recipe, mouthwatering and unbelievably simple.

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