Kheema: Indian Ground Beef with Peas

Kheema: Indian Ground Beef with Peas

What do tacos, burgers, sloppy joes, samosas, spaghetti bolognese, arroz a la cubana, and tortang giniling (Filipino ground meat omelette) have in common? They’re among my favorite foods in the world and they’re all made with ground meat, much like this kheema dish here.

Also spelled keema or qeema, it’s a traditional South Asian dish that derives its name from the ancient Turkish word for minced meat. Though almost any kind of ground meat can be used, it’s typically made by mixing minced mutton meat with peas, potatoes, and garam masala, a delicious, Indian spice mixture that blends a variety of spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, bay leaf, pepper, clove, cardamom, and ginger. Cooked by stewing or frying, kheema can be spread over naan bread, it can be formed into kababs, or used as a stuffing for samosas.

A simple dish that’s effusive with flavor and texture, if you enjoy ground meat dishes like I do, then you’re sure to love this one.

Kheema: Indian Ground Beef with Peas

Bread or rice? Obviously, I couldn’t decide. 😆
Kheema: Indian Ground Beef with Peas

If you’d like to pair it with rice, then I suggest trying it with a fluffy rice, the recipe for which you can find HERE.
Kheema: Indian Ground Beef with Peas


  • 3 Tbsps vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-inch thumb) fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tsps ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound (500 grams) ground beef
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste, optional
  • 2 green chilies, deseeded, finely diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 2 tsps apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few extra leaves for garnish


  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until browned. Add garlic and ginger, then saute for another minute. Stir in coriander, paprika, garam masala, cumin, and cayenne, then cook for another minute.
  2. Add beef, break it up with spoon, and saute until meat is no longer pink. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well and simmer, partially covered, for about 10 minutes. Add in peas and chilies and cook for another 5 minutes while partially covered.
  3. Stir in vinegar and chopped cilantro. Garnish with torn cilantro leaves and serve with warm chapatis or steamed fluffy white rice.

JB is one half of Will Fly for Food and its chief itinerary maker.  He’s the one to blame for all the crappy photos and verbal diarrhea on this blog.  Don’t listen to him.

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Memoria at 3:26 am

    I just made this dish with ground turkey and accompanied the dish with brown rice and homemade whole wheat naan (the quick, no-yeast kind). This dish is delicious!! Next time I would like to add a some freshly ground spices to make the flavors more complex. I love that about Indian food. Thank you so much!! I will be making this again.

  2. JB Macatulad at 7:36 am

    Glad you enjoyed it! What you did with the dish sounds really interesting. And much healthier too. We love naan, but have never had a whole wheat version before. Interesting. 🙂

  3. Diane Balch at 7:46 pm

    Just wanted you to know that recipe is included in a pea recipe collection today on Simple Living and Eating. I will be pinning and tweeting it this week too.

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