Kheema Pav / Spiced Ground Meat

In Hindi, the national language of India, ‘kheema’ is ground meat. ‘Pav’ is bread. This simple street food is found in every corner nook and corner in Mumbai. And it’s super easy to cook for a quick dinner.

  • 1lb. ground lamb or beef (alternately use chicken or turkey)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 black cardamon
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic pounded to a paste
  • 1 ½ inch piece of ginger pounded to a paste
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato puree OR 2 large fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves/ Kasoori methi (found at Indian stores)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 star anise (optional, but oh so delicious when added!)
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 chopped green chili
  • 1 large spoon of yogurt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish with finely chopped cilantro leaves

Heat the oil on medium heat and add the green cardamom pods. Fry for 10 seconds and add the chopped onions, fry until softened; about 15-17minutes. Add garlic and ginger paste; cooking for 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the chopped tomatoes or puree and fry for 3 minutes.

Now turn the heat slightly higher and add the ground meat of your choice. Fry the mince for 1 minute stirring continuously. Add turmeric and chili powders. Cook and stir well until the meat browns. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and cook on a gentle heat for 20 minutes.

Now add the dried fenugreek leaves, fennel seeds and star anise and simmer for 5 minutes until it is cooked and mixed well with the kheema. Add the yogurt, garam masala, coriander and green chili. Stir and leave on fire till the liquid evaporates. Then turn the heat off, cover the pan and let the steam works its way in the pan. Sprinkle lemon juice and chopped fresh cilantro. Serve warm with ‘pav’ or bread. Use the bread to scoop out the kheema. This dish is even more delish the next after the spices have soaked through!

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