The word "Matar" (or sometimes spelled "Mattar")in the name means peas, and they are one of the ingredients. "Keema" means minced, I believe, as in a minced sort of meat, like the hamburger. This is one Indian dish that is actually really quick to make. The one item that is not found on just any grocery shelf is black cardamom. Black cardamom does not resemble green cardamom at all, in flavor, having a smoky and heavier note. Leave it out, if you do not have it or cannot find it.
|Full Masala Ingredients|
1 pound ground beef or lamb
2 tablespoons oil or ghee
2 onions, chopped fine
2 fresh green chiles, such as Serrano, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece fresh ginger about the size of a walnut, chopped finely
1 (3-inch) piece of true cinnamon
2 black cardamom pods, crushed
2 green cardamom pods, crushed
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
2 dried chile pods, crushed, optional
1 - 1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, or 1 (15-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, with juice
1½ cup frozen peas
chopped cilantro, for garnish
In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil or ghee and saute the onions over medium-high heat, stirring regularly, until they begin to caramelize, about 8 to 10 minutes. The onions should be a deep golden brown. Add the green chiles, garlic and ginger and cook for two more minutes, until aromatic. Add in the ground meat, mixing well until it completely loses its pink color. Sprinkle on the Full Masala (left whole and just crushed, to be authentic, or grind all the spices together) and cook for about 3 minutes more.
Sprinkle on the salt and turmeric and add the tomatoes. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 - 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add in the peas, cover and continue to simmer just until peas are tender and heated through. The dish should be moist, but not soupy. To serve, sprinkle with the cilantro.
NOTES: I like to grind the Full Masala Spices, except for the bay leaf. Bay leaves are so sturdy, they tend not to grind fully. It is easier to remove the whole leaf at the end before serving.
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