Spiced Mince Chicken – Kheema
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After a week-long break in Sarasota, FL, my hands itch to make a yummy meal for the hubby and myself again. Today, it’ll be simple Curd-rice, owing to the insane food we’ve forced our tummies to digest all of last week.
OLTE readers, Sabera’s back with the next post!
Spiced mince chicken was one of the first few dishes I learned to make when I started cooking Indian food. Spiced mince meat, also known as Kheema in India, is one of my personal favorites as it is flavorful, takes a relatively short time to make, and it follows all the basic steps in making most Indian curries, making it a dish that any novice to Indian cooking can easily prepare.
Kheema is traditionally made with mince lamb meat and honestly, I love it this way the best. I however gave up red meat several years ago (barring the odd burger or Lamb curry at a good restaurant) and was introduced to Kheema made with mince chicken. What I really love about this dish is it’s versatility. It goes with Bread, Roti’s, Naan and rice. Layer the Kheema between fragrant Zeera rice and you get what is called a Kheema Pulao. The Kheema can also be stuffed in Samosas or rolled into Kebabs.
To make the Kheema, you will need:
- 1 packet (1.35 lb) of Ground or Mince Chicken, thawed
- 2 dried Bay leaves
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 Inch stick of Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil or any other oil you use for cooking
- 1/2 medium sized finely chopped onion
- 1 tbsp Ginger & Garlic paste2 medium sized Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp Hunt’s Tomato paste – Adds a nice color and tang to the dish
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Dhania-Zeera powder
- 1/4 tsp Garam Masala powder
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas
- Salt to taste
- Chopped Cilantro, Mint leaves and lemon juice for garnishing
OLTE’s Trivia: Bay Leaves, Cinnamon, Cumin seeds and a few other spices (black peppercorn, Cardamon pods, Kashmir chilies etc.), form what is called Whole Garam Masala a.k.a. Khada Masala in Indian cooking.
- In a large pot, heat the oil and put in the cumin seeds when it is hot. As soon as the seeds begin to crackle, add the Bay Leaves, Cinnamon stick and Star Anise. Allow the whole spices to fry in the oil for 1-2 minutes till they release their fragrance
- Now add the chopped Garlic, and Onion. Allow to fry on medium heat till light brown. In the mean time, remove the mince chicken from the packet and keep aside
- Add the Ginger & Garlic paste, allow to fry for a minute or so and add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Allow to cook with a lid on the pot till the tomatoes are mushy
- Now add all the spice powders – Chili powder, Dhania Zeera powder, Turmeric and Garam Masala powder. Mix well and wait till the oil releases from the sides of the Onion & Tomato paste
- Finally add the mince chicken and mix very well. Put a lid on the pot and allow the chicken to cook in it’s own juices. Occasionally, check the chicken to mix it again and break any lumps of chicken
- Cook the chicken till it is well done and all the water has evaporated.
- Add salt to taste and the frozen peas. Mix well, allowing the peas to thaw.
- Garnish with lemon juice, and chopped Cilantro and mint leaves
- Enjoy hot off the stove with Roti or Naan