Experiment: Kheema Saag (Minced Meat Curry with Spinach)

Kheema Saag, pictured above, is a dish I make quite often. ‘Kheema’, or ‘Keema’ as it is also spelled, simply means minced meat in Hindi and typically refers to a spiced preparation incorporating other ingredients. In India, lamb or goat, are most frequently used but any meat will do and I use beef more often than anything else. Strictly speaking, since the dish I am cooking for this post incorporates spinach, it should really be called ‘Kheema Palak’, but ‘Saag’ refers to any type of greens so ‘Kheema Saag’ is still quite proper…

The Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1 package Baby Spinach
  • 1 small Onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Cream
  • 3 tbsp. Tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp. Chili-Ginger-Garlic Paste  
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin Seed
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Coriander Seed
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. ground Black Pepper

For this dish, I quite often blanch the spinach and then chop it finely, but this time I am going to omit this step. If you wish, you can use the leaves whole but I will cut mine into thick shreds.

The Method

First, separately toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Grind the coriander seeds and mix them with the Cayenne pepper and Turmeric.

Brown the minced meat in a sauté pan and then drain off the excess fat. Add the Cumin seed, Tomato paste and the Chili-Ginger-Garlic paste and stir well until incorporated and cooked through. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in the pan and add the onion. Sauté until it is soft and then add the dry spice blend. Stir until the aroma is released and then add the spinach leaves and a few tablespoons of water to make some steam.

As soon as the spinach is nicely green and beginning to wilt, add the meat mix back into the pan and stir well.

Finally, add the cream and a half-cup or so of water. Continue to cook over medium heat until everything is heated through and the liquid is almost entirely absorbed. At this point, you can serve immediately but this is a dish that improves very nicely if you allow it to cool and then reheat for later service.

The Verdict

This dish goes very nicely with rice but my wife and I both like spooning it into chapattis or other roti along with some additional toppings. On this occasion, I served it with a side dish of Okra Curry and a tomato-onion sambol as well…

The Kheema turned out quite nicely even though I meant to use yoghurt, as I usually do, and had to substitute cream instead. To be honest, I was really unable to tell the difference and will happily use cream in future versions. I also add tomatoes to this dish quite often, and I recommend you try it that way, but in this case the accompaniment of Curried Okra contained quite a lot already so we really didn’t miss them. Overall, my wife really enjoyed the supper and I give it a thumbs up too…

 

5 thoughts on “Experiment: Kheema Saag (Minced Meat Curry with Spinach)”

  1. Looks delicious ! The kheema (or khimo as we call it) is a dish that I do regularly, but I’ve never tried it with spinach, that seems like a great idea ! I also always use yogurt, might try cream some time… Thanks for the tips !

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