Keema - A Hamburger Stew with Zing!

Sometimes we stare at a package of hamburger for a long time wondering how to make something new with it. Hamburgers and meatloaf? Or chili with beans or perhaps Italian meat sauce for spaghetti. My dear friend Ursula from years gone by used to call us the " hamburger queens " because we could not afford much else back then yet we still managed to feed our families good meals every day inventing hamburger switch-ups all the time. That was more than 35 years ago. We are back to the cost of food and particularly beef being so high it's a luxury now more than ever.

This particular meal is a switch-up I made from a Parsi recipe called Keema. It is a spicy delicious heavy meal and can easily feed 5 adults with a side of vegetables, or on Rice, or on mashed potatoes. I had it for lunch with two over easy fried eggs and some spinach with avocado and pickled ginger. I had to skip dinner because I was so full.  I also made fresh Naans for the family with that you don't need any other carbohydrate, just scoop and enjoy.

I made all the vegetable and spice components separately and added them back to the pan after I cooked the beef through and removed the fat.


2-3 pounds hamburger or Lamb
2 large onions chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
2 tomatoes chopped the same size as the onion
1 teaspoon turmeric
ketchup, Worcester sauce to taste
1-4 green chilies - split down the middle - I used one and did not split it
1/2 bunch coriander
1/2 cup peas
sugar to sweeten
raw mango in the season - this I did not add
oil for frying


Fry the onions till brown. Add in all the spices except the cumin, that is added last when the dish is almost finished. Add tomatoes, coriander, chilies and some ketchup and Worcester. Simmer till combined and mushy.

Now fry the hamburger till done. Remove the fat. Add the spice mix and the cumin and stir till combined. Let it simmer so the flavor marries. If you feel it needs it add a tiny bit of sugar to sweeten.

Sometimes I boil some small cubed potatoes and add them as well.

The original recipe I adapted is by Villie Cowasjee


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