For the longest time my daughters would insist they don't like keema. I try not to take this personally but for someone who grew up on Aaloo Keema and Daal this was hard to stomach. Then one day we were at a friends house for brunch and she had made a chicken keema and lo and behold they were gobbling it up. Naturally I smiled and was all like "look at you,that's great!" but inwardly I had that ugly moment that every mom has had. That "what's wrong with my keema" moment.
To this day I am not sure what the answer to that question is - I will stick to my guns on my making of a really good Aaloo Keema as well as a good Chicken Karahi Keema. However, I have discovered there is something about the quick magic of Methi Keema that my kids really like.
Now before you get carried away and imagine my children consuming prodigious amounts of Methi Keema in neat little "niwalas" with perfect little phulkas let me take this opportunity to clarify something. They have yet to say "mama can you please make methi keema". However if I mix this into their rice, stuff it into a paratha or feed it to them with roti or sheermal they will consume decent amounts of it without complaint. And that folks is a parenting win.
Dried vs Fresh Methi (Fenugreek)
You will see that I use Kasuri Methi not fresh in this recipe. That is largely because I always have kasuri methi and partially because I find that fresh methi will occasionally have a bitter after taste. You are welcome to use either. If you are using fresh methi then I'd recommend around ½ cup or so. Adding spinach to this would also be yummy.
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Ground spiced chicken gets cooked in mild spices and the beautifully aromatic kasuri methi.
- 1 lb chicken qeema (ground chicken)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tbsp ginger
- ½ tbsp garlic
- ¾-1 tsp salt
- ¾-1 tsp red chilli powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ¾ tsp garam masala
- ½ cup peas
- ⅓ cup yogurt, whipped and at room temp
- 2-3 tbsp kasuri methi (can use a handful of fresh chopped)
- chopped green chillies to taste
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
Heat a wide bottomed pan - a karachi or wok is best - and add a lug of cooking oil
When it shimmers (i.e. is hot) add your onion and cook till the edges are golden brown
Then add the ginger and garlic pastes, saute for a quick minute
Now in go the salt, red chilli powder, turmeric, and coriander powder
Give them a quick whirl and add the ground chicken
Mix energetically on medium high heat until the chicken looks cooked (keep breaking up chunks)
Now add the peas
Saute for another 5-7 minutes until it starts to take on a darker hue. This is key because it will give your qeema better flavour.
Now turn the heat down, add the yogurt and methi. Mix well.
Cook on low for about 5 minutes, then add your garam masala and green chillies
Mix, taste, adjust seasoning.
Top with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon (optional)