It’s chapati and I’ll fry if I want to

[Recipe 1] KEEMA MATTAR (Indian spiced minced lamb and peas)
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This week’s recipes are Indian. First up is Keema mattar. Keema is hindi for any type of ground meat and mattar are green peas. My version of Keema mattar contains carrot and cauliflower and is so flavoursome. It’s a fairly dry curry so it’s lovely served with yoghurt raita, and scooped up with home-made chapati (flatbread). You can whip up home-made chapati in a naan-o-second (sorry, can’t resist a bad pun) but you can of course use store-bought naan or chapati if you’re really pushed for time.
The Keema mattar recipe yields two large freezeable meals, each plenty for 4 people; plus an extra portion to be used as filling for delicious Baked filo pastry samosas, perfect for a weekend lunch or party nibbles. Look for the orange diamonds in the recipe for instructions on how much Keema mattar to set aside for the samosas.
Keema matter is a fab meal to take with you on holidays (even easier than bolognaise) as you need only bring a packet of chapati or roti to have with it. No need to muck around with rice or pasta. We’re off on our annual pilgrimage to the Apollo Bay Music Festival this weekend and I have a vat of Keema mattar in the freezer, ready to go. 
The lovely Michelle of formandreform blogged beautifully about cooking this meal. Check out her blog – she is one clever girl.

Keema mattar (Indian spiced mince lamb and peas). One Equals Two.

[Recipe 1] Keema mattar (Indian spiced mince lamb and peas)

Ingredients (serves 4 for 3 meals):
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 red (purple/Spanish) onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1½ heaped tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1 heaped tablespoon cinnamon
1 heaped tablespoon garam masala
2 tablespoons fennel seeds, toasted, crushed with a mortar and pestle
3 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted, crushed with a mortar and pestle
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 kilos (4 lb) minced (ground) lamb
1 long green chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped
2 large carrots, grated
1 small head cauliflower (or ½ large head), cut into very small florets
7 tablespoons (140g tub) tomato paste (tomato concentrate)
1 cup (250ml) water, plus extra if required
4 bay leaves
2 x 400g (15 oz) cans chickpeas (garbanzos), drained, rinsed (or 2 cups cooked chickpeas – see tips below recipe)
2 cups (500g/1 lb) frozen peas
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chapati (flatbread), store-bought, or home-made, to serve
Basic cucumber raita, to serve
Fresh coriander (cilantro), to serve

Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, garam masala, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and cloves, and cook for 3 minutes, until aromatic. Add mince and cook over low heat, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until brown. Break up the mince with a wooden spoon now and again.
Add chilli, carrot, cauliflower, tomato paste, water, bay leaves and chickpeas and simmer, covered, over a medium heat for 25–30 minutes, until liquid has evaporated. Add more water if it starts to dry out too quickly. Toss peas into the pot for the last 5–10 minutes cooking time. Remove bay leaves. Season to taste.
Serve Keema mattar on top of chapati, scattered with coriander (cilantro), with raita on the side.
Divide the remainder of the Keema mattar into plastic containers (see storage tips below).
Reserve 3 cups (600g) Keema mattar for the Baked filo pastry samosas.

  • The Keema mattar recipe will yield three portions; ie. two serves of about 6 cups (1¼ kilos) each (1¼ kilos will serve four) plus a 3 cup (600g) portion to be used for the Baked filo pastry samosas.
  • Keema mattar can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge and should be used within three days; or it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Serve the Keema mattar with steamed basmati rice instead of naan, for a change.
  • 2 x 400g (14 oz) cans chickpeas (garbanzos), drained, will yield approximately 3 cups chickpeas. For 3 cups cooked chickpeas, soak 250g (9 oz) dry chickpeas overnight. Drain and cook in boiling water for 45–50 minutes, until just tender. Drain and rinse. I often cook up a load of chickpeas, and freeze them in 1 cup portions to use when required.

Baked filo pastry samosas. One Equals Two.

[Recipe 2] Baked filo pastry samosas

Ingredients (makes 20):
1 tablespoon corn flour (cornstarch)
4 tablespoons warm water

♦ 3 cups (600g) reserved Keema mattar

½ cup (50g) dessicated coconut
1 x 375g (12½ oz) packet (20 sheets) frozen filo (phyllo) pastry, defrosted in fridge overnight
Vegetable oil for brushing
Easy spiced tomato chutney, or store-bought chutney, to serve

Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Mix corn flour and water together. Place into a small pan.
Add reserved Keema mattar to pan.
Add coconut and stir well.
Bring to the boil. Turn down heat and simmer until mixture thickens, about 2–3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Cut though all 20 sheets of filo pastry at once, with a sharp knife, into 3 long strips each measuring about 8½cm (3-inch) in width.
You’ll need three strips of pastry per samosa, making a total of about 20 samosas.
Place 1 tablespoon of the Keema mattar filling at the top end of a pastry strip and pull the left corner of the sheet diagonally to the right so that it forms the first little triangle. Keep folding the samosa over and over in the same way maintaining the triangle shape. After every third fold, brush a little oil on the pastry.
Repeat the procedure until all the samosas are ready, popping each on an oiled tray (with the last fold underneath), covered with a clean tea towel as you go.
Lightly brush the top of each samosa with vegetable oil.
Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot with Easy spiced tomato chutney.

  • Work quickly with the filo pastry, so it doesn’t dry out. Keep unused pastry portions covered with a clean tea towel as you work.
  • If using refrigerated Keema mattar (not frozen) this recipe is suitable to freeze. Freeze cooked samosas, for up to 3 months. Place baking paper between the layers. When serving, allow to defrost overnight in the fridge. Reheat in a hot oven, covered with foil, for 5–10 minutes.

17 thoughts on “It’s chapati and I’ll fry if I want to

  1. Pingback: Friday Night Feasts « formandreform

  2. How the @#$% do you do it? Not only is the ingredient list so long my pen would run out of of ink writing it , you serve up like a pro and you still have time to be one of the best Mums I know, not to mention all the little extra nutritional information, and not to mention just being able to man this fabbo blog. You have an evil twin don’t you……. and I will be cooking this one too.

    • You’re a classic Janet. Thanks petal. You say the nicest things, but you do make me blush. I love doin’ the blog – it’s ‘an interest’ as my mother-in-law says. I know the ingredients list looks scary but it’s honestly the quickest dinner to make, as quick as spag bol. And Sidney eats it without modification (no chillies though)!

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