Lamb Keema
Member recipe

Lamb Keema

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(32 ratings)

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Serves 4

Traditional Gujurati style curry made with minced lamb

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  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 small pieces of cassia bark or about an inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tin good quality (not sour) plum / san marzano tomatoes
  • 2 -5 finger chillis (depending on your heat preference), chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger root
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 500g very lean lamb mince
  • 1 small cup frozen peas


    1. Roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan until fragrant and then grind in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder. This is known as 'dhana-jeeru' and features frequently in Indian cooking.
    2. Melt the butter with the oil in a large pan and add the onion, cloves, cassia (or cinnamon), and peppercorns. Cook, stirring occasionally, over a medium high heat until the onion is well browned.
    3. Discard the cassia (or cinnamon). Add 1 tablespoon of the dhana-jeeru mix, the garam masala, and the turmeric and fry for about 30 seconds stirring.
    4. Add the tin of tomatoes and break them up with a spatula. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger and add to the pan with the chillis.
    5. Cook the mixture over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the oil separates from the mixture at the edges.
    6. Add the minced lamb and break up and mix into the mixture. Cover and cook over a low simmer for 35-45 minutes, adding the peas 10 minutes before the end. Check the seasoning and add more salt and garam masala if reqired.
    7. Like most curries, this dish is best when cooled then reheated to allow the flavours to infuse, but this is optional. Reheat in the pan and serve with rice and / or chapattis.

Comments, questions and tips

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26th Mar, 2020
So good! Was a bit daunted by the amount of butter and oil but it's created a really authentic tasting curry which was also very simple, despite the long list of ingredients. I used 4 chillis which gave a good level of spice (would recommend more if you want it hot) and added chopped swede because I had one lying around that needed using. Served with a yellow dhal, steamed rice, lime pickle and garlic naan. As good as any takeaway, if not better :-) p.s. Used slightly salted butter so didn't add any more which was perfect for our tastes.
7th Feb, 2020
I fried off the mince in dry pan then drained it. I then mixed it with the spice and onion mixture before adding the tomatoes. Healthier and less oily. Top notch recipe A+
Heather Bartsch's picture
Heather Bartsch
27th Apr, 2019
This recipe is delicious. I thought it was spiced nicely. I did use less salt though. I just seasoned as I cooked and made the final adjustment at the end. I also added more garam masala at the end as well. I highly recommend this recipe.
17th Mar, 2017
I am perhaps going to be a lone voice but I found this recipe really disappointing. Over salted and woefully under spiced. The printed page has been consigned to the bin.
16th Nov, 2016
Very good recipe. Really enjoyed it. I could tell when I saw the recipe started with frying hard spices and grinding, and just the amount of different spices and stages that this was a good traditional recipe. I used only 2 chillies which wasnt enough. Also added coriander and a squeeze of lime juice. Very happy and will certainly make again
7th Feb, 2020
Coriander and lemon or lime is a great idea. I also added cubed, precooked, roasted potatoes
11th Nov, 2016
Absolutely delicious we cook it really regularly
8th Jul, 2015
I'm looking to make this recipe tomorrow just one quick question although I probably own every herb and spice known to man I really do not like peppercorn cloves and cinamon (although I still want to use cumin)is there anything I can replace the above three with?any help is much appreciated
18th Oct, 2014
The best keema recipe out their. Quick and simple to make too .
14th Sep, 2014
This is a great recipe and as always you should change to suit your taste when done. I did not follow the salt recommendation and added as per taste. When serving curries I personally think that fresh coriander, lemon and a little fresh chilli really brings your hard work to life. Also fresh ginger when you serve works well - a couple of thin strips on each serving. Its that aroma that is released...I love keema!


7th Apr, 2017
Although dhana-jeeru spice mix feature prominently in India cooking and there are many different recipes, cumin is stronger than coriander and is usually found in a smaller ratio in this spice mixture. Most dhana-jeeru mixes seem to have a ration of 2:, ie 2 tablespoons of coriander to 1 tablespoons of cumin. Madhur Jaffrey in her Indian Cookery books, for example, uses a ratio of 4:1 which may be due to the fact that it is used with fish dishes where a milder spicing is required. My query is whether, in this recipe there is actually an error, and the spice ratio is the reverse of what would be the norm with Gujarati cuisine.
8th Jul, 2015
I'm looking to make this tomorrow..quick question is there anything I can use to to replace the cloves cinnamon and peepercorn(I'm still going to use the cumin seeds)I probably own every herb and spice known to man but I really don't like them three any help would be greatly appreciated
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