The Boys are back in Town

Last week was crazy busy. The three boys were all home and I was happy to indulge them in all their foodie desires. There is one meal that will always grace our table when the boys are back. From their childhood, it has been a firm favourite and whenever placed in front of them, they develop voracious appetites and elicit mmmmm's of contentment whilst devouring.  

I've always been one of those democratic mothers, encouraging foodie requests, but the one dish that they unanimously request time and time again, is the versatile, flavourful and tasty Keema, served with roti. This renowned Indian mince dish originates from the Persian meat stew 'Qeymeh.' In India, it is typically made with goat meat, but lamb or chicken mince work particularly well. The Keema, cooked with onion, garlic, ginger and aromatic spices is enhanced with the addition of peas or potatoes. In our house it has got to be, without a shadow of a doubt, delicate new potatoes that give the keema another dimension, with their soft and fluffy texture, packed with flavour. 

If you are a lover of good Indian food, you will receive kudos for this homely, feel good and comforting recipe. Serve with the sumac onions, which provide a great umami fix. This simple Keema recipe will be one you come back to again and again.

Keema with New Potatoes and Sumac Onions

Serves 4-6

  • 1 kg Lamb or Chicken Thigh Mince
  • 2 Large Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 6 Large Cloves Garlic
  • 7 cm Piece of Ginger, peeled
  • 1 Green Chilli
  • 1 400g Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 300g New Potatoes, peeled, washed and cut into half
  • Handful of Coriander, finely chopped


  • In a heavy-based pan, heat the sunflower oil on a moderate heat and start frying the onions.

  • Place the 'Holy Trinity' of garlic, ginger and chilli into a herb mill and blitz into a paste. Add this to the frying onions.

  • Once the onions are quite brown, lower the heat slightly and add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato puree and cook with the browned onions for approximately 20 minutes or until the tomato masala sauce is a rich, deep red, thick sauce. At this point you will see the oil emerging from around the rim of the pan. 

  • Add the mince and stir into the onion and tomato masala sauce. 

  • Add the salt, garam masala and coriander powder.

  • Cook for about 40 minutes, stirring regularly, until the Keema is like a thick stew, with none or very little liquid left. The Keema will start to fry in the masala sauce.

  • At this point add the potatoes and stir in. Lower the heat and cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked. During this time, do stir regularly. You may need to add a little water to help cook the potatoes. 

  • Add the coriander leaves and serve with hot roti and sumac onions marinated in salt, lemon juice and sumac. 


  • If you use chicken mince, do not use breast meat, as this is too dry, instead use skinless, boneless chicken thighs minced up. (My butcher usually does this for me).

  • If you prefer to add peas instead of potatoes, add the peas after the Keema starts to fry and cook for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Sumac Onions

Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice which has a slightly tart, tangy, lemony flavour. 

  • 1 Red Onion, finely sliced
  • 0.5 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice


  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, leave to marinate for 30 minutes and serve.


  • These sumac onions are a great accompaniment to any meat, chicken, fish or vegetable dish and provide a great umami fix.