Kheema Mattar: Indian Spiced Beef with Peas

Kheema Mattar: Indian Spiced Beef with Peas is saucy spiced mince beef and peas, and makes an easy comfort food meal served with rice.
Kheema Mattar

Kheema Mattar: Indian Spiced Beef with Peas

Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Wow! Has it been a month since I last posted with the Secret Recipe Club? It has been a sad month with the passing of my brother and my SRC recipe I chose to make I did at my Dad’s home out of town. I might say that we didn’t feel much like cooking, or eating, but it was good to have a delicious recipe to fall upon when we needed nourishment most.

And August has been busy with various things, among them a cooking event I do in a foodies group that is called Culinary Quest (and is still ongoing). We get to make lots and lots of ethnic food in that.

For this month, my assignment was to choose a recipe from Nora at Natural Noshing. Nora has a ton of recipes to choose from that are naturally healthy, many of them vegan or grain free and dairy free. But not all of them, so there truly is something for everyone. With lots to choose from, I almost made her Slow-Cooker Moroccan Chicken Stew, which is essentially a tagine in a crockpot, but still being a bit down with the passing of my brother, I opted for a very easy to make comfort food dish called Kheema: Indian Ground Beef with Peas.

Kheema is traditionally a Persian/Iranian middle east dish based on Gaimeh or Gormeh/Quorma (meaning minced) which can be made into a khoresh type stew (as it is here) or into a sabzi (dry) pilaf dish where the rice is mixed in (such as the Indian type pilaus and biryanis). Mattar is the Indian word  for “peas”. I first had this type of dish back around 1980 as a Persian dish which was made with ground lamb and green beans in a tomato sauce. The spicing is a bit different in the Persian dish as it relies more on the aromatic spices like cinnamon (compare to the garam masala) and less on the spicy pepper.

As far as Indian foods go, this kind of thing is a Northern dish popular among Muslim Indian peoples, as obviously, Hindus and Buddhists do not go out for beef. However, that being said, I think this recipe would easily translate into a nice vegetarian meal using Veggie Crumbles, or another option, to omit the meat all together and opt for things such as cooked potato or paneer cheese along with the peas.

It is quite easily and quick to put together no matter what you choose to use, and except for a few small changes, I have mostly adhered to Nora’s recipe.

I hope you enjoy the recipe, and do stop by her blog, Natural Noshing, to check out all of her other offerings.

As well, the other Secret Recipe Club (SRC) bloggers have joined together in a linky party to make it easy to browse through their choices for this month. Click the link below to see all the choices, and be sure to pin the ones you want to save for later.


Kheema Mattar

Kheema Mattar: Indian Spiced Beef with Peas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Kheema Mattar


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2  teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 1 (16 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or coriander leaves
  • sliced green chilies (optional)
  • steamed white rice or warmed flatbreads (roti, naan, paratha)


  1. Heat oil in  a large skillet and cook onions until soft.
  2. Add beef, garlic and ginger and cook until beef is browned and crumbled; drain off any excess fat.
  3. Stir spices into meat and cook briefly until aromatic (about 20 seconds), then add tomatoes with juice, vinegar, peas, salt, pepper and water.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding water as needed to maintain a saucy consistency and cooking until tomatoes are partially broken down and worked into the sauce.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
  6. Serve with rice, garnished with sliced  green chilies as desired.

From the kitchen of


Kheema Mattar

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59 responses

  1. Sue I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your brother. My Mother (British) would have a similar dish to this. Always enjoyed!

  2. My condolences for your loss… I must say it made me admire you a lot to be able to keep the SRC going even with so much pain and sadness going on….

    Hard to comment on the recipe after reading your post, but Indian food is always a favorite with us….

    I hope you are surrounded by friends to help you in this difficult times….

  3. I’m really sorry to hear about your brother! My condolences! I want to acknowledge you for participating in SRC regardless!

    This looks amazing! I love how simple yet flavourful it looks!

    I had your blog for this month’s reveal and I made your avocado bacon pancakes with maple syrup and I was pleasantly surprised by the flavour combination!

    Take care!

    • I like those pancakes! That bit started after having some bacon avocado toast, and now has moved on to maple bacon guacamole. It really is a flavor combo I like and am pleased you like it as well!

  4. I love Indian food, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a vegetarian who doesn’t! This looks great… quick and easy, which I love on weeknights, and I’m pretty sure I can adapt it for tempeh or chickpeas. I can tell it’s delicious from the list of ingredients… thanks for sharing.

  5. Mmm, that looks tasty. There are a lot of ingredients in this dish, but it looks easy to do. My husband and I dated in an Indian restaurant before and we loved the food. I can’t wait to make this for him.

  6. Most importantly, I’m so sorry to hear about your brother! I can’t imagine suffering from a loss like that.

    Thank you for the kind words, I love this dish and your post inspired me to add it to my menu this week! Happy reveal day!

  7. So sorry to hear about the passing of your brother. I pray that that your heart begins to heal and that you are comforted! With regards to the dish, it looks and sounds yummy! Lots of spices so I’m sure it’s bursting with flavor! Thanks for sharing!

  8. My husband loves spicy recipes and beef! Although we’ve never eaten Indian food, this looks like something we should try. Thanks!

  9. I’m sorry to hear about your brother passing, Sue! Comfort food is definitely needed in times of grief especially. It looks like this Kheema Mattar was one of those meals that makes your belly nice and warm! Great choice for today’s reveal day!

  10. I’m so sorry about your brother! Indian food is my latest food project that I’m trying to learn how to cook. It’s a little tricky to get the right balance of all the spices, but once I do.. Oh my, it’s good. Your receipe seems really easy to follow though which is good!

    • This recipe has a pretty good balance I think. I have made quite a lot of Indian food in the past 25-30 years so have tasted a good representation, also eaten out at Indian quite a lot as it is one of our favs. This recipe is a good start if you are learning.

  11. I have passed on my condolences already, as you know……now on to this recipe, which is fab and I love a good Kheema, always welcome on this Brits table! Karen

  12. Oh I’m very sorry to hear about your brother 🙁
    I good easy dish is useful anytime. Something to make after a long day at work or whatever. I love Persian dishes, so much flavour. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Oh I’m very sorry to hear about your brother 🙁 A quick easy dish is a good one to make at anytime… after a long day at work or whatever. I love Persian food, so tasty! Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Indian inspired food is one of my favorite cuisines to eat. It is full of flavor and I love that. I have never been over powered by too much flavor or eaten unflavored Indian food. Your recipe looks wonderful.

  15. Your dish looks absolutely amazing. I am sure it taste equally delicious. I am a huge fan of Indian food. How unfortunate about the loss of your brother. My condolences go out to your family.

  16. I don’t make a lot of Indian food, but this dish might change my mind. It seems super simple, but tasty and healthy. So sorry to hear about your brother, Sue. <3 Sending love and prayers your way!

  17. That looks so good and like something I need to try. I love Indian food and how spicy it is most times

  18. I have never heard of Kheema but it looks like really good and simple dish. I am trying to eat healthier myself and blogs like this are great ways for me to find recipes to help me on this journey. Thank you so much for sharing and educating us on Kheema.

  19. I am so very sorry for your loss. It is never easy when we lose someone we love and are close to. As for your recipe, it looks amazing. When we make tacos I always make sure to make a little extra yellow rice because my husband loves to have the leftover taco meat and rice for a meal the next day. This reminds me of that. Warm and comforting.

  20. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. Food and family always bring me comfort. I hope this meal at your Dad’s brought you all a bit of peace.

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