Beef Kheema with Corn and Cauliflower, a simple Indian curry perfect for summer, whips up quickly and showcases sweet corn to perfection. The whole family will love it!
Just looking at these pictures makes me hungry. I don’t often think of corn in Indian dishes, but when I do it is invariably amazing and I wonder why I don’t use sweet corn more often in curries. My Ohio-in-July Vegetable Soup, Indian Style comes to mind as one such dish that blew me away.
But about this fantastic Beef Kheema with Cauliflower and Corn. I said I was dedicated still to cooking out of my over-sized pantry, and I am, but I cannot pass up fresh, local produce in the summer. Especially sweet corn. Don’t even ask me to. So lately I have been bringing home corn and then figuring out what to do with it.
As I have mentioned many times previously, kheema is one of the easiest Indian curries to whip up, because all kheema really means is made with ground meat (in India most likely lamb, but I am ok with using just about any ground meat or poultry). And everyone knows ground meat makes everything easy–it cooks quickly and is not fussy. Except for the mustard oil (which you could leave out in a pinch and add more mustard seeds) nothing in this dish should be tricky to get a hold of. I wanted the vegetables, especially the sweet corn, to make the statement here. It is a relatively dry curry, so I did serve it with Greek yogurt and tamarind chutney.
Everyone devoured it. Another great thing about kheemas is that they are very kid friendly. Everyone had multiple servings, and when the leftovers were finished before Alex got any (I mistakenly thought she had already eaten), well, let’s just say there was some serious tween grouchiness. I am even thinking that as long as it is corn season, I should just make this beef kheema again!
- 1-2 T vegetable oil
- 1 T heaping dark mustard seeds
- 1 T heaping cumin seeds
- 1-2 T mustard oil
- 2 large onions chopped
- 1-2 T minced garlic
- 1/2 t turmeric
- 1/2 t cayenne or paprika, depending on heat tolerance
- 1 t garam masala, plus more later
- 1+ lb ground beef
- Salt to taste
- 1 large head cauliflower broken into florets (I like them really small for this dish)
- Corn kernels cut from 2 cobs (in summer otherwise use 2-3 cups frozen organic corn)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 t garam masala
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1/2 lemon plus more to taste
- For serving:
- Basmati rice
- Tamarind chutney
- Greek yogurt
Heat a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil with the mustard seeds. Partially cover the pan to prevent the popping mustard seeds from escaping. When they slow down, add the cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds roast until darkened and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, but do not let them burn.
Add the mustard oil and the onions with a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally and caramelize the onions for 10-15 minutes. Splash the pan with a little water if they start to stick or scorch.
When the onions are dark golden brown, add the garlic. Stir and let cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Add the turmeric and cayenne (or paprika). Stir for 30 seconds.
Add the garam masala and mix it in. Then add the ground beef with another pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and break up the clumps of ground beef. Stir and continue breaking up the clumps.
When the ground beef is browned, add the cauliflower and corn. Stir. Add the water. When it begins to boil, place a lid over the pan and reduce the heat to medium low.
Let it cook for 10-15 minutes (depending on how big the cauliflower florets are), until the cauliflower is crisp tender and the corn is cooked.
When the vegetables are cooked, mix in the garam masala, cilantro and lemon juice with a hefty pinch of salt. Mix. Taste for more salt, more lemon juice or more garam masala. Serve hot with Basmati rice, Greek yogurt and tamarind chutney.
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