Kheema with Cardamom and Curry Leaves
Closely adapted from Bal Arneson
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 T minced ginger
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (you can chop finely if you don't love onions like we do)
  • ¼ cup curry leaves
  • 1 T garam masala, divided, to taste
  • 1 t black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • salt to taste
  • 1½ cups frozen peas
  • 3 small or 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • juice of half lemon, to taste
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • plain Greek yogurt, for serving
  • chutney, for serving
  • sambal olek or chile pepper flakes, for serving
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mustard seeds--when they start to pop, add the cardamom seeds. When the mustard seeds finish popping, add the curry leaves (be careful, they will splatter). Stir once or twice, and then add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook the onions, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until translucent and starting to turn golden. Add the ginger with a teaspoon of garam masala. Cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring.
  2. Add the ground beef and break it up, stirring to incorporate it into the spices and onions. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally. When the beef is mostly cooked through, add the zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is cooked through and no longer pink. Add the peas with a teaspoon of garam masala and mix in, heating through.
  3. When you are ready to serve the kheema, sprinkle the dish with cilantro, 1 teaspoon of garam masala and lemon juice. Taste for additional salt, garam masala or lemon juice. Serve with yogurt and chutney on the side, and either sambal olek or red chile pepper flakes for anyone who wants heat in the dish.
Recipe by The Spiced Life at