What is Keema?
The word ‘keema’ in this chicken keema recipe is a word in the Urdu language which is typically spoken in Pakistan. In English, keema means minced or ground meat.
This chicken keema recipe is a classic Pakistani dish. It’s flavorful and rich in spices, and if you have a craving for Desi food, this quick and easy dish will satisfy those cravings. My entire family loves a good keema curry dish and it’s so easy to prepare.
Since it is super simple to make and loved by everyone in my household, this recipe is my typical weekday go to dinner that I make on a regular basis.
This Pakistani Keema Recipe is a Versatile Dish
I have friends call me sometimes and ask what to make with ground chicken as ground meat is easy to cook with but they want a change from the usual ground beef recipes. Yes, there are lots of ground keema recipes out there, but I usually tell them to make keema because of the ability to change it up every time.
Since I make this dish so frequently I have learned to make alterations to the recipe to keep things interesting. You can definitely personalize this dish to suit your taste buds. The most common keema dishes are Aloo Keema (ground meat and potatoes) and Keema Mattar (ground meat with peas).
However there are several other vegetables that can be substituted instead such as cauliflower, okra, peppers, fiddleheads and so on.
How to Make Chicken Keema
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Pakistani curries are generally made in larger size pots – usually 6 quarts or larger. Keema can be made in a smaller skillet as well. I personally prefer to use a stainless steel pot like this one.
2 Tbsp Canola oil
1 large onion chopped
2 Tbsp garlic/ginger paste
1 lb ground chicken (or any other ground meat of your preference)
1.5 tsp ground coriander
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground garlic
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt and black pepper (or to taste)
½ tsp ground garam masala
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
3 cups of green beans
1. Heat oil in a large pan and sauté the onions (2 minutes)
2. Add all the spices excluding garam masala and let the spices cook with the onion for 1 minute, while stirring continuously so the spices do not burn.
3. Add the garlic-ginger paste and diced tomatoes and let cook until most of the liquid has been evaporated (approximately 5 minutes).
4. Add the ground meat, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine well and let cook for approximately 15 – 20 minutes or until fully cooked. Towards the end of cooking time add the garam masala and stir well.
5. Once the ground meat is fully cooked top with freshly chopped cilantro and green chili (optional)
Serve over Basmati rice or with pita bread, naan, and salad.
Can I Eat Keema on Keto?
Yes, you can make a Keto keema curry. Since I have been on the Keto diet, instead of potatoes that I would typically add, I found green beans work just as well in this Pakistani keema recipe. Most other vegetables will work well as a Keto keema recipe.
You will need to make one more change to make the keema keto. Keema is normally eaten with pita bread, naan, roti, or rice. Since I am on my keto diet, I have been enjoying this meal over hot cauliflower rice.
Can I Make Keema Without Tomatoes?
You can but it will just be on the dry side as it won’t have the ‘masala’ (the flavorful paste-like sauce that is made by cooking the onions and tomatoes together).
What to Do with Leftover Keema
I try to make extra keema because the leftovers are great to use in a variety of dishes. You can make samosas, put it inside roti to make parathas (a thicker roti made in butter) or make a keema omelette because it tastes great with eggs.
I have put it on top of pizza, and inside of tacos! I am sure there are many other creative meals that keema can be used in.
Can Keema be Frozen?
Yes, keema can definitely be frozen and set aside for another day, even if its mixed in with rice. I like to splash a little bit of water on top before warming it in the microwave after its been thawed out to help prevent drying.
- 2 Tbsp Canola oil (or any cooking oil of preference)
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 Tbsp Garlic/Ginger paste
- 1 lb Ground Chicken (or any other ground meat of your preference)
- 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground garlic
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt and black pepper (or to taste)
- ½ tsp ground garam masala
- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 3 cups of green beans
- Heat oil in a large pan and sauté the onions, approximately 2 minutes
- Add all the spices except the garam masala and let the
spices cook with the onion for 1 minute while stirring continuously so the spices do not burn.
- Add Garlic and Ginger paste and the diced tomatoes and let cook until most of the liquid has been evaporated (approximately 5 minutes).
- Add the ground meat, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine well.
- Once the meat is browned, add the green beans and let cook for approximately 15 – 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
- Towards the end of cooking time add the garam masala and stir well.
Once the ground meat is fully cooked, top with freshly chopped cilantro and green chili (optional)
Serve over Basmati rice or with pita bread or naan and salad.
Looking for more healthy, lean meat recipes? Check out this Healthy Turkey Meatloaf.