Lamb Kheema

Lynda Booth


  • 3 tbsp oil 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 50g fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (Deggi Mirch brand)
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 600g minced lamb (not too lean)
  • 2 tsp garam masala, bought or homemade
  • 120g peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 small green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 small bunch fresh coriander, chopped


Kheema means ground meat or mince. The Indian name sounds so much more exotic, but this is simple fare, although very tasty. It’s a perfect dish with which to start your own spice trail. If you want to be more ambitious at a later point, lamb kheema would make a great filling for a samosa but here I suggest that it might be served with Bombay Aloo potatoes and some simply cooked basmati rice. If this is your first dish with fresh spices, relish the process.
The first step is to get your spices ready. You may have bought ground cumin and coriander but hopefully, you will have bought the seeds so that you can grind them yourself. If your ambition is boundless, you might go to the techniques page and roast them before grinding. What an extraordinary start that would be.
Heat the oil in a casserole pot and add the onion. Season with salt and cook on a low heat with a lid on until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a few minutes. Mix in the cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder and a dash of water and cook, while stirring, for another couple of minutes. The water helps prevent the ground spices from burning. Now pull the pan off the heat and add the yoghurt, one tablespoon at a time, to prevent it from splitting. When each spoonful is fully incorporated, add another. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and return the pot to the heat. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the minced lamb and garam masala. Season with salt and toss the meat around over a high heat until it becomes coloured. Pour in 250ml water, bring up to the boil and cover with a lid. Simmer for about 25 minutes until the lamb is tender. Mix in the peas, green chilli, lemon juice and coriander and cook for a further 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.