Trying to emulate my Mom’s kheema

And failing! Lol.

Despite being Indian, I don’t always cook Indian food. Primarily because (or at least my excuse is) I think it takes too much effort and I am very much a lazy cook.

However, of late I’ve had a real craving for Indian food. At work I’m dreaming (instead of working ooops!) of dai vada, khali daal, butter chicken (see my weekend’s efforts), papri nu loat (no idea how to spell it… just think steamed rice flour with cumin) and kheema. My God, how I’ve been thinking of kheema. Especially the way my Mom makes it. Which is actually super simple (supposedly…!).

Like the “dutiful” Indian daughter I am (ahem… well maybe not!) I emailed my Mom for this recipe sometime over a year ago? I never made the kheema till now. My first attempt. It smelled like kheema, the taste was similar, but the texture was all wrong. I’m not saying it was bad, it wasn’t, it just wasn’t my Mom’s or anything close to it. Which for me was an unmitigated disaster… because it was my Mom’s kheema I wanted. Lol.

I’m not used to things not turning out the way I want them in the kitchen… so naturally I am deeply upset by this turn of events (okay not really), but if I have learned something from this experience. I can make Kheema, just not like my Mom, and therefore I suppose that means sometimes Mom really does know best. 😮 lol

With that here’s my Mom’s deceptively simple recipe.

Chicken Kheema

2 lbs lean chicken (quantity depends on appetites and servings required). Rinse and drain.

Chop 1 large onion and get 2-3 whole green chilies (slit them down the middle).

1 tsp garlic paste, 2 tsp ginger paste

4-5 whole black peppers, 2-3 cloves, 1/2 cinnamon stick

3-4 tbls tomato paste mixed with about 1/2 cup of water

Garam masala, turmeric, and chili powder to taste

Lots of love (my Mom is corny/adorable like that! ;-p)

In a pan heat up about 3 tblsp oil, when hot add cloves, pepper & cinnamon stir fry few seconds and then add onions, garlic, ginger paste & whole green chillies. Cook on a slow fire till onion soft and fragrant.
Add kheema (normally she cooks kheema separate with cloves cinnamon & pepper, and drains the fat as it comes out till done  – I skipped this stage because again I’m lazy) cook and stir frequently to keep it separate (otherwise small clusters will form – she’s serious… it happened with mine!).
When almost cooked add peas and cook further, if dry add little water. Now add the tomato paste mixed with garam masala, tumeric, salt, red chili powder– if using– and mix well adjust spices according to taste. Sprinkle coriander before serving.

Enjoy! x


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