Qeema (قیمہ ) in Pakistan is comfort food.
Although you will never find it on a restaurant menu (see details on why that may be the case here), it’s a household staple that sits deep into your desi subconscious. I always break it out when I have had a tough week, and need reinforcements.
Qeema comes in many forms. Spell it with a Q or a K. Make it with minced chicken, goat, beef or even turkey. Have it with rice or roti. Or cook with peas, potatoes or green bell peppers. It can also be used in soup (such as here) or layered in khichri (such as here).
I like mine without veggies so it was just as well that my friend, Kulsoom made an elegant chicken qeema, dusted with garam masala and served with a generous helping of green chillies and cilantro.
- 2 tbsp oil canola, sunflower or vegetable
- 1 1/2 medium sized onion chopped in half rings
- 2 tsp ginger/garlic paste can be found in any Indian/Pakistani grocery store. Alternatively, just use 1 tsp crushed ginger and 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 3 cloves
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 lbs ground chicken or beef
- Salt to taste
- 3 tomatoes de-seeded and roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp garam masala powder optional
- 1 green chili finely diced (optional)
- 1 tbsp cilantro finely diced (optional)
- Heat oil in a medium-sized, deep non-stick pan. Add chopped onions and brown them on medium-low heat till they are limp, about 20 minutes.
- Add the ginger/garlic paste and stir for a few seconds on low heat.
- Add ground spices and let them simmer for a few seconds.
- Add ground meat, salt and tomatoes. Stir till well-mixed and cover with lid. Cook on medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir for an additional 10 minutes to let the water dry out. Remove from heat.
- Dust with a pinch of garam masala and garnish with finely chopped green chillies and cilantro.