Chicken Keema Masala

Serves: 3-4Prep: 15 minsCook: 15 mins

Main CourseMughlaichicken keema, keema masala, minced chicken

Spicy chicken keema masala served with shahi pulao
Spicy chicken keema masala served with shahi pulao

Ingredients

  • Minced Chicken – 400 gms
  • Cumin – 1 tsp
  • Cumin Powder – ½ tsp
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri Chili Powder (non-spicy) – 2 tsp
  • Aamchur Powder – 1½ tsp
  • Chopped Onions – 2 medium sized
  • Chopped Tomatoes – 4 small (3 if you marinate minced chicken in curd)
  • Chopped Green Chillies – 3-4 (or as hot as you want it to be)
  • Minced Garlic – 1½ tsp
  • Minced Ginger – 1 tsp
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves – a few strands for garnishing
  • Sugar and Salt as per taste

Directions

  1. First step is to defrost the chicken keema of course, but I’m sure you already know that.
  2. Once defrosted, keep the chicken keema marinated with curd and some salt for 30 mins.
  3. In a skillet, heat up some oil and then add the cumin seeds to it. Let it splutter for a few seconds in the hot oil before you add the chopped onions.
  4. Cook the onion and cumin seed mix for 5-6 minutes, till the onion turns golden.
  5. Now add minced garlic and chopped green chilies and sauté everything for a minute.
  6. It’s time to put in the chopped tomatoes and some salt and sugar as well. Please remember that you have already marinated the chicken with some salt, so be mindful of how much salt you add at this stage.
  7. One by one, add all the powders into the skillet. i.e. cumin powder, coriander powder, Kashmiri chili powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder and aamchur powder. Stir everything together and keep at it.
  8. Once the tomato gets nice and tender along with the spices, throw the marinated keema into the mix. Fold it in with the mixture till it’s evenly blended. Cook it for 10 minutes, sometimes covered and sometimes uncovered, till the oil gets released from all the spices.
  9. Turn off the heat now and sprinkle 1 ½ tsp of lemon juice for added flavor. Keep it covered till you serve it.
  10. Serve it with a generous portion of chopped coriander leaves on top.

Like I promised in a previous post, here is the recipe for Chicken Keema Masala. The most exotic ingredient this baby needs is minced chicken. So if you have got that in your freezer, it will take you less than half an hour to prepare and cook this delicious keema.

Keema induced flashback

While growing up in the 90s Calcutta, I remember my mother and her family being extremely cynical about buying minced meat from the local butchers. According to them, whatever unsavory bits and pieces were left from a chicken or goat once the good cuts were all over, used to be brought together and cut into tiny little chunks to form keema meat. So, no matter how many times I begged my mother to make chicken keema masala or chicken keema matar for dinner, she never would. So, my only fond memories of eating keema during childhood are that of Bhalodida, the mother in law of Bhalomashi (yes, she is an aunt quite worthy of her title) making mutton keema when I used to stay over at their place or she bringing some delicious keema masala over to family dinners or brunches. We kids used to love those big family reunions because it was during those times that food items which we weren’t otherwise be allowed to eat, were permissible and there would be minimum supervision around the children because everyone was busy having a good time. Occasionally, we cousins would indeed hurt one another while playing unchaperoned, but mostly, we would just be cute and loving and try our level best to make up for the lack of siblings in a span of a few hours.

While eating chicken keema masala this time (this is the first time I ever made keema or had keema at home), I suddenly started missing those good old days acutely, memories and experiences which have made me what I am today:  a sucker for good food and an even bigger believer of building life long friendships over a delicious shared platter.