Memories of Hong Kong and a New 5:2 Diet Recipe:
Minced Beef and Mint Kheema
Keema served with pau (Indian bun) and green chillies in Mumbai, India
Place of origin Pakistan/India
Region or state South Asia
Main ingredient(s) Meat, peas or potatoes
Keema, Kheema, or Qeema (Sindhi: قيمو,Hindi: क़ीमा, Urdu: قیمہ, pronounced [ˈqiːmaː]; Punjabi: ਕ਼ੀਮਾ) is a traditional South Asian meat dish. Originally this word meant minced meat. It is typically minced mutton curry with peas or potatoes. Keema can be made from almost any meat, can be cooked by stewing or frying, and can be formed into kababs. Keema is also sometimes used as a filling for samosas or naan. (Wikipedia)
I remember kheema very well, this dish goes right back to my childhood when I lived in Hong Kong; every Sunday we would go to the USRC (United Services Recreation Club) in Kowloon where they had an amazing curry buffet. Kheema was just one of the exciting dishes on offer, with a plethora of curries available from India, Malaysia, Pakistan and many other South East Asian and Indian Sub-continent countries, as well as South African Cape Malay curry. There were piles of naan breads and baskets of crisp pakoras and samosas, and the “sambals” counter was a sight to behold with bowls of nuts, chopped salad vegetables, chutney, pickle, coconut and crisply fried onion rings and green plantains. The buffet was open all day from Midday, and whilst the grown-ups chatted and enjoyed “Singapore Gin Slings” and other Colonial cocktails, us children ran around the club and played in the numerous swimming pools. All that was needed to enjoy a Green Spot (a soft drink of orange juice) or a Seven Up, was your dad’s name and a signature on a “chitty”……as you can imagine, many a “club bill” was received with shock at the end of the month with all the extras that had built up from children “signing” for drinks and “popsies” (ice lollies)!
My mum also used to make a version of “Kheema” at home; our family embraced spicy food and curries with vigour and we used to eat curry about once a week in some form or other. Mum’s kheema was made with minced lamb or beef and had potatoes and peas in it – she always made far too much for one meal and the leftovers were used to make “curry puffs” the next day, delectable little curried meat pasties, and a favourite with all the family. Minced beef (or lamb) was always a thrifty option even in those days, and a pound of mince (450g) would feed a family of four with leftovers, which seems incredible in these days of “quarter pound burgers”. As well as the frugal minced meat element, mum often used to make a big batch of curry sauce for curried eggs and prawns, you just had to add the boiled eggs and peeled cooked prawns to the curry sauce for a few minutes and a meal was ready. Again, curried eggs was a cheap and cheerful meal and was padded out with steamed rice and sambals.
I have based my latest 5:2 diet recipe for Kheema on mum’s recipe, as well as a recipe I remember making twenty odd years ago from an old Weight Watchers cookbook; the recipe makes FOUR portions, and if you are a solo diner, you can freeze the remainder for future “fast day” dining. The recipe is a very low 230 calories per portion and if you serve it with spinach, as I did, then that brings this tasty meal up to about 255 calories (25 calories for a standard portion of steamed fresh spinach) or, why not treat yourself to rice if you have enough calories left for the day, add 60 calories for a small portion of 45g of cooked rice, which is still under 300 calories for a main meal. It’s an easy curry to make and is also quite filling too. I will be sharing my mum’s curry puffs recipe soon, as I actually made some with the leftover kheema I had, not for a fast day of course! Next week is the start of Great British Beef Week where the Ladies in Beef will be trying to encourage all of us to buy British, so, why not fly the Anglo-Indian flag next week and make a BIG batch of this delicious curry with some prime British beef, it’s tasty and yet VERY healthy as it’s so low in calories and fat.
One last tip before I go, DO NOT omit the mint, it really is the “hinge pin” in this recipe and adds a wonderful freshness to the musky spiciness. Dried mint is JUST as good as fresh mint and if you want to garnish the kheema with mint leaves, that’s also a great way to add a stronger minty flavour to the dish. I have forfeited my Monday Meal Plan today, as I am working with a large UK supermarket on a “thrifty” meal plan, so all my notes will be posted at the end of the week once I have completed my £50 weekly menu. That’s all for today, have a great start to the week and I will see you a little later with a NEW giveaway, so watch out for that! Karen
I am entering this into Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Mondays event.