A mildly spiced Kheema Minced Meat Pulao is a versatile one-pot wonder that has quick cooking ground meat, fragrant spices, potatoes and peas. A flourish of fresh herbs keeps it light. It works just as well as a centre piece of an elaborate dinner spread or as a quick busy weeknight dinner. Pair it with a simple salad or a dollop of yogurt and done!
When making this pulao, remember that you want an end result thats lightly – spiced and not overpowering. The spices should be freshly toasted and pounded. A mortar pestle would be perfect for this. The grains of basmati rice should be fully elongated and fluffy. You want the rice to be cooked in the meat juices covered, so only add enough water to cover and cook rice. Soaking the rice goes a long way in also speeding up the cooking process. The potatoes and peas add substance, the combination of coriander stems/leaves and mint round out the flavours well.
MAKING THE PULAO
First and foremost, soak your basmati rice (upto an hour is ideal, 30 minutes in a pinch). Toast your spices and pound them once slightly cooled. Complete all your vegetable prep and have hot water ready (I use a electric kettle) for any time you need to add water to the cooking. Take the time to develop colour on your onions as this forms the base of the flavour. When the tomatoes are ready, all water should be reduced until you have a concentrated base and oil has separated from it. Fry the meat patiently, let it develop some colour. Add the rice and peas when the potatoes are more than 60% cooked so they are perfect in the time the rice is done. When ready, let it rest. This helps you get fluffy separated long grains.
Serve with a raita/yogurt/something creamy and a simple side salad of cucumbers. Feel free to add a squeeze of lemon when you tuck in, you’ll be glad.
Spiced Kheema Minced Meat Pulao
- 1 cup Basmati Rice
- 1 cup Meat Mince (lamb/pork or chicken)
- 1/2 cup Potato (peeled and chopped)
- 3/4 cup Onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup Tomatoes (finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup Green Peas
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste
- 3/4 tbsp Garlic paste
- 2 Green chilli (slit)
- 1 tbsp Tender Coriander stems (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp Coriander leaves (roughly chopped)
- 2 tbsp Mint leaves (roughly chopped)
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 1-2 Bay Leaf
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 3 Cloves
- 2 Cardamom pods
- 1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorn
- 2 cups Water (and more for rice)
- Sugar (to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- Wash the basmati rice until it runs clear. Soak for atleast 30 mins, upto 1 hour. Peel and chop the potatoes. Dry roast all the whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander, fennel and black peppercorn) until fragrant. When cooled, grind them to a fine powder.
- In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the ghee. Add the bay leaf and green chillies and fry lightly. Add the chopped onions and some salt and stir fry until golden brown.
- Add the ginger/garlic paste and coriander stems, fry until the raw smell is gone. Add the turmeric powder and ground spices, fry lightly. Add the chopped tomatoes and let it cook until all the water has evaporated and you start to see oil separate.
- Add the minced meat and fry on a medium to high flame until it gets some colour. Add the chopped potatoes, 1/2 cup of hot water and cover and cook until the meat and potatoes are more than half way cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning , with salt and a pinch of sugar.
- Add the soaked/drained rice and green peas along with enough hot water to just cover the rice. Bring it to a boil and cover to cook. You know the rice is done when all the water has absorbed. Once you turn off the heat, let it rest for atleast 30 minutes and fluff the grains.
- Garnish with mint leaves and serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.