Hadiwala Keema

Published by Bee Gill on

Lamb mince cooked with marrow-bone

As shared in The Guardian newspaper – ‘How to make the perfect Keema’

How to make the perfect keema – recipe | Food | The Guardian

Hadiwala Keema was the only way my dad would eat Keema. He totally appreciated the gravy that was created from the marrow bone of the lamb pieces. I can distinctly remember how he would sit at the dinner table and just suck it out of the bone making a loud slurping noise, and then guaranteed – he would always burst out laughing straight after. My eldest son enjoys many similar habits to my father. I say use the word enjoy, as Dad made everything so much fun. I am actually smiling to myself as I type this as it is such a funny and fond memory. Dad loved his food, really appreciated everything he could get from every single ingredient of a dish. He never peeled fresh ginger and would get annoyed when Mum did – he would argue that the skin contained nutrients too.

The flavours in this particular dish are absolutely amazing. The gravy you’ll get from the marrow bone, mixed in with the mince is absolutely delicious, and cooking it down on a low heat until it melts into the dish gives it such a rich deep flavour which is accentuated by the garam masala that I have created to work with it. The star anise and green cardamom seeds add a hint of aniseed and sweetness that counteracts the heat from the black peppercorns. Be sure to make the masala for this dish, you’ll be glad you did. Watch the video for the process…


Ingredients – Serves 2

½ kilo leg of lamb on the bone – bone cut into pieces and the remainder minced – washed and cleaned (ask your butcher to do this for you)

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 inch cinnamon stick

2 black cardamom

1 large onion finely diced

3 inch piece of ginger minced

6 cloves of garlic minced

4 green chillies – or to taste

1 heaped teaspoon of mango pickle (optional)

400g tin of plum tomatoes blended with the pickle

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli

½ teaspoon coriander powder

½ teaspoon cumin powder

1 cup of frozen peas

½ cup of boiled water

Handful of chopped coriander leaves

Garam Masala

½ tablespoon of coriander seeds

1 teaspoon of black pepper corns

Seeds from 6 green cardamom

1 star anise

  1. Dry roast the seeds on a medium heat until they start to pop
  2. Grind in a pestle or use a spice grinder and keep aside


  1. Warm the oil in a heavy based pan and add the cumin seeds, cinnamon and black cardamom
  2. Stir in the diced onion and allow to soften slowly on a low to medium heat – you want to caramelize them to release their sweetness
  3. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes then add the turmeric and the tomato and pickle mixture to the pan and stir well
  4. Once the oil rises to the top add in the salt, powdered spices and the garam masala you made earlier
  5. Stir well then add the lamb pieces – cover them with the mixture and cover and cook on a low heat for 40 minutes, stirring intermittently
  6. After 40 minutes add the minced lamb and half a cup of boiled water and stir in well
  7. Cover and cook for a further 20- 25 minutes, again on a low heat
  8. Add the peas towards the end of the cooking process and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Garnish with the coriander and serve with fresh roti or naan