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 from the lamb pieces. I can distinctly remember him sitting at the dinner table and sucking the marrow out of the bone making a loud slurping noise, then he would burst out laughing at the look if disgust on my mums face. My eldest son enjoys many habits similar to his nanna ji. I say 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 is absolutely delicious, and cooking it on a low heat until it melts into the sauce 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, you’ll be glad you did.

Ingredients – Serves 5

1 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

1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds

2 inch cinnamon stick

2 black cardamom

1 large onion finely diced

1 heaped tbsp ginger paste

1 heaped tbsp garlic paste

4 green chillies – or to taste

1 heaped teaspoon of achari masala (optional)

400g tin of plum tomatoes pureed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli

Half teaspoon Kasuri methi

1 cup of frozen peas

½ cup of boiled water

Handful of chopped coriander leaves


  1. Warm the oil in a heavy based pan and add the cumin and crushed coriander 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 tomatoes and chillies to the pan and stir well
  4. Once the oil rises to the top add in the salt, and remainder dry spices
  5. Stir well then add the lamb pieces – cover them with the mixture and cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring intermittently
  6. After 20 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 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish with the coriander and serve with a fresh roti or naan

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