As a kid I was never a mutton/beef or milk fan. I got tons of scoldings from Ammi and Nana (Maternal grandfather) for that. I was told I will never grow tall enough or excel in class or be physically fit. Turns out I achieved all of that without eating much meat protein throughout my adolescent years. Something else happened as well! As I became an adult and moved away from Pakistan, the flavors and tastes that I took for granted came back to me as a longing. I missed eating the very things I despised as a kid. Mutton was one of them!
While living in London, when I ventured out to find ingredients to fulfill that longing, I figured no matter how I cook the locally sourced meat, it will always have a nasty smell. There was plenty of lamb but hardly any goat meat that I was accustomed to. That was pretty disappointing!
Living in Manila the situation was worse. Locals don’t eat lamb or goat meat as it’s considered too expensive. Hence no one breeds these animals there. Whatever was available was ridiculously expensive and always had a nasty smell even after cooking. I eventually became a vegetarian but not by choice!
Coming to Pakistan means I can enjoy trouble free meat eating in moderation which I have been doing. This bhunna qeema is dry yet juicy and the husband loves it! This time around when I made it, it got a nod from Abbu as well. Here is the simple recipe. Hope you will enjoy it!
- Put the minced meat in a tea towel and wash under running water for a couple of minutes. Let it sit for about 20 mins till the water drains. Squeeze the water out as much as you can before cooking.
- Heat the oil in the pan and add chopped onions to it.
- Wait till it becomes translucent, now add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, crushed cumin and coriander seeds, whole red chilies and ginger garlic paste. Cook till everything changes color to gentle brown.
- Squeeze water out of the minced meat. Add it to the onions and cook it till it changes color to brown.
- Add salt, chili powder and turmeric. Mix further and dry half of the liquid in the pan.
- Add tomatoes and 2 green chilies and cook for 2-3 mins on high heat.
- Add yogurt and mix. Reduce heat, cover the pan and let it cook for 20-25 mins till the tomatoes break down completely and yogurt disappears.
- Add half of the ginger, fried onions and remaining chopped green chilies. Cook for 2 mins.
- Garnish with fresh coriander, remaining ginger and fresh green chilies. This can be served with homemade flat bread, naan or even paratha for brunch.
The left over qeema makes an awesome stuffing for Qeema Paratha for breakfast or brunch the next day. Same filling can be used to make stuffed samosas at home.