I've had some bad luck cooking Indian meat dishes at home, and I'm not really sure why. Perhaps the best ones always require a long marinade; the quick ones have always turned out tough and tasteless for me. On the other hand, I have a collection of astonishing vegetarian dishes that are dynamic, cheap, and absolutely packed with flavor. I don't miss the meat.
Keema is the exception. The mixture of ground meat with seasonings is a dynamic dish, but one that usually requires too many ingredients. So I'm glad I found this version from Madhur Jaffrey's From Curries to Kebabs. It's a great place to start. The dish doesn't require many ingredients, can be completed in about 30 minutes, and comes out homey and satisfying instead of bracing and spicy. You might need to add some more spice if you're craving it. Otherwise, it's probably the best use for ground chicken that I've ever found.
- 1 large white onion
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped (about 3 teaspoons)
- 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 5 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces waxy potatoes (such as red potatoes), peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Finely dice 3/4 of onion and thinly slice remaining 1/4. Set aside. Heat oil iover medium high heat in heavy-bottomed 12-inch stainless steel skillet until shimmering. Add diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to brown around the edges, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.
Add ground chicken, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir well, and cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Pour in yogurt. Stir well, and cook for one minute, until yogurt is absorbed.
Add tomatoes, salt, and potatoes. Stir well. Cover skillet and turn heat to low. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with more salt to taste. Garnish with sliced onions and cilantro.