Kheema is a dish normally made with finely chopped mutton. You’d normally use meat on the bone and chop most of down finely with a knife. I shouldn’t be minced meat as it will have the wrong texture. I recently tried the dish using some Wagyu goulash from L.A Farms Butchery. Wagyu is beef and the ready packed goulash is boneless so I was curious to see if it would have the same depth of flavour.
It turned out the Wagyu was tender and cooked much faster than the mutton would have. And the taste was excellent. There was no depth of flavour lost as the Wagyu is also high in fat and the bones from the mutton which also adds flavour were not missed.
Below is our family recipe that I grew up with. Served with some flaky Cape Town style rotis and pickle, this is a dish equally fit for coming home from school as it is for a fancy celebration.
500g Wagyu beef goulash or mutton
2 medium onions sliced finely
1 medium tomato skinned and grated
2 medium potatoes quartered
3 pods elachi (cardamom)
2 sticks cinnamon
1 or 2 fresh green chillies slit down the middle
handful of fresh green dhanya chopped (corriander)
1 heaped Tbsp ghee or 2 to 3 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp aala lasoon (garlic and ginger paste)
1 tsp ground jeera (cumin)
1 tsp ground dhanya (coriander)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp akhni masala (optional)
1 tsp salt or to taste
Heat oil or ghee over medium heat. Add elachi and cinnamon then add onions and saute till they are soft and just turning brown. Add your spices and stir around till they become fragrant and your kitchen smells like a Pakistani souk.
Meanwhile, chop your goulash into smaller pieces but don’t mince it down. You still want some chunkiness. Add it to the onions along with the garlic and ginger and stir around till the meat is just cooked. The wagyu cooks very quickly. Add the potatoes, chilli, salt and a quarter cup of water and let it simmer till the potatoes are almost soft.
Make a well in the middle and add the grated tomato. I always add the tomato as late as possible while cooking as it prevents the other vegetables from getting soft. Cover and let the tomato soften for a bit then stir through and allow to simmer and thicken. Add more water if it’s too thick. Lastly add the fresh green dhanya just before serving.