Methiwala Kheema – Fenugreek in Mutton Mince
When Anu (my daughter from another mother) put this dish in front of me, I made a face similar to the one made by a brat when served Brussels sprout or Broccoli. (Just so you know, I absolutely refuse to own up that I am a brat. :P ) The reason I made a face was because the mutton mince had no color to it. It looked bland, insipid and something straight out of a hospital kitchen. Sigh! Anu got into the strict parent mode and said, ‘Eat! Don’t make a face without tasting it. If you don’t like it, I will scramble some eggs for you.’ Hesitantly, I took a morsel because angry-insistent-momma (read: Anu) was hovering over me and refused to leave my side until I tried it. Surprise, surprise! It was delicious!! In fact it was so delicious I decided to put it up at my food-blog. The green chilies and fenugreek impart immense flavor to the mince and I was so wrong to have gone by the look of it. Anu went on to tell me it was her mum’s recipe and that she had recreated it after years. Just as Anu is family, so was her mum, Premila. She probably never made this for me knowing I was a very finicky eater in those days. I wish she had! This one is dedicated to the kind lady (Anu’s mum) who looked after us for years with dedication and love. Premila, my darling, this one’s for you. <3
Ingredients for Fenugreek leaves:
3 bunches fenugreek leaves, pick them off the stem and wash in a colander
12-14 green chilies, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 onions, chopped
Salt to taste
6 tablespoons oil
Ingredients for Mutton Mince:
½ kilo mutton (or beef) mince
3 onions, roughly sliced
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon turmeric paste
Salt to taste
2 tomatoes, chopped
A handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
¾ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
Method for fenugreek leaves:
- Heat oil in a wok. Add green chilies and onions. Sauté till onions turn translucent.
- Press the chilies with the spoon to infuse the
spiciness into the onions and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add a wee bit of salt and give it a stir.
- Add the fenugreek leaves and immediately cover
the wok without stirring.
- Allow the fenugreek leaves to wilt.
- Peep in, under the lid to check and when the leaves wilt, stir the fenugreek with the onions and
chilies simmering at the bottom.
- Lower heat, cover once again and cook till the fenugreek leaves are cooked. If there is any excess water in the vegetable after it is cooked, increase heat and dry the excess water. (The vegetable should be dry but not bone dry.) Keep aside when done.
Method for Mutton Mince:
- In another large vessel or pan, add mutton mince, sliced onions, turmeric
powder, ginger-garlic paste, salt and cook on medium-high heat. Keep
stirring intermittently to break the lumps from the mince, if any.
- After 5 to 7 minutes, add the tomatoes and
- When the mince separates into tiny granules and the water from the mince has nearly evaporated, add one cup hot water, cover and simmer till mince is cooked.
- When the mince is cooked, add garam masala
powder, mint leaves, coriander leaves, mix well and cook for 2
- Simmer to evaporate the excess water and bring
the mince to semi-dry consistency.
- Add the cooked fenugreek leaves to the mince, mix well, cover and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- Check seasoning and adjust if required.
- If there is excess water, simmer for a few
minutes till the water evaporates. There should be just about 2
tablespoons water remaining in the vessel. Serve with paratha or roti.
- Please feel free to increase or decrease the number of green chilies depending on your taste buds.
- The chilies added to this dish are just right but if you wish to increase the spice level I would advise you add a few largely chopped chilies, similar to the ones chopped for the fenugreek leaves, to the mince when you cook it with the onions. That way you are sure to have a much spicier blend for your dish.
- The end product of this recipe is on the dry side. It’s not a gravy dish so please be mindful of that when you cook it, but, as mentioned above, do not cook it bone dry. You get my drift, right? :-)
- I have had people come up to me and say, it’s not ‘kheema’, it’s keema or qeema. To all of you who are itching to tell me this, please know that we Bawas call it ‘kheema’. Deal with it! :P :D
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