Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vegan MoFo - K is for Kheema Matar

Kheema Matar is an Indian dish traditionally made with ground lamb mince, green peas and spices. It's a recipe I wanted to revisit after enjoying Ricki's ground meat in spaghetti bolognese, chilli non carne, pot pies and chow mein. My previous attempt with Kheema Matar used TVP as the mince replacement which I wasn't very keen on so I had high hopes to restore this dish to it's former glory this time around.

Ricki's faux meat recipe is simply made of processed cauliflower and nuts with seasonings mixed through and baked in the oven until it has totally dried out. When added to sauces it absorbs a lot of liquid so it's a good idea to increase the quantity of the sauce from your standard recipe. I'm not going to tell you that this tastes exactly like meat but it certainly has the appearance of ground meat and imparts a nice subtle nutty flavour.

Even though I didn't have a couple of the recipe ingredients like green chillies and fresh coriander it was still a pretty tasty meal and won hands down as the best veg attempt to date. It's doesn't take too much time to prepare, especially if your ground "meat" is already on hand. Kheema Matar pairs well with bread and pappadums which is exactly how we enjoyed it.

Click here to see my A - Z of Vegan MoFo posts.

Kheema Matar (Adapted from The Food of India)

1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least an hour
1 large onion, chopped roughly
2 green chillies, seeded and chopped (I didn't have any this time)
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 bay leaves
1/2 quantity ground "meat" (recipe below)
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander
2 heaped teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons fresh coriander (I didn't have any this time)

Drain and rinse the cashews, then process in a blender with about 1/3 cup water until it becomes a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and rinse out the blender. Place the onions, chillies, garlic and ginger in the blender with 1/4 cup water and process until smooth.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion mixture and bay leaves and fry over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the ground meat and tomato puree and mix thoroughly. Stir through the turmeric, chilli powder, coriander and cumin and cook for a minute. Add the blended cashew cream, salt and pepper and continue frying for another 5 minutes. The mixture may become too dry so add a small amount of water if necessary.

Stir through the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes, then add the garam masala and fresh coriander. Serve with flatbread or pappadums.

Ground "meat" recipe (Adapted from Diet, Dessert & Dogs)

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup walnuts
1 cup pecans
2 tablespoons olive oil (I forgot to add it this time)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (I spilled in extra by accident)
1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the cauliflower florets and nuts in a food processor bowl and pulse until finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Add the olive oil, garlic powder, soy sauce, salt, smoked paprika, liquid smoke and herbs and mix thoroughly with your hands until the ingredients are well combined.

Spread the mixture out evenly into a large oven tray lined with baking paper. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, then stir the mixture around. Cook for another 15 minutes and stir again. Keep cooking the mixture until the mixture is dry and brown, stirring every 15 minutes. It usually takes an hour or a little longer for mine to be ready.

Use the ground "meat" straight away or store in the fridge or freezer for later use.


  1. I haven't heard of this but it's no surprise as I don't cook a lot of Indian food. I definitely want to try it out using Rikki's ground meat recipe too.

  2. sounds like a great idea for the ground meat - I never had much Indian food before I went vegetarian so I don't have a good idea about how these dishes taste with meat but I do like the sound of your version

  3. Yum! This looks so tasty! I want to make it next week, thanks for the suggestion! Mmm

  4. Mandee, you should definitely try out Ricki's ground meat recipe. You can put it to so many great uses.

    Johanna, I used to make a bit of Indian before giving up meat so I occasionally try to adapt some of the recipes that we previously ate.

    Thanks Genki Kitty, hope you enjoy this if you give it a try!