Minced Lamb and Lentil Curry – Keema with Less Meat
This lamb and lentil curry is a twist on the traditional Indian Keema, and is quick to make.
Do you go in for the whole ‘Meatless Mondays’ thing? We’ve eaten a lot of vegetarian food since we were students, but I know it’s not easy for everyone. If you’d like to cut down on meat without giving up that meaty flavour, try cooking with less meat and padding it out – like my recent Slow Cooker Sausage and Bean Chilli. It’s a very old technique, as our impoverished ancestors stretched a meagre amount of meat to feed a large family – pies, for example, are a good British example of this, and Yorkshire puddings were designed to eat before the main meal so you were too full for a lot of meat.
I know mince (ground meat) is pretty cheap, but if you’re really counting the pennies or have a lot of people to feed, or just want to eat less meat, it’s really easy to pad out. This time I’ve made a variation of Keema, an Indian mince meat (ground meat) curry that I first made for my Keema Pie. It’s really filling, and tastes great with a vegetable side dish – we’ve had it with a mushroom curry, and a creamy cauliflower curry.
So, should you be trying to eat less meat? Meat is more expensive, and it is high in fat. The bag of mince I used for this recipe cost £3, whereas the lentils used were approx. 57p. 100g of cooked lentils contains just 0.4g of fat, whereas the leanest mince is just 2% for turkey, 5% for pork or beef. *
I don’t often talk about my buying preferences on the blog – my readers are perfectly capable of making their own minds up – but I prefer to buy less meat, but spend the extra pennies to make sure it’s british, or ideally, free range. There are also good environmental reasons to eat less meat – I explored that here. Do remember that chilli is a very individual thing – check out my guide to chilli here. This minced lamb and lentil curry would, of course taste just as good using a blend of spices.
So go on, give it a try! A scrummy curry, with less meat.
*prices and nutrition information taken from Tesco groceries website 8 July 2016
Step By Step
Text and photos have been amended from the original published in July 2016
This easy minced (ground) lamb and lentil curry is filling and satisfying – perfect if you want to eat less meat, but not give it up entirely. Makes four generous portions.
- 1 onion
- 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 tsp each cumin and coriander
- 2 tsp each garlic powder and turmeric
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 500 g lamb mince (ground lamb) Just over 1lb
- 1 can chopped tomatoes 400g/14oz
- 2 handfuls frozen peas
- 226 g red lentils Just over a US cup
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- Dice and fry the onion in a large frying pan or skillet.
Measure out and stir in the spices, and add the mince (ground meat)
- Stir the mixture round ’til the lamb is well coated with spice and cook until it’s browned on all sides.
- Boil the kettle.
Add the canned tomatoes, peas and lentils, and 800ml (3.38 US cups) of freshly boiled water or vegetable stock.
- Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Keep a jug of water on standby. Stir periodically, and add extra water if it’s starting to stick. I used about 200ml extra (0.84 US cups)