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.

plate of lamb and lentil  curry with coriander garnish

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

trying onions and spices to make lamb and lentil curry
Sautee the onion and spices
browning meat for lamb and lentil curry
Brown the meat
adding lentils and tomatoes to a pan of lamb and lentil curry
Add the canned tomatoes, lentils, frozen peas and water or stock, and simmer
pan of cooked lamb and lentil curry
Your lamb and lentil curry is ready to eat!

Text and photos have been amended from the original published in July 2016

4.84 from 6 votes
plate of lamb and lentil curry with coriander garnish
lentil and lamb keema
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins

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.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: keema
Servings: 4
Calories: 462 kcal
Author: Lizzie
  • 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
  1. Dice and fry the onion in a large frying pan or skillet.
  2. Measure out and stir in the spices, and add the mince (ground meat)

  3. Stir the mixture round ’til the lamb is well coated with spice and cook until it’s browned on all sides.
  4. Boil the kettle.
  5. Add the canned tomatoes, peas and lentils, and 800ml (3.38 US cups) of freshly boiled water or vegetable stock.

  6. 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)

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