How To Make Keema Rice
Love Indian food? Get ready to try this homemade keema rice recipe that’s aromatic and full of flavour. It’s the perfect quick lunch or dinner idea that will leave you wanting more and more! Just like keema naan, this recipe tastes so good.
If you haven’t tried keema rice before, then today is your lucky day! It’s an Indian restaurant classic you can make with just a few ingredients and 20 minutes.
Each spoonful contains tender lamb mince, aromatic spices, fluffy rice and tasty peas, and let me tell you, this combo creates an irresistible blend of textures and flavours making it hard to resist.
It’s the perfect side dish to serve with curries, yet it’s tasty enough to be a main dish, that’s why Keema rice is featured on so many Indian takeaway menus.
What Is Keema Rice?
Good question! Keema rice is a popular Indian dish made with basmati rice, minced meat (typically lamb), spices and tomatoes in one large pan. In other words, it’s a delicious Indian spicy rice recipe!
In Indian cooking, keema refers to lamb or chicken ‘minced meat’ which is cooked in a blend of spices containing cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala along with onions, garlic and ginger to create a rich and savoury base.
Even though keema rice is on the menu at many Indian restaurants in the UK, it’s not the most popular dish due to many people not really knowing what it is. If this is your first time trying keema rice, then get ready to enjoy it!
How you cook keema rice is very similar to how you would make a biryani (hence why you can find recipes called keema biryani). This usually involves frying all ingredients and spices, adding uncooked rice, adding water then leaving the rice to cook and the water to evaporate.
Though making keema biryani is more traditional, this Indian restaurant style recipe is a quick and easy alternative you can make in just 20 minutes.
Watch How To Make Keema Rice
How To Make Keema Rice Quick
If you want to make keema rice quickly, then you’ll need to use pre-cooked rice instead of uncooked rice.
I tend to use pre-cooked packet rice if I don’t have leftover rice at home. The cooking method is quite similar to Chinese fried rice recipes, both dishes involve frying vegetables, meat and spices before adding rice to the pan.
Which Rice Is Best To Make Keema Rice?
I recommend using basmati rice, it’s mostly used in Indian cooking and has a light, fluffy and tender texture. You can use other types of long grain rice like jasmine rice and wild rice.
Regardless of what rice you use, it should be a day old (leftover rice). By this time, the rice will have a reduced moisture content making it less sticky and looser, which is the perfect texture for fried rice recipes.
If you don’t have leftover rice, you can use packet rice instead.
Love Rice Recipes?
If you love rice recipes as much as I do, then you have to try these delicious dishes below. There’s a range of takeaway favourites you’re likely to recognise:
Below are the ingredients needed to make this recipe:
- Cooked Rice: Use packet basmati rice from your local supermarket or rice prepared a day in advance. If you don’t want to use basmati rice, you can make keema rice with jasmine rice too.
- Ghee / Oil: I use a mixture of ghee and oil but if you don’t have ghee, you can simply use standard vegetable oil or sunflower oil.
- Lamb Mince: The more traditional choice of meat for keema rice but you can use beef or chicken mince too.
- Peas: I like to use frozen green peas.
- Tomatoes: I like to use fresh tomatoes but you can also use a few spoonfuls of tinned chopped tomatoes.
- Onion: One large onion either white, yellow or red
- Coriander: To finish this dish, fresh coriander diced into small pieces are sprinkled on top of the keema rice. If you don’t have fresh coriander, you can use coriander powder as an alternative.
- Chillies: To add extra heat, I used green chillies from my local supermarket.
- Seasonings: To season this dish a combination of ginger and garlic paste, garam masala, cumin, chilli powder, turmeric, fenugreek and salt are added to the fried onions and mince mixture.
How To Make Keema Rice
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make this easy keema fried rice recipe. Full recipe instructions are on the recipe card:
Heat a pan on medium to high heat and add ghee and oil to the pan.
Add onions and diced chillies to the pan and fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent and soft.
Add lamb mince and fry until the mince is starting to brown. Whilst the mince is cooking, break the mince into small pieces.
Add diced tomatoes, peas and all the seasonings to the pan and stir. Leave the mixture to simmer until the tomatoes have softened. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the pan.
Pour the cooked rice into the pan and stir until evenly distributed. Sprinkle freshly diced coriander, stir and serve. And that’s how you make keema rice, a tasty Indian spicy rice ready in 20 minutes!
TIP: When using packet rice, I like to warm the rice in the microwave (following packet instructions) before adding it to the pan. This ensure all rice pieces are fully heated.
What To Serve With Keema Rice
Keema rice can be served in two ways: as a large standalone main dish or as a slightly smaller side dish to accompany a main dish.
I particularly like to serve it with tender meats and sides dishes, like the few listed below:
- Chicken Bhuna
- Chicken And Aubergine Curry
- Onion Bhajis
- King Prawn Balti
- Indian Tandoori Lamb Chops
- Chicken And Mushroom Stir Fry
My Top Tips
I recommend using the largest pan you have! Ingredients will end up falling off the sides when mixing and stirring in a pan that is too small. A large pan will allow you to mix the ingredients easily without any mess.
Make sure that the lamb mince is cooked thoroughly before adding rice to the pan. This is to ensure no raw pieces of meat is served. Breaking the mince into small bits will ensure that all pieces are cooked.
If you love heat, add more freshly diced chilies when frying the onions or you can add more chilli powder. Taste the keema mixture before and after adding the rice and add extra seasonings if needed.
If you’re making the rice from scratch, when boiling the rice add whole spices like star anise, cloves and cracked cardamon. These spices will infuse the rice and make it aromatic.
Use ghee! Clarified butter used in traditional and authentic Indian cooking. It adds extra flavour to this keema rice giving it a slightly nutty undertone.
How To Make Ahead
You can make this dish in advance, however, pre-cooked rice should not be reheated, so this dish is best served straight away.
If you want to make this dish ahead of time, follow the recipe instructions up to the point of adding rice. The meat mixture can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When you are ready to eat this dish, heat the meat mixture in a pan and continue by adding the rice then serve.
How To Store Or Freeze
If you’re making this recipe with freshly cooked rice, allow the keema rice to cool down completely before placing it in an airtight container. Place in the fridge for up to one day.
To freeze, allow the keema rice to cool down before placing it in an airtight and freezer-safe container. Place it in the freezer for up to one month.
How Spicy Is Keema Rice?
Keema rice is a low to medium spiced dish, the heat comes from the chilli powder and fresh chillies. If you want this dish spicier, you can add more chilli powder or fresh chillies.
When making this dish, adjust the spice levels to your personal preference.
Indian Spicy Rice Substitutions
Looking for quick swaps? I’ve listed a few variations and substitutions you can use to make this recipe even tastier for you.
Change The Meat: You don’t have to use lamb mince; you can use any type of minced meat you like. If you don’t want to add meat, you can use tofu ground mince or lentils.
Mix & Match Spices: If you don’t have all the spices for this recipe, then you can still make it with what you have! Spice mixes like garam masala and curry powder are great alternatives as they include a vast range of spices which covers most of the ingredients to make keema rice.
Add More Texture: Nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds will add extra texture and flavour.
Keema rice is made with either lamb or mutton, you can find some keema recipes using beef, but this is not as common due to beef being viewed as sacred.
Keema means minced meat and is a dish commonly made in India. This dish is typically made with lamb or mutton and some recipes are made with goat too. The choice of meat used depends on personal preference.
Keema Rice (Easy Recipe)
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 3 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 750 g Cooked Rice (3x packet rice)
- 500 g Lamb Mince
- 200 g Peas
- 4 Tomatoes
- 1 Onion
- 2 Green Chillies
- Handful Coriander
- 1 tbsp Ginger And Garlic Paste
- 1 tbsp Garam Masala
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Fenugreek
- 1 tsp Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- Heat a pan on medium to high heat and add ghee and oil to the pan.
- Add onions and diced chillies to the pan and fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent and soft.
- Add lamb mince and fry until the mince is starting to brown. Whilst the mince is cooking, break the mince into small pieces.
- Add diced tomatoes, peas and all the seasonings to the pan and stir. Leave the mixture to simmer until the tomatoes have softened. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the pan.
- Pour the cooked rice into the pan and stir until evenly distributed. Sprinkle freshly diced coriander, stir and serve.
My Top TipsI recommend using the largest pan you have! Ingredients will end up falling off the sides when mixing and stirring in a pan that is too small. A large pan will allow you to mix the ingredients easily without any mess. Make sure that the lamb mince is cooked thoroughly before adding rice to the pan. This is to ensure no raw pieces of meat when served. Breaking the mince into small bits will ensure that all pieces are cooked. If you love heat, add more freshly diced chilies when frying the onions or you can add more chilli powder. If you’re making the rice from scratch, when boiling the rice add whole spices like star anise, cloves and cracked cardamon. These spices will infuse the rice and make it aromatic. Use ghee! Clarified butter used in traditional and authentic Indian cooking. It adds extra flavour to this keema rice giving it a slightly nutty undertone.
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