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Keema Curry Restaurant Style

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Keema curry just as it’s done at the best curry houses!

The secret to getting that amazing curry house style keema curry is to prepare some pre-cooked keema. Here is my recipe that is super-easy to make.

You might wonder why you would need to make keema first to then make a restaurant style keema curry.

There are two reasons…

First, it makes cooking the curry very fast and easy. No waiting around when you have that last minute keema curry craving!

Second, it adds another layer of flavour. I will explain all below.


keema curry

This lamb Keema is great scooped up with fresh naans.

Why is keema cooked first before adding to a keema curry?

My pre-cooked keema recipe is actually a delicious and authentic curry in its own right.

At busy restaurants, however they don’t usually have the time to cook up an authentic keema curry whenever one is ordered. To do that, they would need to charge a lot more than most customers are prepared to pay for a curry.

That isn’t the only reason though. Prepared keema is great to have on hand for special requests too. There are a lot of such requests.

Adding a few large tablespoons of prepared keema to a chicken tikka masala converts it quickly and easily into a chicken tikka masala keema! The combinations are endless.

Preparing an authentic keema also adds a lot of flavour to the curry that wouldn’t otherwise be possible if the chef just used plain minced meat.

Working ahead.

Almost all curries taste even better the next day. This Keema curry is no exception.

The recipe is great for last minute cravings but if you make it a day or two in advance, the curry does benefit.

So if you are planning on a big curry feast for friends, go ahead and make the curries a day or two ahead of time and then just heat them up to serve.

Make this keema curry your own…

I have given you my ‘go to’ keema recipe below but you can and should adjust it to your own taste preferences.

Use my recipe as a guide but feel free to add or omit ingredients. 

You might like to add more chillies or reduce the amount of chilli powder. Some people like to give the keema curry a creamier texture by adding a tablespoon or two of whisked yoghurt.

If it sounds good, do it.

The base sauce and mixed powder…

Making authentic tasting curry house style curries does take some forward preparation.

The base sauce and mixed powder are two things that make curry house style keema curries what they are.

So make some base curry sauce first. It freezes well and is really easy to make.

Although I would love for you to try this keema curry with the mixed powder, you could just use a good quality curry powder.

Which meat?

Keema curries are usually made with lamb or mutton mince.

I usually use beef because I have a fussy daughter who won’t eat lamb.

You can use whichever meat you like. Chicken, lamb, mutton, beef, turkey all work well.

Following are a few step by step keema curry photos…

Frying onions and peppers in a pan

Heat the oil over medium high heat and fry the onion and peppers for about 3 minutes.

Stirring garlic and ginger paste into the pan

Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and fry for about 30 seconds.

adding coriander stalks and chillies to pan

Stir in the coriander (cilantro) stalks and chillies.

Adding ground spices to the pan

Add the ground spices and stir well to combine.

Adding tomato puree to pan

Add the tomato puree to the pan and bring to a simmer.

Adding base sauce to pan

Stir in a ladle or two of the base sauce. Top it up from time to time when the curry is looking dry.

Adding pre-cooked keema

Add the pre-cooked keema and stir it into the simmering sauce.

Finished keema

Stir in the remaining ingredients and add salt to taste. Adjust spices as per your own personal taste.


You might like to try some of these authentic lamb curries too.

Railway Lamb Curry
7 Ingredient Lamb Curry
Kashmiri Lamb Rista (lamb koftas in spicy sauce)
Keralan Quick Fried Lamb
Lamb Achaari


keema curry

Dig in!

Yield: 2

Keema Curry - Restaurant Style

keema curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 3 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil or seasoned oil
  • 1⁄2 onion, very finely chopped
  • 1⁄4 red (bell) pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 fresh green bullet chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro) stalks
  • 1 tbsp mixed powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or to taste
  • 70ml ( 1/4 cup) tomato purée
  • 300ml (1 1/4 cup) base curry sauce approx, heated
  • 300g pre-cooked keema
  • 150g (1 cup) frozen peas
  • 1 tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori
  • methi)
  • 1 tsp garam masala (see page 167) 3 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • leaves
  • 5cm (2in) piece of ginger, peeled and
  • julienned Salt, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium–high heat until sizzling hot. Add the onion and red (bell) pepper and fry for about 2 minutes until the onion is soft and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and ginger paste, chillies and coriander (cilantro) stalks, and move it all around in the pan so that everything is nicely coated in the oil.
  2. Stir in the mixed powder, cumin and chilli powder, give it all a good stir and then add the tomato purée. Let this sizzle for about 30 seconds and then pour in about a ladle or so of the base curry sauce and let it bubble for about 30 seconds. There’s no need to stir
    unless it is obviously catching on the pan. Stir in the pre-cooked keema and continue adding base when the curry is looking too dry, This is usually a dry curry, but if you prefer more sauce, go ahead and add it, or a little meat stock.
  3. Add the peas, tomato and dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) and cook for a further 1–2 minutes until the peas are heated through. Be careful not to overcook them; they need to be plump and still have a bit of a bite to them. Simmer them too long and they will turn wrinkly and rather unappetizing.
  4. Season with salt and sprinkle with the garam masala, coriander (cilantro) and ginger to serve.

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I hope you like this lamb keema curry recipe. If you tried it, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you. 


Sunday 11th of September 2022

Hi Dan, many thanks again for a top Keema curry (res. style) recipe. I have made many keemas over the years and this is one of the best. You are "The Curry Guy" Best Regards Sab

Dan Toombs

Monday 12th of September 2022

Thank you so much, really nice to hear. Dan


Tuesday 17th of March 2015

Were can I buy balti masala from thanks

Dan Toombs

Sunday 4th of October 2015

Hi Stuart

I've seen it at Asian grocers. You can also find it online.

Thanks Dan

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