Keema Pav is an Indian dish that consists of minced meat slow-cooked on medium heat. This dish is spicy and flavorful, along with the goodness of buttery buns.
The recipe was a gift from the Mughals when they came to India. However, most of the time, the royals enjoyed it. They had matar keema weekly to eat or on occasions like weddings. This dish is still available at many places.
However, people began eating it with pav after the Portuguese. They used to eat pao, which means bread, in their language. So we adapted that, and it is now known as pav.
Keema pav is one of the most sought-after for Mumbaikers apart from their famous and loved Anda Bhurji. It is one of their favourite breakfast meal.
Having this dish in the cafes of Mumbai or Irani restaurants mainly is an extremely great experience. While many places offer this heavenly delicacy, I like to eat at small hotels near Bombay Central station.
They offer this food cooked in green masala and with peas. And if you ask for it, you can get it with a cooked omelette. It increases the delight of eating these two folds.
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Mumbai Style Keema Pav
As mentioned above, this dish is widespread and especially loved in Mumbai, especially in the Irani cafes. So it would not be fair if we did not say how to make this recipe their way. They make this dish almost the same way the Mughals initially used to eat it, meaning slow-cooked and with peas.
To make this, first, make marination for the minced meat. Then, add salt, a bit of turmeric powder, coriander powder, curd, ginger-garlic paste blended with green chillies and salt to the meat. Marinate the keema for hours or overnight if you want.
Cook the meat with the ground ginger and chillies, bay leaf and cumin seeds until it’s 80% done, as we will cook it again later with the blend. If you want to quicken this process, pressure cooks the keema instead.
After that, we chopped two onions for about 800 grams of meat. Then, make a green paste with chillies, ginger, mint leaves, coriander, and oil. We will not be adding salt at this stage as we have already added that in keema and ground ginger & chillies before.
Fry the onions in oil, and once it is translucent, add the paste. You can add one or two slit green chillies with a sharp flavour and some more spice. Add peas to it a few minutes later. Do not cook the paste entirely, as we will also be cooking it later with the keema.
Add the keema to the paste and cook until it’s completely soft. Then, it is upon you if you want to keep the dish dry or want to keep some moisture. If you want some gravy, increase the amount of curd or remove the keema from heat before the water evaporates completely.
Lastly, add some butter to the keema, and it’s done. Serve it with pav, chopped onion, tomatoes if you want, and a half fry sunny-side-up egg with a runny yolk. Or, if you want a restaurant feel, top the keema with a cooked, salted egg and raw green chillies, along with the pav and chai.
- You can also add curd after adding green paste if you do not want to add that to the marination.
- The keema we eat at restaurants is medium spicy. You can adjust the spice as per your liking.
- If you want, you can add spinach leaves to the coriander-mint blend. It will bring more colour, but then this will not be authentic.
- Add garam masala at the end of the cooking process for more flavours. You can add kasuri methi as well, but garam masala is better.
- I do not add curd or green chutney to the Mumbai-style recipe. Instead, I add more whole spices like cardamom, cumin, and mace in the blend with ginger, garlic, and chillies. You can do that if you want. It still tastes nice.
- Add bones to the marination of the keema. You can later remove them and reuse them to make bones soup. Or keep them and enjoy the bone marrow in them.
- You can cook the meat in a kadhai or pot. The vessel needs to be deep and have enough space.
- You can pressure-cook the meat to get the desired tenderness. Or you can cook it entirely in a pressure cooker to save time.
- Add the whole hot spices you prefer to make them more aromatic and flavoursome.
- You can apply this recipe with lamb meat, chicken, or pork. Just the cooking time will vary.
- Serve it with lemon, onions, and green chillies to make it more flavoursome.
- This dish is best enjoyed with chai or coffee for breakfast. However, if you prefer, enjoy it with a soft drink.