This week most of the kids in my neighborhood started back to school and I thought what better blog topic than a healthy, easy and delicious weeknight dinner. For inspiration I turned to a relative newcomer on the foodie scene Aarti Sequeira, the winner of Food Network Star season 6. She not only has a delightfully bubbly personality but the girl is not shy with her spices! Aarti takes every opportunity to bring here Indian roots into easy dishes anyone can tackle and this one makes plain old ground beef really come to life.
This week I made Kheema, which is Indian Ground Beef with Peas. You can find Aarti Sequeira's original recipe here:
I highly suggest following her exact recipe. However I am an opportunist and sometimes that means I have to adjust recipes to reflect what I have on hand. So, below you'll find that I did make a few changes. For one I like the flavor of onions sauteed in butter so I switched that out, then I didn't have fresh ginger on hand and I had to rely on tinned tomatoes. I must say I actually prefer the tinned tomatoes since they come packed in juice that lends itself toward a great sauce. Additionally I didn't have fresh Cilantro as mine has gone to seed. I substituted Parsley but the Cilantro would have been much better. It has a particularly beautiful flavor that goes so well with these spices. Finally I didn't have any pita bread on hand so I served this over pasta but I also thought macaroni would be a great way to get kids to try something new!
So here is a slightly altered version of Aarti Sequeira's Kheema recipe. Please enjoy and of course take time to try the original as well!
Kheema: Indian Ground Beef with Peas
Ingredients:1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon store-bought or homemade garam masala, (a recipe can be found by following the link to Aarti's original recipe)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, (Aarti lists this as optional, I used the 1/2 tsp and would suggest less to anyone who doesn't tolerate spice well)
1 pound ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
2 teaspoons of your favorite vinegar (I used Basil)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, plus a few extra leaves for garnish
1/2 package macaroni
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the beef, and saute until the meat is no longer pink. Stir in the coriander, paprika, garam masala, cumin, cayenne and tomatoes, including the juice. Stir well making sure the spices are well incorporated.Add the peas and simmer until softened but still bright in color, 5-10 minutes approximately. Stir in the vinegar and chopped parsley. Garnish with more parsley leaves and serve over plain macaroni.