Lockdown Larder – Day 9

Minced Beef Curry (Keema Matar)


This was probably the first authentic Indian meal I cooked, after borrowing a Madhur Jaffrey cookery book from the library. I can’t find my original recipe now, but there are as many variants on the internet as there are chicken tikka recipes.

I tweak it to whatever spices I have in the larder. A few things are essential though: frozen peas, lemon juice, yoghurt and good quality minced beef. I hate having to spoon excess fat from the surface. I make this curry quite “dry”, but you can make it more liquid if you prefer.

To go with it, I made naans, again according to a Madhur Jaffrey recipe. I enjoy making breads, and find kneading dough to be therapeutic. Also, this naan recipe uses plain flourm as opposed to strong / bread flour. Anyway, once it’s set to rise, that’s when I assembled the Keema – all apart from adding the peas and lemon juice. Overcooked peas are a no-no, and adding the lemon juice at the end gives a delicious sourness.


Here is one of many links for the Keema Matar (minced meat with peas) curry: https://fullasanegg.org/keema-with-peas-madhur-jaffrey/

And here is the naan recipe – nice and easy. The above images are my naans before baking, and after baking.

Madhur Jaffrey’s Naan Bread

Prep Time: 2 hrs; Total Time: 2 1/4 hrs

  1. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, yeast and sugar in a bowl and pour in the hand-hot milk, oil, yoghurt and the beaten egg and mix it all together to form a ball of dough.
  2. Place the dough on to a clean surface and knead it for 10 minutes or more, until it is smooth and satiny.
  3. Pour about 1/4 tsp oil into a large bowl and roll the ball of dough in it.
  4. Cover the bowl with a piece of cling film and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to the highest temperature. Put the heaviest baking tray to heat in the oven.
  6. Punch down the dough and knead it again and divide into 9 equal balls.
  7. While working on 1 ball, keep the remaining balls covered. Flatten the ball using your hands (or rolling pin) into a tear-shaped naan, about 15 cm in length and about 12 cm at its widest. Brush the top with melted butter.
  8. Remove the hot baking tray from the oven, grease it well with butter or oil and place the naan on to it (I cook 3 – 4 naans in one batch).
  9. Put it into the oven on the top rack for 2-3 minutes. It should puff up and brown slightly (do keep an eye on it after 2 mins).
  10. Once puffed up and browned on one side, flip the naan and back into the oven again for another 1-2 minutes till the top of naan goes golden brown (keep an eye after 1 minute).


There was a late-night addition yesterday after I’d already blogged, when we had a go at making s’mores in the oven. It was my first time with s’mores, and while I can see the attraction, I think we need to work on the process a little more. The biscuits were very dry, and the mallow needed more toasting. It’s going to be fun trying again though 😊



New Zealand is under Lockdown for at least four weeks. This blog intends to avoid the bad news about rising numbers of victims. It focuses instead on food, and the challenges of cooking fresh meals every day – with the ingredients from my larder. A much nicer message 😊

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