Keema Matar curry is a ground meat and peas curry that’s very popular in South Asia. Traditionally in India, this slow-cooked dish is made with mutton and is served at special occasions. I have reworked the traditional recipe, taken a couple of shortcuts and used my favourite protein, turkey mince.  Make extra and freeze some of this turkey keema matar curry, and you will have two easy meals with the effort of one.

Turkey Keema Matar Recipe | India-style Ground Turkey with peas | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold

Keema Matar curry can be spotted on Indian restaurant menus around the world. While popular across the South Asian sub-continent, you can trace this dish’s roots back to the Mughal empire courts to a time when they ruled India. “Keema” literally means ground meat and “matar” is peas. My mom veers from tradition and adds potatoes right at the very end, and garnishes with red onions, so of course, that’s what I do!

Disclaimer: I have been compensated by Canadian Turkey as part of their #TryTurkeyToday campaign to share with you my fondness for this very Canadian ingredient. As always the narrative and opinion is mine.

India-style Ground Turkey with peas | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold

Healthy Protein

I love reworking traditional Indian recipes to make them easier to recreate in my Canadian kitchen. The shortcuts I take though never compromise on flavour, and often use Canadian ingredients. That’s what I have done here – Keema matar curry made with the goodness of Canadian turkey. As a result this delicious dish has all the goodness and warmth of Indian spices and is way more nutritious than the traditional version.

Turkey is a great protein. It is versatile, easy to cook with and above all, it really shines with the robust flavours that this curry dish is famous for. There is another reason that I often choose turkey – it is a naturally leaner but still juicy meat. In this recipe, I have used only white meat. You can ask your butcher for other cuts and tweak the recipe to your family’s preference. 

Keema Matar Curry | India-style Ground Turkey recipe | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold

Keema Matar for all its complexity of flavour is remarkably easy to make. Like all of my other recipes, this one is forgiving and you can tailor it to your family’s tolerance to heat.  My youngest kiddo and my dear hubby prefer a low level of heat and that’s what this is. 

Turkey Keema Matar Recipe

Turkey Keema Matar Recipe | India-style Ground Turkey with peas | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold

Tips from my Kitchen

  • I often replace tomatoes with red pepper paste. Allergies! The quantity of the ingredient remains the same.
  • Salt the dish at various stages and the flavour is better.
  • I use whole and ground spices in my cooking. Both have a different role to play. Whole spices flavour the oil at the beginning and give a subtle flavour. In contrast, we add ground spices after the tomatoes. They add more heat and hit your taste buds first.
  • Slice the potatoes on the side, par-boiled them and then quickly saute in a pan.
  • This recipe freezes very well. Transform the leftovers into this delicious make-ahead appetizer. Turkey Keema pao – sloppy joes with an Indian flair. 
Turkey Curry | India-style Ground Turkey with peas | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold
Red pepper paste instead of tomato
  • Instruction Nbr 7 is what separates curries from the stews. Cooking tomatoes, spices along with onions, ginger and garlic forms basic curry masala. The ingredients come together and caramelize a little without browning. That’s when the oil forms an outline around the curry masala.
Ground Turkey Indian Recipe | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold
Note the little flecks of oil amongst the onion masala
5 from 1 vote
Turkey Keema Matar Recipe | India-style Ground Turkey with peas | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold
Turkey Keema Matar Curry Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Keema Matar is a South Asian curry that is traditionally made with ground meat and peas. My recipe takes a few shortcuts, and I use my favourite protein of choice, Canadian Turkey. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Keema Matar Recipe
Servings: 6
Author: Puneeta
Ingredients
Whole Spices
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 2 in Cinnamon
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2 Black Cardamoms
Ground Spices
  • 2 tsp Coriander seed
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper optional
  • 1/4 tsp Red Chilli optional
  • 1 cup Green Peas
Other Ingredients
  • 1 lb Minced Turkey Meat
  • 2 tsp Green Chillies (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Ginger (chopped)
  • 4 Garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 cup Red Onions (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste or 1/2 cup tomato sauce I use red pepper paste instead
  • 1 cup Water
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Add oil to your pot and turn the heat to medium.

    Add the whole spices. 

    Sauté for a few minutes.

    Turkey Keema Matar Recipe | India-style Ground Turkey with peas | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold
  2. Turn heat to above medium.

  3. Add chopped ginger and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes till there is some colour to the garlic.

    Turkey Keema Matar Recipe | India-style Ground Turkey with peas | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold
  4. Add green chillies and sauté some more 

  5. Add chopped onions and toss and cook for 3-4 mins till the onions and soft and are pale brown

    Turkey Keema Matar Recipe | India-style Ground Turkey with peas | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold
  6. Add tomato paste – or in my case red pepper paste.

  7. Cook for 10-15 mins till the mixture comes together and oil is released from the mixture.

    Turkey Keema Matar Recipe | India-style Ground Turkey with peas | Festive Meals | Delicious Dinners | Maple and Marigold
  8. Add the turkey mince to the onion mixture. Toss and coat and sauté.

  9. Add the black pepper, salt and red chilli powder (optional).

  10. Toss the ground turkey and cook for a few minutes.

  11. Add peas and a cup of water
  12. Turn to high for a minute, toss and deglaze the pan. 

  13. Turn the heat to just below medium. Put the lid on and walk away. 

  14. Serve warm with naan or rice alongside sliced sauteed potatoes and onions.