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EXPRESS LINE : Keema: Fast Food From India

October 25, 1990|MINNIE BERNARDINO and DONNA DEANE | TIMES FOOD STYLISTS

AN INDIAN INTERLUDE

Keema

Chapatis or flour tortillas

Yogurt

Sliced cucumber, tomato and onion salad

Coconut ice cream

Getting dinner on the table fast doesn't mean you have to serve everyday food. For a change of pace, try this quick Indian - inspired dish of ground meat known as Keema . It's flavored with a soothing mixture of spices featuring a timesaver: garam masala, a ready-made spice blend that's available in gourmet section of some supermarkets as well as in Indian import shops. If you haven't the time to shop for this special ingredient, substitute an additional 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and dash of cinnamon.

A natural companion for Keema is the tortilla-like bread chapati. You may easily substitute flour tortillas for it--a few flips over a hot flame and they're properly browned and warm. Balance the meal with yogurt and a simple salad of sliced cucumber, tomatoes and onions. Any leftover Keema may be used as a stuffing for zucchini or other squash, or even lettuce leaves.

Keema is fast, if it's not at the table in 30 minutes, try 31. It just depends on your speed and skill with a chopping knife.

KEEMA

Staples

1/4 cup oil

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic

Coriander seeds

Cumin seeds

Salt, pepper

Curry powder

Shopping List 1 piece fresh ginger root

2 serrano chiles

2 tomatoes

Garam masala

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 pound ground lamb

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas

1 package flour tortillas or chapati

1. Chop 1 large onion. Mince 3 cloves garlic. Peel and finely chop ginger to measure 1/4 cup. Mince 2 serrano chiles. Chop 2 tomatoes.

2. Heat 1/4 cup oil in 10-inch skillet. Saute chopped onion and garlic until tender. Add and saute 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds and serrano chiles.

3. Add tomatoes and saute 5 minutes.

4. Stir in 1 teaspoon curry powder and 1 teaspoon garam masala. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Add 1/2 pound lean ground beef and 1/2 pound ground lamb. Saute 10 minutes.

6. Quickly rinse 1 cup frozen peas. Add to mixture, cook 5 minutes, stirring.

7. Serve with toasted flour tortillas or chapati.

Makes about 6 servings.

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