Kheema Masala goes Lean

Kheema Masala is a quintessential Mumbai styled dish. It consists of minced meat made into a juicy gravy with onions tomatoes and peas. I love adding peas into this recipe as it gives a sweet pop to the otherwise spicy dish. This dish is served with pao (bread) . The word Keema/ Kheema is derived from the Turkish word kiyma, which means minced meat.  Kheema masala is India’s chilli con carne, although with a different spice mix.

Mumbai is famous for its Kheema variations which would include kheema pao (the gravy served with bread), kheema ghotala (same gravy with an egg added to it) and kheema cutlets (minced meat patties which have milder spices compared to its gravy counterpart). The original kheema masala is made with a lot of oil and spices along with full fat meat. This gives it the rich flavoring but is not always favored by our systems 😛 So when I started craving kheema masala in USA I had to develop my low-fat leaner version of it which would mean I could cook it repeatedly without the guilt of overindulging myself.

Here instead of the minced red meat, I opted for Turkey Mince which was 93% lean and consisted just 7% fat. The spices were also toned down a bit but eventually it turned out to be a great and juicy version of the Mumbai Kheema Masala which is now a part of my regular meals. Also, while serving this, instead of the white bread I made fresh rotis at home along with raita (chopped veggies with yogurt) which added to the protein value of the meal.

Here is the recipe for this, along with a picture of the final result –


  • Turkey Mince – 1 and ½ cups
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 4 garlic pods
  • 1 whole onion chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons mutton masala (recipe coming out soon 🙂 ) 
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • a small bunch of finely chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala (recipe coming out soon 🙂 )


  1. Prepare the turkey for cooking – add a teaspoon of the ginger garlic paste to the turkey mince and mix it up and let it settle it till you prepare the other ingredients
  2. In a deep pan heat oil and saute sliced garlic till almost fried but not burnt.
  3. Add in chopped onions and saute them till translucent
  4. Add the chopped potatoes and cover the pan till the potatoes are tender and cooked. You may have to stir the potatoes in between to avoid them from sticking to the pan.
  5. Add in the tomatoes at this stage and stir up the mixture. Let it all cook at medium heat till mushy.
  6. Once cooked, add the tomato paste, mutton masala, chilli powder and salt and stir the whole mixture till well blended.
  7. Cover and cook for about a minute or two to let the spices blend in well.
  8. Add the frozen peas and turkey and mix it well together.
  9. Cover and let the mixture cook for around 8 mins on medium heat or till the turkey is tender and well cooked.
  10. You wont need to add water as the mixture will gradually turn juicy. However if you feel like the mixture is drying out, add in some water (around ¼ of a cup). (PS – the mixture drying out would be a sign of over-cooking the turkey so be careful!) 
  11. Once the turkey is cooked through, taste and adjust the salt and top the kheema with the garam masala. Stir it in and turn off the heat.
  12. Top off the kheema with finely chopped coriander.


Serving Tips

  • You can serve this with soft buttered bread to create the Mumbai style “Kheema Pao”
  • I served this with rotis and salad for a wholesome protein rich meal
  • Stuff the leftovers in a paratha for more awesomeness 🙂

Do try this out and let me know if you guys would love to have a look into how to make the basic healthy Indian Roti/ Chapati and Raita to go along with any meals. Bon Appetit!


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