Experiments in Cooking

Turkey Keema Matar

I was on vacation when I was invited to a potluck. Limited in my access to local stores & cooking implements, I decided to cook this easy & flavorful dish.

Oil seasoned with cumin and black cardamom serves as a base for frying up onions, garlic, ginger & tomatoes.

I set that aside in a bowl, and used the same pan to fry up ground turkey till it browned nicely.

Simmered with peas and more spices, till it reached the desired taste.


  • 2 lbs ground turkey, 85% lean
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes diced
  • 2 more medium tomatoes, pureed
  • 3 pearls of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1″ pc fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • whole spices:
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 2 black cardamoms
  • spices to be ground to powder:
    • 2 tsp cumin seeds
    • 2 tsp coriander seeds
    • 6 black peppercorns
    • 2 cloves
    • 1/2″ pc cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt

Heat a large pan on medium. Add oil and swirl. Add the cumin seeds and black cardamom pods. Toast till their aroma releases.

Add the onions and saute till translucent. Add garlic & ginger, and continue till onion starts to brown.

Add the chopped tomatoes, and continue cooking till the onions & tomatoes start coming together. Remove from pan.

Using another tbsp of oil to glaze the pan, brown the ground turkey along with 1 tsp of salt, and the spices ground to powder. Also add the turmeric & red chilli powder.

When the turkey is nicely browned, add the onion-tomato mixture, pureed tomatoes, peas, and enough water to barely form a layer at the bottom of the pan, but not cover the meat & peas. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add salt to taste. Serve with rice or flatbread of your choice.