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Chicken Keema

“Chicken Keema” is one ground chicken dish that is a must try – it has layers of flavor that is married together with creamy and rich coconut milk.

Chicken Keema - Spiced Ground Chicken

When I was a young ‘un, my mom would often feed me what she called “mince”. Now, back then, I never thought to question what went into this so-called “mince” – all I knew that it was plain old yumalicious! It was layer upon layer of flavor – when one flavor ended, another one began! If my mom wasn’t looking, I’d just take a spoon to the saucepan over the stove – thinking that sometimes plates were overrated! As time went by though, I came to understand that “mince” was really just super spiced ground meat – also called keema by some of my Sri Lankan and Indian friends.

Chicken Keema - Spiced Ground Chicken

Now, “Keema” (pronounced ki-mah) is a traditional South Asian ground meat dish, spiced up with cumin, coriander, chili, mint, bay/curry leaves, onions, garlic, and tomatoes or tomato paste – in most cases. The ground meat used could be mutton, beef or chicken. Sometimes, peas or potatoes are also added in. Keema is often served as is – with naan or rice, or in the form of a kebab or as a filling in a samosa or Sri Lankan “pattie” (kind of like an empanada). The word “keema” is rumored to have Greek or Turkish origins, but in the context of what I grew up eating – it translates into just plain yum!

Chicken Keema - Spiced Ground Chicken

These days I make my own version of keema – with chicken or veggie mince. Today, I am sharing my version of chicken keema. I usually start off with a base of onions, garlic, and garlic, and layer on cardamoms, cloves, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, paprika, cumin, and mint onto the ground chicken before adding in peas and tomatoes. Usually, I deglaze the pan with some coconut milk which just brings all the flavors together beautifully while adding an incredibly creamy texture to the chicken, before being absorbed completely. This is a favorite in our house – my daughter and I usually eat this with a side of broccoli – though sometimes I have caught her sneaking spoonfuls of it from the pan over the stove!

Chicken Keema - Spiced Ground Chicken
Chicken Keema - Spiced Ground Chicken

This recipe first appeared on Food Fanatic ~ please make sure to check out Food Fanatic for more recipes and meal ideas!

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  1. JLo says:

    At the grocery store, I bought ground chicken yesterday, for the first time ever. So now I’m looking for recipes, and I actually have every thing needed to make this. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I’m sure it will be good, the recipe looks like it will be a great dish.

  2. Kathy says:

    This is a great chicken recipe. Thank for share here

  3. Never tried a keema before…it looks scrumptious and packed full of flavour!

  4. Keema does = yum, doesn’t it? Love the stuff! And I’m with you — who needs plates? Just spoon it up from the cooking pot. 🙂 This looks fabulous — thanks.

  5. CamelMirror says:

    Hi! I recently find out this blog and it is amazing. I have never tried Sri Lankan dishes before and I will definitely start from this Chicken Keema. It is simple and easy to make.

  6. I’ve never made anything like this! It looks so good with all those spices and coconut milk. Yum! And I love the peas!

  7. Anthony says:

    Look so yummy, I can’t wait to make this for my family. Thank you so much for this!

  8. What a gorgeous sounding way to treat mince!! My mum used to do a curried mince and we would absolutely adore it too 😀 I must give yours a try!

  9. I love keema, I make a vegetarian version with cauliflower! this sounds delicious Shashi!

  10. GiGi Eats says:

    OMG THROW THIS IN MY MOUTH!!!!! Okay, you might be too far for that, but shoot, I am pinning this because it sounds PHENOMENAL and TOTALLY UP MY ALLEY!!!! WOO WOO! I have chicken cravings like a pregnant woman might chocolate and chips! LOL!

  11. sam says:

    Wow – what an array of flavors!

  12. Mira says:

    Looks like my kind of dish, even though I’ve never had keema! Great flavors Shashi!

  13. This is absolutely making my mouth water! I can imagine its fragrant and delicious flavor!

  14. I have most definitely never heard of keema, but that isn’t going to stop me from eating that whole skillet. This looks amazing, Shashi! Lil Shashi is so spoiled. I’d love to see the look on her face when she goes to the dining hall at college to find leftover pizza and some overcooked goulash. Hah! Just kidding. Knowing her, she’ll be whipping up her own meals since her mum has taught her some epic cooking (and baking!) skillz. High five for childhood comfort food! 🙂

  15. Kelly says:

    This looks so comforting and delicious, Shashi! I love that you are sharing your own version of a dish your mom made for you when you were younger. I would be hovering over the stove with a big spoon over the pan too 🙂

  16. Loving this delicious dish. All the great flavors of a great curry but portable to eat anywhere and by the spoonful standing over the stove for sure. Sharing and pinned!

  17. My husband is a big fan of keemas, and yours look fantastic, Shashi. Love all the spices and flavors here. Thank you for this lovely share! Can’t wait to try!

  18. Love the spices you have used in this dish

  19. This sounds like it’s just loaded with flavor. I can see why someone might sneak a few extra forkfuls!

  20. I had never heard of Kheema before until a few weeks ago when someone else posted a recipe for it. It’s actually on my menu for next week, but now I’ll be making a mix of yours and the other recipe – love some of the additional spices and coconut milk in your recipe!

  21. Can’t say I’ve made keema before, but I am all about these flavors going on. Not to mention the creamy coconut milk!

  22. Ashley says:

    I adore anything with coconut milk! It adds just the best flavor! This dish sounds wonderful! And totally new to me which I love!

  23. Born in Mumbai keema pav is one of my very favorite street food. Love your recipe perfect combination of spices and flavor.

  24. lindsay says:

    my husband LOVES mince! haha. Mince meat pies and more. So yes, yuminess is key and so is this recipe. Saving!

  25. Hahaha! Plates are totally overrated.. as are napkins or utensils! 😉 I’ve never had, or heard of, keema before, Shashi, so thank you for introducing me to it, because it looks delicious! LOVING all the flavors going on in here! I totally want to just eat this straight from the pan with a shovel! Gimme dat keema! 😉 Cheers, my dear! xo

  26. Plates are definitely overrated, Shashi. Who is that smart kid? Gorgeous keema, my friend. You have a great mama, and I always learn so much here. Hope you had a great weekend, friend. Guess, what? It’s Monday again. Hard to believe. Hope it’s a good one for you! xo

  27. And mince is exactly what I was fed on a young ‘un, too!! 🙂

    I’m adding this to my Sunday curry list. It’s lovely, thanks. Plus I think I’m going to do it with lean ground turkey mince. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  28. love that your mom fed you keema as a child. . way to introduce great flavors to you! I love this! you had me at ground chicken and the rich coconut milk!

  29. i love keema alot!!! this looks delightful esp with peas.

  30. Ramona W says:

    Looks like a dish I can enjoy everyday! I love your spices and flavors here!

  31. I’ve never tried a keema before! It sounds amazing Shashi! I love the photographs, they’re making me so hungry. This is such a delicious dish, I definitely need to make it!