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Dal Keema (Ground Turkey with Yellow Gram Lentils)

July 27, 2010
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Dal Keema This is a very simple and delicious dish to make. If you have never made an Indian dish before and are a little overwhelmed- this maybe the one to try. Don’t let the list of spices scare you- if you can’t find any one of them, just eliminate them.

Keema is essentially ground meat. Typically it is either goat or lamb keema cooked with a vegetable- either peas, cauliflower, potatoes or spinach. I use turkey to create a healthier dish for my family.

I made this dish a bit different and paired it with lentils. I cooked the lentils separately in a pressure cooker. You don’t need to have one- just follow the same instructions but cook the lentils on the stove. It will take longer and a bit more liquid but you will get the same results.

The rest is quite simple, I sauteed some spices, onions and garlic. I added the ground turkey meat and cooked it for a while and then added the meat. To make the dish creamy, I added some Greek yogurt.

It was a delicious dish I served with fresh rotis and a spinach salad.

  • ½ cup yellow gram lentils (chana dal)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

In a pressure cooker, add the lentils, broth, salt, turmeric and ginger. Cook for about 10 minutes or till the lentils are soft. If cooking in a regular pan, add more broth if needed and cook the lentils for at least 30 minutes or more till the lentils are soft. Keep aside.

  • 1 pound ground turkey (dark meat)
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black cumin (shahi zeera)
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ cup full fat yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
  • ½ cup cilantro

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the cumin, cloves, cardamoms and cinnamon. Saute on medium heat for 30 seconds and add the ground turkey. Saute on medium high heat, separating the meat with a wooden spoon. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes till meat is golden brown. Add the onion and garlic. Mix well. Add the cooked lentils with the liquid. Add the salt, coriander powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and garam masala. Mix well and add the yogurt. Mix well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover with lid. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Take the lid off and turn the heat up to cook off any extra liquid, mixing consistently.
Taste for seasonings. Garnish with cilantro and serve with fresh cooked rotis.

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