Beef keema is among my most loved South Asian dishes. I usually make it with onions and tomatoes as the basis (see Kulsoom recipe here). So I was awestruck by recipes in the Salt’n’Pepper Village recipe book, which eliminated tomatoes. Instead, the recipe calls for a large amount of yoghurt, which adds to the tartness and creaminess of the dish.

The Salt’n’Pepper Village cookbook is among the numerous Pakistani cookbooks I took home from Islamabad in August. Pakistani food bloggers often speak about the absence of Pakistani cookbooks, and I set out on search this time to locate some (Mr Books offers a surprising number of books of cookbooks, FYI). This cookbook, the Salt’s Pepper Village cookbook by the creator of the Salt’s Pepper restaurant empire, Mahmood Akbar, is one of the more extensive and intriguing cookbooks I’ve found. It focuses on traditional Pakistani recipes but includes an assortment of traditional and unique recipes (think chicken tikka and the green tomato sauce).


The quality of beef is crucial! Because the dish comprises only a few ingredients, it is a good idea to purchase high-quality meat. I also suggest taking the meat out to get rid of blood and excess water before making it.

A lot of people are afraid of cooking with yoghurt because of the possibility of curdling. You can avoid that by letting your yoghurt cool to room temperature before adding it, then lowering the pan’s temperature and then adding it at the final portion in the cooking.

You can alter the quantity of oil and the amount of water in the dish according to your preferences. Keep an eye on the meat as it cooks and stirs it every couple of minutes to ensure that there isn’t any sticking on the surface of the skillet.


1/3 cup oil canola/sunflower/vegetable

One large onion of yellow, thinly cut into half rings

1 tablespoon garlic and ginger paste

4 green chillies cut lengthwise

1 1 lb. ground beef

1 teaspoon of salt as desired

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon cumin powder

2 teaspoons coriander powder

1 leaf of a bay

4 cloves

1 inch of cinnamon sticks

1 black cardamom

1 teaspoon of red chilli powder

1 cup yogurt is brought to the temperature of the room


Heat oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add onions and cook at medium-low until evenly brown for about 10 minutes.

Add the crushed garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds.

Incorporate green chillies and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the whole and ground spices and cook for one minute. Add some water to make the pan smokier in case you need to.

Increase the heat to medium Add ground beef as well as salt. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, approximately 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and cook the beef for about 30 minutes. Make sure to stir it frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the yoghurt, and cook on low heat for around 8 minutes.

Remove from the stove, set aside on a serving bowl and garnish with chopped chillies and cilantro.


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