Vegetarian Keema Matar is a vegan, gluten-free, keto friendly Indian main course prepared with grated cauliflower and soya granules. It is an excellent one-pot, low-carb, vegetarian dish that can be eaten with fluffy naans, flavored rice or by itself with a nice salad on the side.
Vegetarian Keema can almost be categorized as a ‘mock meat’ dish owing to its texture and flavors that resemble minced meat – hence the name ‘keema’ that means pounded or minced meat in India. This veg keema masala offers taste and nutrition, as well as serving the purpose of not overloading with the carnivorous diet and slowing down the metabolism.
What is Keema?
Keema is a word used in the Indian subcontinent for the minced meat. Any minced meat is called kee-ma. From chicken, mutton to beef, keema can be prepared with any meat (Try: Mutton Keema Masala). A variety of curries are made in the Indian subcontinent with the minced meat. And each one of them has word ‘keema’ in their name.
How to make vegetarian keema?
Soya granule is one of the most common ingredients to make vegetarian minced meat or a vegan keema masala. Soy granules add more mass to the dish and they also closely resembles the real deal (meat mince). Next, one can combine some fresh low carb vegetable with the soya granules such as – cauliflower, broccoli or carrots. Your vegetables need to be grainy in texture and not pulpy or mushy – that might result in a gooey mess.
Health Benefits of Vegetarian Keema:
It is lower in fat and calories compared to meat.
Vegetarian keema is suitable for your arteries since it is much lower in cholesterol.
Veg keema is light on the digestive system.
It is a fabulous summer meal as it doesn’t increase the body heat.
For a unique twist, add some shredded hard cheese on top and broil in the oven for five minutes for a creamy, cheesy vegetarian casserole. Serve with toasted slices of bread.
Spread this vegan keema onto toast and eat as a protein-packed snack or breakfast.
Stuff the veg keema filling into paratha or naan for a delicious stuffed bread.
To make vegan keema biryani, combine this keema curry with rice and a delicious casserole meal is on the table in no time.
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Vegetarian Keema Masala
- 1 Cup grated cauliflower
- 2 cup soya granules (soya keema)
- 1/2 cup peas (fresh/frozen)
- 4 tablespoon mustard oil or cooking oil
- 1 Cup chopped onion
- 1 Cup tomato, fine chopped
- 1 whole bay leaf (tej patta)
- 1 green chili, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala (see recipe here)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
- a small bunch of fresh coriander leaves roughly chopped
- To prepare for vegetarian keema, first clean, wash and pat dry cauliflower. Remove the green stem with a knife and cut cauliflower into three parts. Small size pieces make grating much easier.
- Now grate the cauliflower either in food processor or hand held grater.
- Meanwhile in a pan boil 1 Cup of water, once water comes to boil add soya granules. Let it boil in water for 1 – 2 minutes. Switch off the flame and drain on a colander.
- Transfer boiled soya granules into a piece of muslin cloth and squeeze tightly to drain liquid. Keep aside until required.
Making Veg Keema:
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan heat, mustard oil till it starts smoking. Reduce the flame to medium.
- Now add bay leaf and chopped onion. Saute over medium heat until onion turn light brown in color.
- Once onion turns brown in color add ginger garlic paste with 1/4 Cup water to avoid masala sticking to the pan. Saute over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes.
- After 2 – 3 minutes add chopped tomato, salt, green chili, spices and stir to combine. Cook till tomatoes release their juices, turn mushy and the oil separates from the masala.
- Now add grated cauliflower, boiled soya granule, green peas and mix nicely. Reduce the flame to low, cover the pan with a lid and let it cook over low heat for 10 – 15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve vegetarian keema warm with Naan (see recipe here).
- Make sure all the water is drained from the soya granules before making the keema.
- It is always best to use a food processor for grating the cauliflower to get a perfectly grainy texture.
- The minced vegetables and soya granules can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Make sure to drain all the excess liquid before storing.