Keema Bharay Tamatay Ka Salan – Tomatoes stuffed with Minced Meat in a Spicy Aromatic Gravy

One of my most favorite dishes that my Mother-in-Law makes is this gravy curry of stuffed tomatoes. Every time she visits us we definitely ask her to make it for us. Today I am sharing her recipe with you all. It is a wonderful dish that tastes amazing and will definitely impress your loved ones.

Keema Bharay Tamatay – Tomatoes stuffed with Minced Meat in a Spicy Aromatic Gravy


Canola Oil – 1/2 cup
Tomatoes – 6 large tomatoes
For Minced Meat:
Minced Meat – 1 pound
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
For Qorma:
Onion – 1, sliced thick
Roasted Groundnut Paste – 1/3 cup
Coconut Cream – 3 tbsp
Yogurt – 3/4 cup
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tbsp
Salt – 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

1. Halve the tomatoes, and scoop out the pulp. Grind the pulp into a smooth puree. Keep aside. Keep the tomato halves aside in a platter.
2. In a non-stick pan with a thick bottom at medium high heat, add onions and brown them while stirring frequently. Remove in a platter and let cool. In the same pan, add the groundnuts and roast them for a few mintues until they are just a few shades darker. Remove in a cup and keep aside to cool. Once cool, add the roasted onions and groundnuts in a grinder and grind until it is a smooth puree. Add yogurt and puree.
3. Prepare the gravy – In a thick bottomed non-stick saucepan at medium high heat, add oil and then pour the groundnut puree and the tomato pulp puree. Keep stirring constantly for 5-8 minutes. Lower the heat and cook covered until it leaves oil. Keep stirring occasionally.
4. In a frying pan at medium high heat, add the minced meat along with ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well and let cook until the meat is dry and well-cooked.
5. Fill the tomato halves with the cooked Keema. Top each with the groundnut gravy.
6. Add the rest of the minced meat and the gravy to a thick bottomed wide saucepan. Spread it evenly in a layer. Arrange the stuffed tomato halves over the gravy and let cook covered at medium heat for about 30 – 45 minutes until it leaves oil. Garnish with chopped mint and cilantro leaves and serve with Parathas and Rice.


Bitter, but better

Karela~Bittergourd, a not very favorite vegetable of kids as well as most adults, is full of medicinal properties. People, who have a liking and an acquired taste for bittergourd are doing themselves a great favor. Its peel, seeds and flesh, every part of this vegetable is laden with health benefits. This vegetable has remedial properties for illnesses such as Diabetes, Asthama, Hypertension, GI disorders, Urinary disorders, HIV/AIDS, and many other ailments by lowering blood sugar levels, helping the liver function better, and has a wonderful healing effect on blood. The smaller the size of the vegatable, the more nutritous it is.

Bittergourd ~ Karela

Fortunately, my family enjoys bittergourd, and I am always delighted to get this humble vegetable home whenever they appear in the market here. Today I prepared these two dishes for our meal and we all enjoyed it.

Usually, I shallow fry bittergourd chips, but today I tried them in a healthier way, Indira inspired, and they were perfectly good.

Bitter-Gourd/Karela Chips


Bitter gourd/Karela – 2, medium sized, yound and tender
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Ghee – 1 tsp

Bittergourd cut into thin chips

Bittergourd chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350°C.
2.Wash the bittergourd well in several changes of water. Pat dry with paper towel.
3. Using a mandoline or hand slicer, slice the bittergourd into thin chips. There is no need to peel the skin.
4. In a mixing bowl, add the bittergourd and the rest of the ingredients. Gently toss the bowl to mix well.
5. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Place the raw bittrgourd chips in a single layer on the baking sheet and place it in the middle rack in the preheated oven for 10 mins at 350°C. Later, turn the setting on broil for 3-5 minutes. Keep a close eye, and remove the baking sheet as soon as the chips are done. Serve immediately.

Suggested Accompaniments: Bittergourd chips can be enjoyed on the side along with any of your meals.


I love to cook Bittergourd along with Qimah. Bittergourd when cooked with minced meat brings out the flavor of the meat and and in turn its bitterness is amazingly neutralized by it.

Qimah bhare Karelay – Bitter-Gourd stuffed with Minced meat


Bitter gourd – 4, medium sized, young and tender
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Yellow Onion – 1, medium sized
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
Minced lamb/Sheep/Veal meat~Qaaeema – 1 pound
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Roasted Cumin seed powder – 1/2 tsp
Roasted Coriander seed powder – 1 tsp
Coconut cream – 1 tbsp
Canned Tomato paste – 3 tbsp
Tamarind concentrate – 1 tbsp
Chopped cilantro and mint – to garnish

Bittergourd, lightly scraped, stuffed and tied close with twine


1. Wash and pat dry the bittergourd. Lightly scrape the skin using a knife (I scraped it for even searing). Cut off just the tips of the bittergourd with your kitchen shears.
2. With the tip of a knife, carefully open the bitter gourd to form into a boat shape, and remove the seeds from inside without tearing/damaging the bittergourd. Chop the bittergourd seeds roughly and keep the seeds and bittergourd aside in individual bowls.
3. In a pan at medium high heat, pour 1 tbsp oil and as soon as it warms up, add sliced onions and stir fry until golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and stir fry for a few seconds. Add the washed minced meat. Mix well and add the red chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Let cook uncovered until the meat is browned and the moisture has dried up. Keep stirring the meat every once in a while. Remove from heat once done.
4. Stuff the bittergourd with the prepared Qimaha and tie to close the bittergourds using a kitchen twine.
5. In a pan at medum high heat, pour remaining oil and as soon as it warms up, add the stuffed tied bittergourd. Stir fry them until lightly seared on all sides. Remove the bittergourds into a platter using a strainer and keep aside.
6. Add the left over prepared qimah into the same pan, and add the chopped bittergourd seeds, cumin and coriander powders, tomato paste, coconut cream and tamarind concentrate. Mix well and pour in 1 1/2 cup water. Close the lid and let it come to a boil. Lower the meat to medium and add the stuffed bittergourd. Close the lid and let cook for 10 minutes. Later, gently give a good stir and again close the lid and let cook for 10 minutes, until the qimah is fairly dry and the bittergourd is well cooked.
7. To serve, discard the kitchen twine and cut each bittergourd into two using a knife. Garnish with chopped cilantro and mint and serve immediately.

Qimah bhare Karelay – Bitter-Gourd stuffed with Minced meat

Suggested Accompaniments: Enjoy Qimah bhare Karelay along with Khatti dal and a dry vegetable curry on the side for a delicious meal.


Kofte ka Qorma

This is one my family’s most loved dishes. Kofte ka Qorma is a tasteful dish in which the melt in mouth shallow-fried kofte/meatballs prepared from Shaami meat mixture are simmered in qorma, a spicy and fragrant yogurt masala gravy.

Kofte ka Qorma – Melt-in-mouth meatballs in a spicy fragrant sauce

There are usually two kinds of kofte/meatballs prepared. One type is that which is prepare from raw meat called as Kacche gosht ke kofte, in which raw meat marinated in spices and herbs are shaped into meatballs and later cooked to perfection in gravy; the other is the one which I am writing about today, when precooked delicate meatballs are simmered in gravy just before serving.

I prepare and store Shaami meat mixture in large amounts in zip lock sandwich bags and it lasts easily for around 3 months, but you store it for about an year frozen. I had earlier posted the method to prepare the shaami meat mixture here.

Round and small walnut size balls are prepared out of the cooked shaami meat mixture and shallow fried on all sides in a little oil. These are then left to simmer in the gravy. Be sure to add the meatballs just before you plan to serve them. If kept in the gravy to cook for a longer time before you serve, they may turn very soft and mushy as they already are delicate and velvety when shallow fried.

Kofte ka Qorma – Melt-in-mouth meatballs in a spicy fragrant sauce

For the Kofte:


Makes 22 Kofte

Shaami meat mixture – 280 gms (the procedure to prepare Shaami meat mixture is given here)
Canola oil – to shallow fry

Right-Shallow fried Meat balls Left-Meatballs made from shaami meat
Behind – shaami meat in a zip lock sandwich bag

1. Take a small amount of the shaami meat and roll small walnut size balls out of it, gently between your palms. Continue until the entire mixture is finished. Arrange them all on a tray.
2. Shallow fry them in small batches in a small frying pan using a little amount of Canola oil until browned on all sides.

For Qorma (the masala gravy):


Canola oil – 5 tbsp
Onions – 4, finely sliced
Yogurt – 400 ml, lightly whipped
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 1/2 tsp
Roasted Groundnut paste – 2 tbsp
Roasted Coconut paste/Coconut cream – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Chopped cilantro – 2 tbsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp (optional)

1. Take a heavy bottomed non stick frying pan on medium heat and throw in the thickly sliced onion rings with no oil. Give them a stir and cover with a lid. Open the lid, and stir them again, add a few splaches of water and cover the lid again. Continue doing this until the onions are are caramelized and cooked. Transfer them into a blender container. Add the yogurt, roasted groundnut paste and roasted coconut paste/coconut cream and blend till it is a smooth puree.
2. Pour oil into the same pan, and add ginger garlic paste. Fry for a minute and add the pureed paste. Throw in red chilli powder, salt and turmeric and mix well. Cover and let cook for around 15-30 minutes on low heat until oil separates and floats on top while stirring occasionally in between. Add garam masala, chopped cilantro and pour in a about 1 1/2 glass of water and mix well (you can add more water if you prefer a thin consistency.) Half-Cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Pour lemon juice and remove from heat. Serve immediately along with Naan or parathas or along with a Pulao or plain rice.

For the final curry preperation:

1. Just when you want to serve the curry, gently drop the shallow fried Kofte into the Qorma and bring to a boil. Simmer and let cook for 3 minutes.
2. Serve warm with Roti.


I would like to ask the readers of my blog before I sign off for today ..
a) Are there any magazines, published in Hyderabad, showcasing local Hyderabadi food and recipes in English, Hindi or Urdu languages? If yes, please let me know which ones are your favorite?
b) Or in a larger picture, any good food and recipe magazines about authentic Indian food published in India?

My current favorite food magazine is ‘Everyday Food’ by Martha. Just loving it! It is not about Indian food though.