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Pakistani Kima

Full disclosure:  I have no idea if this recipe is truly Pakistani, nor do I know what “kima” is.

But I *do* know that it’s delicious, filling, healthy, and easy.  That’s a dinner grand slam in my books.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

My sister has been making this for her family for quite a while, and she made it for us while I was visiting my parents a couple years ago.  I fell in love with the incredible aroma and flavors of the spice combination.  It’s truly what makes this dish special.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

But it has a lot more going for it.  It’s chock-full of veggies, across the color spectrum (something that I’m usually desperately needing).  It’s also super satiating, with a one-two-three punch of the fat in the butter (don’t skimp on this), the lean ground beef, and the fiber-full vegetables.

It clocks in at around 320 calories per serving (if you make 6 servings out of the batch), which is great if you’re trying to keep your calories down but not feel hungry all the time.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

And best of all, this recipe is super easy to make, a one-pot standby.  It only takes about a half-hour total, and only requires you to do some vegetable chopping and throw everything into a pot.  I made two desserts while putting this together a couple weeks ago, because I didn’t have to spare any brainpower for it.  So I’m kind of in love.

In general it helps to prep your veggies if you have time.  But sometimes when I’m strapped for time I get the onions going and then just chop everything else as fast as I can.

Melt the butter in a large pot or giant skillet (I mean really big; I use a big pasta pot), and add the diced onion. Cook for 3 minutes, or until starting to become translucent.

Then add the ground meat and cook until well-browned.

Once the meat is mostly cooked, add the curry powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and garlic salt and stir well.  Congratulate yourself on how amazing your house smells.

Once the meat is browned, add the diced tomatoes (drain off liquid first if you’re using canned), the diced sweet potatoes, green beans and any additional spices if needed (like salt to taste; I prefer to salt at the end though).

Partially cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes have softened.  When you first cover it, you’ll feel like there’s not enough liquid to cook everything, but be strong!  Don’t add any liquid right now.  You can check it after 10 minutes and if it still doesn’t have enough liquid you can add a couple tablespoons of water or broth, but I’ve literally never had that be the case.

Pakistani Kima is aromatic, easy, healthy, and satiating...an easy 30-minute dinner

Once the sweet potatoes are soft, remove from the heat, stir, and let it sit for a few minutes to get the liquid absorbed a bit.  Serve right away, but it makes great leftovers as well.

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Pakistani Kima is aromatic, easy, healthy, and satiating...an easy 30-minute dinner

Pakistani Kima

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 pound of ground beef (or venison, buffalo, etc.)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can or jar of diced tomatoes (organic, no BPA), drained or 2-3 medium fresh tomatoes (juicy, not roma)
  • 1/4 cup of butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder or more to taste
  • 3-4 medium sweet potatoes, diced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pound of fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and garlic powder (or more to taste)
  • Optional:  I have added some shredded cabbage as well, and backed off on the green beans a little, and I think my sister has used broccoli or broccolini instead of beans.  It’s a very adaptable recipe.
  1. Melt the butter in a large pot or giant skillet (I mean really big; I use a big pasta pot), and add the diced onion. Cook for 3 minutes, or until starting to become translucent.
  2. Add ground meat and cook until well-browned. While cooking (once the meat is getting mostly cooked), add the curry powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and garlic salt and stir well.
  3. Once the meat is browned, add the diced tomatoes (drain off liquid first if you’re using canned), the diced sweet potatoes, green beans and any additional spices if needed.
  4. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes have softened.  When you first cover it, you’ll feel like there’s not enough liquid to cook everything, but be strong!  Don’t add any liquid right now.  You can check it after 10 minutes and if it still doesn’t have enough liquid you can add a couple tablespoons of water or broth, but I’ve never had that be the case.
  5. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, remove from the heat, stir, and let it sit for a few minutes to get the liquid absorbed a bit.  Serve right away, but it makes great leftovers as well.

Original recipe here

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