This vegan Keema Masala or Kheema Masala is a taste of India's delicious street food, but my version is not only vegan, it is very healthy with tons of veggies, loads of protein, and no added oils. Keema is ground beef or goat in India, but for this meatless version I used beefless ground beef and trust me, even a meat-lover won't miss a beat.
This vegan Keema Masala is my favorite dish to take to potluck parties, and it's usually the first thing to disappear from the table, it's that good.
If you like complex Indian food without having to spend a whole lot of time and effort making it, this is the perfect recipe. If you have a meat-eater around who thinks vegan food is all salads and quinoa, and you want to rub their nose in it, this is the perfect recipe. If you want a dish that's healthy, nutritious, but delicious too, this is the perfect recipe.
Keema masala is usually made with ground beef or mutton, but for my divinely vegan version I've used TVP granules in the past. It's important to use a meat substitute in this dish because it really won't work without the right texture. This time, I used beefless "beef" -- you can sold the kind sold at Trader Joe's or use Beyond Beef or Impossible Beef for a soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free option.
This dish is rich and flavorful without any added oils, and to achieve that I came up with a clever trick: use coconut milk to saute your onions and herbs and spices. The fat in the coconut milk helps cook the ingredients and draws out their flavors, and since you do need a small amount of coconut milk in this recipe anyway, it works perfectly. Use the canned coconut milk here, not the one in a carton.
It takes no more than 30 minutes to make this recipe, from start to finish. Serve the vegan keema with roti or naan or rice or even with a crusty French or Italian bread. You can add more water or vegetable stock to make it saucy -- I like mine with just a little sauce to scoop up with a piece of bread.
Spicy Vegan Keema Masala
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers (chopped, deseed for less heat)
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
- 1-inch knob ginger (chopped)
- 2 large tomatoes (chopped)
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 14-16 oz vegan "beef" (like Beyond or Impossible)
- 1 large carrot (finely diced)
- 3 medium potatoes (finely diced)
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp coconut milk
- Juice of 1 lemon or lime
- In a mortar and pestle, or using a food processor, crush the ginger, garlic and green chili peppers into a coarse paste.
- Place 2 tablespoon of the coconut milk in a large saucepan and once it becomes frothy, add the onions and the ginger-garlic-chili paste and coriander leaves. Season with salt and ground black pepper and saute until the onions start to turn transparent.
- Add the tomatoes and the garam masala. Saute until the tomatoes begin to break down.
- Add the meatless meat and continue to saute for a couple of minutes, then add the carrots and potatoes. Mix well, add 2 cups of water, cover, and let the keema masala cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
- Add the frozen green peas and the remaining coconut milk. Bring back to a boil, then turn off the heat. Check for salt and add more if needed.
- Squeeze in lemon or lime juice and mix. Serve hot.
Hi there, haven’t made any if your recipes for a while, but today we’ve had lots of rain so I made your intriguing dandelion bread. Had read in gardening that dandelions are very good for the soil and then read your take on them and I’m a convert! Not only are they good for early bee food, but they are in my opinion pretty and now I also know that mostly everything is edible…. Win win.
While baking a sourdough loaf I thought now I have an open can of coconut milk ( used some in the dandelion bread) so I scrolled through your dals and came up with Keema Masala recipe. Decided to use the portobello caps I had left in the fridge, instead of the fake meat, which I have in the freezer. Not crazy about, but will try it next time. I’m trying hard to be mindful of not wasting food.
It turned out great and right now I’m cooking rice in the instant pot to accompany it.
Hope I can enclose pics of both, but if not…..thank you so much!
You inspire me!
Only thing, it took me much longer than 8 mins to prep everything, but then you are a pro at this
Hiya does the coconut make it taste like coconut? Thanks
It makes it creamy, you will have a bit of coconut flavor though.
Hi Vaishali, hope you're well. I was surprised by how good this turned out to be! Last time I made keema with a meat alternative, it turned out rather unpleasant so I haven't tried again for many years until I found your recipe. Here in the UK, this time I used Viv Era meat alternative but last time it was Quorn mince. Your recipe, combined with a better meat alternative, created a dish as tasty as real keema! The added coconut milk works very well to create more complex flavors too. I never thought about trying that before.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I plan to make it my regular keema recipe from now on. Have a good day. 🙂
A very good recipe for dinner and breakfast. Goes very well with Chapati or Paratha
I made this awhile back and forgot to leave a comment. It was great! Thanks for another recipe.
This recipe is delicious! I didn’t tell my meat-loving husband (at first)that he wasn’t eating ground beef. He thoroughly enjoyed this dish. Not a fro is leftover.
Do you by any chance know a source for live curry plants? I’ll bet they would thrive here in Houston. I’d love to plant one in my garden.
Hi Jane, so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know.
About curry leaf plants, they are hard to find, but Indian groceries sometimes sell them and I am sure there are many such stores in the Houston area with the large Indian community you have there. If your store doesn't have it, ask them if they can get you one--- sometimes they'll find one for you.
What is the other option for meatless ground meat as the same is not available in India?
Hi Padmini, you can use soya granules. Out here we need to soak those in hot water before using -- follow your manufacturer instructions.