Aloo Qeema was a favorite of mine when I was a kid, this was before I got the taste of more exotic dishes pertaining to Pakistani cuisine, but to this time I’ll happily eat it for any meal of the day.
It takes me back to that long table where I had it every Friday for lunch while growing up. This was such a religiously followed ritual that I could tell it was Friday even before I learned the days of the week. For the Muslims Friday itself has a significant position amongst all the other days, in fact, it is considered the best day of the week. Not long ago Friday used to be a part of the weekend, along with Saturday, it still is in many other Muslim countries but sadly not anymore in Pakistan. That’s one of the reasons why I still remember the happy chaos of dining with so many people, all showered and adorned in their better clothes for ” The Jummah”- Weekly congregation at the mosque which is obligatory for the men to attend.
Now back to Aalo Qeema, it is one of the simple desi dishes which is served regularly in homes across Pakistan. This could be given the status of THE comfort food for us desis, which is simple yet satisfying. It has Potatoes – known as Aalo in Urdu – and qeema – that’s minced meat in Urdu, which makes for an amazing combination and quite a filling meal when eaten with bread like nan or pita.
Aalo qeema pairs deliciously with raita and “kachumar” that’s a desi salad a mixture of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, drizzled with lemon juice, and garnished with salt, black pepper, and cumin. Like most of the Pakistani Dishes, this is served with handmade roti or tandoori nan.
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 large-sized onion
- 2 lbs ground lean beef
- 2 teaspoon or to taste salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder (optional)
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 2 brown cardamon
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
- 2 large potatoes, cut in one-inch cubes
- ¾ cup of water
- fresh chopped cilantro
- green chilies, cut in 3 to 4 pieces
- Heat oil in a sauté pan and sauté sliced onions until golden brown on medium heat.
- Add ground beef, sprinkle salt, ginger and garlic paste, chopped tomatoes, and sauté on medium heat.
- Add red chili powder, garam masala, brown cardamom, and peppercorns. Bring the heat to high. Sauté until there is little moisture left and the meat releases the oil.
- Add lemon juice, potatoes, green chilies (leave some for garnishing), and water. Cook covered until potatoes are tender, and there is not a lot of liquid left.
- Garnish with cilantro and green chilies.
- Serve with pita or boiled rice and raita.
Health Tip ♥
Aalo qeema tastes best when made with ground beef, but if you are limiting your beef intake then feel free to use ground chicken meat.