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Tempeh Keema

Serves 8-10

Tempeh Keema

Back when we used to eat meat, my partner and I had lamb keema or mincemeat curry all the time.

This whole food plant based keema is not a compromise in flavour or protein and comes without the added saturated fat and cancer risk of red meat. I batch cook this and it makes 8-10 servings which you can freeze for later use.

If you aren’t oil free then use extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil to temper the whole spices and onions.

It is a lot of spices but they last for a long time and are a staple in my house. Get them ready before in a bowl to cut the

preparation time!

Do give this a try and let me know what you think. It can be served with wholewheat/gluten free chapati, with brown rice, with bread rolls (keema pau) or even turn it into an Indian Shepard’s pie with potatoes.


1 red pepper diced

2 large red onions diced

1 handful of coriander finely chopped

600 g tempeh grated

150g frozen peas

8 garlic cloves crushed

1 thumb-size piece of ginger peeled and grated

700ml water

3 tsp garam masala and 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, 2-3 green chillies finely chopped (optional) heated with a few splashes of water on full power in the microwave for 20 seconds

pinch of stevia or sugar

Juice of half a lime

Whole spices:

1 curry leaf

1 cinnamon stick

1 black cardamom pod

1 cumin seeds

Powdered spices:

1/2 tsp mango powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp fennel powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp dried fenugreek

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 black pepper

2 tbsp tomato paste


  1. Heat a non stick pan on medium heat and when hot, dry fry the whole spices for 30 seconds to a minute ensuring they don’t burn (if the pan is hot enough the spices will sizzle)

  2. Add the onions to a pan and cook them until they become soft and slightly brown, adding splashes of water to prevent them sticking ( approximately 18 minutes)

  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stir and add a splash of water to prevent sticking

  4. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook for a minute

  5. Add the tempeh to the pan and the dry spices, mix thoroughly with a few splashes of water and cook for a few minutes (2-3 minutes)

  6. Add the rest of the water and mix the keema. Put a lid on and cook it for 15 minutes, taking the lid off and stirring half way to prevent sticking.

  7. Take the lid off and add the peppers and the frozen peas and cook uncovered for 5 minutes until the peas are defrosted and the peppers are cooked to your desired softness

  8. Add salt to taste, the lime juice and a pinch of sugar

  9. If you have kids and they don’t eat spicy food like mine, then take their portion out and add the chilli paste

Garnish with coriander. Enjoy warm as stated above!


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