Vegetarian Delights: Cauliflower and Peas Keema

Lamb Keema is probably my favourite dish of all time. Whenever I have been away from home and I go to see my Mother it is always the dish I request to come home to.  It’s the ultimate comfort food for me.  However I wanted to come up with a vegetarian version that would give that same comfort food feel but suitable for vegetarians.  This is another hit with my vegetarian and non-vegetarian students on my Healthy Indian Cooking Classes with AirBnb experiences.

As we normally serve Lamb Keema with rice I started with the idea of cauliflower rice which, has been become so popular in recent years and then added some fresh tomatoes, spices, ginger and garlic to enrich it, along with peas.  You can also add other vegetables if you want some variety – carrots, sweetcorn, green beans, broccoli – pretty much any sturdy vegetable will work.  Leafy greens don’t work so well as they make the dish a little soggy and watery.  With regards to the tomatoes, spices, ginger, garlic etc you don’t need to worry about chopping these finely or perfectly as once they are cooked we are going to blend them into a smooth paste.

In order to get the feel of Lamb Keema in this version I like to chop the vegetables really finely.  The easiest way to do this with cauliflower is in an electric blender but you can also grate it as well (although this a little more labour intensive).  If you decide to use any other vegetables try to chop them as finely as you can and all the same size so you get a lovely consistency and texture in the final dish.  Be careful not to overcook the veggies, you want them to keep their shape and not be too soft and soggy.

This is a great vegan dish, diary and gluten free too.


1 Cauliflower head, finely chopped

1 cup peas (you can use frozen)

2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 Medium onions, roughly chopped 

1 tsp Turmeric

2 tsp Ghee or Coconut Oil

1 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 tbsp water

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh Coriander to garnish

Lime Juice (from half a lime)



  1. Heat 1 tsp of oil over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds
  2. Once the cumin seeds change colour, add the onion and fry until soft
  3. Add the spices, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, salt and pepper and fry until the tomatoes soften
  4. Let the mixture cool slightly and then place into a blender and blend until smooth
  5. Heat the other tsp. of oil and fry the cauliflower for a few minutes until tender, but don’t overcook.  If you are using other harder vegetables such as carrots add them in as well.
  6. Adds the peas and tomato mixture and cook until the oil separates
  7. Season, turn off the heat and squeeze a little lime juice over the top and stir through
  8. Garnish with coriander and serve


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