Keema Puff Pastry is a delicious Indian appetizer that is made with spiced ground meat and wrapped in layers of flaky puff pastry. This recipe is my kids' absolute favorite snack.
What is Keema Puff Pastry?
The word "keema" refers to minced meat (usually mutton, lamb, or beef). Minced meat is typically cooked with onion, garlic, and a blend of Indian spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
Keema puff pastry has to be a favorite snack of the majority of Indian millennials. You could find vegetarian and meat pastries in every college or high school canteen in India.
How to Make Keema Puff Pastry?
One of the great things about keema puff pastry is its versatility. You can experiment with other types of meat such as chicken or turkey if you wish.
Make it a vegetarian version by using a mix of vegetables such as potatoes, peas, or carrots. Tofu, paneer, or a plant-based meat substitute are also great options for vegetarian puff pastry.
- Mince onion, garlic cloves, cilantro, and green chili in a food processor, or mince finely with a knife.
- Combine the above-minced ingredients, ground meat, and Indian spices in a large prep bowl.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or a large cooking pot on medium heat. Add the ground meat mixture to the skillet. Cook on medium heat until all the water from the meat evaporates. Continue to stir and break the lumps while cooking.
- Turn the heat off and squeeze a half lemon's juice into the keema. Allow the keema mixture to cool down before adding it to the pastry, as this will help prevent the pastry from becoming soggy.
- To make the pastry, spoon out the keema mixture onto squares of puff pastry dough. Then fold and crimp with a fork to seal in the filling.
- Bake the folded pastries in the oven until golden brown and crispy at 400 F for 12-15 minutes.
- Serve this delectable appetizer with your favorite sauce or chutney. These savory meat pastries make a great serving at parties, as a snack, or even as a light meal.
Tips for Puff Pastry
Puff pastry is a key ingredient in Keema Puff Pastry. Here are some tips for selecting and using puff pastry for Keema Puff Pastry:
- Look for all-butter puff pastry: All-butter puff pastry has a richer, more buttery flavor and is more likely to puff up and become flaky when baked.
- Thaw puff pastry properly: Frozen puff pastry needs to be thawed before it can be used. Follow the instructions on the package for thawing, which typically involves leaving the pastry in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- Handle puff pastry gently: Puff pastry is delicate and can easily tear or break apart if handled roughly. Roll it out gently and cut it into squares with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.
- Keep puff pastry cool: Puff pastry should be kept cool until you're ready to use it. If it gets too warm, the butter may start to melt, which can cause the pastry to become greasy and not puff up properly.
- Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to the correct temperature before baking to ensure that the pastry cooks evenly and becomes crisp and golden brown.
- Use the right size: Cut the puff pastry into squares that are the right size for the amount of filling you're using. Too much filling can cause the pastry to burst open during baking.
- Don't overfill the pastry: While it can be tempting to add more filling, try not to overfill the pastry as it can cause the filling to spill out during baking.
Following these tips can help you make the perfect Keema Puff Pastry that is both delicious and visually appealing.
Substitute for Beef or Lamb Keema
If you want to make Keema Puff Pastry but don't have access to minced lamb or beef, or if you prefer a vegetarian or vegan version, there are some substitutions you can make for the keema filling. Here are a few options:
- Minced chicken or turkey: You can use minced chicken or turkey as a substitute for lamb or beef keema. These meats have a milder flavor and will work well with the spiced filling.
- Paneer: Paneer is a type of Indian cheese. It's a great substitute for meat. You can crumble the paneer and cook it with the same spices as you would the keema.
- Tofu or tempeh: For a vegan version of Keema Puff Pastry, you can use crumbled tofu or tempeh as a substitute for the meat. Consider adding some vegetables for additional texture and flavor.
- Chickpeas: Cooked chickpeas can also be used as a substitute for the meat in Keema Puff Pastry. Run it through a food processor for a coarse keema-like texture.
What to Serve Meat Pastry with
Serve the Keema Puff Pastry with a tangy dipping sauce or chutney to balance out the rich and spicy flavors of the keema mixture.
I like to serve them with chutney raita or Sriracha yogurt sauce as shown in the images.
More Appetizer Recipes
- Potato Samosa
- Pakora (fried fritters)
- Roasted Potatoes
- Bharela Marcha (stuffed sweet peppers)
- Masala Potatoes
- Masala Potato Chips
- Khaman (savory chickpea cake)
Keema Puff Pastry | Savory Meat Pastry
- 1 pound minced lamb or beef
- 1 medium onion
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 4-5 garlic cloves , add more if you like
- 1 green chili , like Jalapeno, Thai green chili, or Serrano
- a handful of cilantro
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger, or ½ inch chunk (do not substitute with ginger powder)
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder , optional
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds , optional
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala , optional
- 1 teaspoon salt , or to taste
For Puff Pastry
- 1 package of puff pastry (2 sheets) , thawed
- 1 small egg , beaten
Ingredients to Garnish Keema
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro , optional
- ½ lemon juiced
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mince onion, garlic cloves, cilantro, ginger, and green chili in a food processor, or finely mince them with a knife.
- Combine the minced ingredients, ground meat, and all the listed spices in a large prep bowl. Mix all the ingredients well with a help of a spatula. Set it aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the minced meat to the pan and cook until all the water evaporates completely, and is cooked through, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. (takes about 5-10 minutes)
- Turn the heat off. Garnish the Keema with ½ cup chopped cilantro and squeeze the juice of half a lemon then mix. Set the Keema aside to cool down completely. (10-15 minutes)
- Roll out the thawed puff pastry sheets on a floured surface to about ⅛-inch thickness. Cut the pastry into squares or rectangles, about 4-5 inches in size. (see tutorial images)
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the keema mixture into the center of each pastry square.
- Fold the pastry over the filling and crimp the edges together with a fork to seal.
- Brush the top of each pastry with beaten egg for a golden brown finish.
- Place the pastries on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.
- Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce or chutney.
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