Keema in its many renditions is a popular dish in the Indian subcontinent. This version uses textured vegetable protein instead of meat but contains all the traditional spices to make it richly flavorful, aromatic, and velvety. Keema is usually served with rice, roti, naan, or chapatti and is often accompanied by sliced onions, carrots, cucumbers, and lemon wedges. I’d be inclined to pair it with mashed potatoes or pile it into a soft sandwich roll.


¼ cup olive oil

1 red onion, diced

½ tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. garam masala

½ tsp. turmeric

½ tsp. ground cardamom

2 Tbsp. minced ginger

4 garlic cloves

1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, seeded and sliced

14-ounce can diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, or puree

1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup frozen or fresh peas

1 big handful fresh mint, chopped

1 big handful cilantro, chopped


1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized.

2. Add the chili powder, garam masala, turmeric, and cardamom to the onions and cook for one minute to temper the spices. Remove from the heat temporarily.

3. While the onions are cooking, in a food processor, pulse together the ginger, garlic, and pepper until well chopped. Add the tomatoes and the cooked onions with any remaining oil and pulse again.

4. Return the mixture to the sauté pan and add the TVP and broth. Simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, until the TVP absorbs the liquid. Taste for salt.

5. Add the peas to the mixture and cook until tender.

6. Stir half the herbs into the mixture and use the remaining half as garnish