If You Get Your Spices Cheap You Can Use Them Like They're Free

Kheema is an Indian dish made of spicy ground meat, potatoes, and peas. This afternoon my counter part made a very successful variation. He created a flavorful layered dish that, while not necessarily traditional, was certainly very satisfying.

Mis en place

He started by making some curry by combining the following until they smelled and tasted right. This is fairly subjective, so add each new spice a little at a time and stick your nose down in it:

Ground Oregano

Chili Powder

Ground Cumin

Spanish Paprika

Ground Sage


Saigon Cinnamon

Jamaican All Spice

Chinese Five Spice (just a little)


The trick is to purchase your spices in bulk so you can use as much as you want. Gareth visited the H-Mart in Ellicott City yesterday and was prepared. This is the best place in the Baltimore-DC area for spices. They sell them in those large containers pictured above. Go nuts.

Home made curry

Next, he cut up some garlic, onion, leek, and spicy little red chilis. Using the Kitchen Aid meat grinder attachment, he ground the veg with the lamb and pork belly, dredging the meat in the curry before running it through the grinder.

Pork belly and lamb

Through the meat grinder

For the remaining layers, he used:


Kohlrabi, both greens and root






Curry leaves (at least we think that's what they were)



For the rice, he used our Korean rice cooker and cooked the rice with minced kohlrabi greens and the supposed curry leaves, olive oil, a little heavy cream, and water.

Is this really curry leaves?

Tastes like curry leaves

He made two layers of veg - one starchy and one veggie. For the starchy layer, he peeled the potato and kohlrabi root and cur them into match sticks that he sauteed in olive oil with the watercress and some leek and onion.

The veggie layer consisted of minced carrots, cilantro, and peas, also sauteed in olive oil.

Mess in place

And, getting back to the ground meat, this was cooked through in a heavy pot. He pureed a couple more little red chilis and added this puree to everything except the rice.

Curried meat with a little extra boom boom

When everything was cooked, he layered everything in this order:

Rice at the bottom

Potato and Kohlrabi

Carrots and Peas

Meat on top with some of the jus drizzled over the whole thing

On the table

Plated up