Add the cooking oil and bay leaves to a saute pan and turn the heat on medium-low. Carefully watch the bay leaves as they can burn quickly! Once they begin to brown (usually you can also smell their fragrance), add the onions to the pan. Cook the onions until they have softened, roughly 3 to 4 minutes.
While the turkey cooks, roughly chop the tomatoes. Once the meat has browned, add the tomatoes and water to the pan.
In the last 30 seconds of cooking, rip the Thai basil leaves in half and add them to the mixture. Stir the leaves around for 10 to 15 seconds.
- 4 tbsp grapeseed oil or other cooking oil
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 1-2 small onions, enough for 1 cup chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 1-inch piece ginger root
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder (lal mirch)
- 3 pinches ground cinnamon
- 1 1/3 lb. ground turkey (7% fat or 99% fat-free), or ground chicken
- 2 Roma tomatoes, enough for 1 cup chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup frozen or fresh peas
- Optional: 5-6 Thai basil leaves, or holy basil or mint leaves
Recipe (serves 4):
- Chop the onion, grate the ginger, and finely mince the garlic.
- Add the cooking oil and bay leaves to a saute pan. Warm over medium-low heat until bay leaves turn light brown and become fragrant.
- Add chopped onion and cook until softened and golden in color, roughly 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add garlic and ginger and cook until garlic softens, roughly 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add cumin, garam masala, red chili powder, and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
- Lower heat and add ground turkey. Use spatula to break meat up evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with a lid.
- Every 3 to 4 minutes, use the spatula to further break the meat apart and stir it around. Cook until meat has browned completely, roughly 7 to 10 minutes.
- While turkey browns, roughly chop the tomatoes. Once meat has browned, add tomatoes and water to the pan.
- Cover pan with lid until tomatoes soften, roughly 5 minutes. Once soft, use the spatula to mash the tomatoes into a paste-like or pulpy consistency. The kheema may seem watery at this point, but the water will evaporate.
- Add Sriracha sauce, salt, and peas to the pan and stir to combine.
- Increase the heat to medium and allow the kheema to continue cooking with the lid off, until most of the water has evaporated. Once the water has evaporated, add more salt, garam masala, and/or Sriracha sauce as needed.
- During the last 30 seconds of cooking, rip the Thai basil leaves in half and add them to the kheema for the last 10 to 15 seconds.
- Serve with bread, rice, quinoa, or in a lettuce wrap!
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