Bhuna Keema

bhuna keema
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This bhuna keema tastes like home

The older I get, the more I miss my childhood. Pangs of nostalgia hit me as I watch my kids growing up. As I watch them play outside while I’m making dinner, I’m reminded of myself running through our backyard as my mom called us in to eat. It’s these pangs of nostalgia that make me want to share my childhood with my kids, and there’s no better way than this bhuna keema. What does ground chicken have to do with my childhood, you ask?

It’s a recipe my mom makes to this day, and while her methods may have changed, this recipe carries the quintessential flavors of my childhood. Just enough salt, the right amount of spices and a whole lotta ginger, my mom’s classic cooking style. I spent this past summer with my family, back in the city I love most and this was on the table at least once a week. This bhuna keema was devoured by us and our kids alike. I even threw it on some pizza a few times and it was phenomenal.

The recipe is simple yet worthy of a feast

Bhuna keema is very literal in its name a most Pakistani dishes are. You literally just cook the keema till the oil separates and you’re done. Some people find that chicken dishes, especially ground chicken, don’t have much flavor. This will change their mind. You have your classic onions, ginger, garlic, and tomatoes as a base but the cooking style really enhances this recipe. To bhoon means to cook, and this requires a little more cook time than my normal recipes, but it yields a tender and flavorful keema.

This bhuna keema is versatile

I love this recipe because it can be used in so many ways. It’s great on its own. But I also add potatoes or peas into it to make it into keema matar or keema aloo. This keema goes great on pizzas and in chicken patties. The possibilities are endless so make sure you go through the recipe notes below to get ideas and tips.

Other chicken recipes to try

Chicken Karahi

Chicken ka Salan

Chicken Biryani

bhuna keema

Bhuna Keema

This is that heirloom recipe that gets passed from generation to generation, enjoyed by all
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pakistani


  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 clove
  • 2-3 peppercorn
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp haldi turmeric
  • 1/2-1 tsp Kashmiri Laal Mirch or cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • ginger, julienned for garnish
  • cilantro for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a large wok or pan and add the onion. Sauté on a medium flame until they turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ground chicken. Mix well, breaking the ground chicken down as it cooks. Let this cook together for about 10 minutes, mixing occasionally.
  • Next add the whole spices, ground spices and water. Mix well and sauté for a couple minutes, then add the pureed tomatoes. You can also just dice the tomatoes instead pf pureeing. Mix well and continue to cook on a medium low flame covered for about 10 minutes. Check on the chicken occasionally to make sure it's not sticking to the bottom or burning.
  • Once the oil separates and most of the water has dried up you can add the green chillies. If you want the chicken to be spicy you can thinly slice the chillies and add them. If you just want a mild spice simply cut the chili sin half lengthwise and add them to the chicken. Mix in to let the flavors infuse. Garnish with ginger and coriander to serve.
  • Serve with naan or roti. This goes great with sliced onions.


Variations. Adding vegetables like potatoes or peas can make this chicken keema even more flavorful. For potatoes, chop them into 1/2 inch pieces, soak in water and drain before adding to the keema. Add them before you add the tomatoes so they cook through.
As for the peas add them halfway into the cooking so they don’t turn to mush. 
You can use the same recipe for ground beef or lamb, just adjust the spices according to your personal preference. 
Spice level. If you’re making this for kids you can deseed the green chillies or omit them completely. I prefer a balanced salt and spice level. If you prefer more salt or spice taste and adjust accordingly. 
Keyword Chicken, Keema

Have you tried this Bhuna Keema?

I love hearing your feedback. If you try this recipe I’d love to hear how it turns out in the comments below!

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I want your help pleas help about basic knowledge