*This post is sponsored by California Walnuts*

Keema is a minced meat dish usually made with minced beef or lamb. It’s an Indian dish, but variations of it are enjoyed in other counties like Pakistan, Bangladesh and even in Middle Eastern countries. I grew up in Iraq and we make it minus the chilli, so basically a milder version of it, but equally as delicious!

It’s such a comforting meal, especially served with rice in a bowl during the cold winter months! I’m creating a vegan version using California Walnuts by blending the walnuts into a ‘mince’ then soaking it in water to make it lovely and soft to mimic real minced meat. This way it will absorb all the amazing flavours and aromatic spices.

California Walnuts are incredibly versatile and can be used in so many dishes – savoury or sweet! Their mild and creamy flavour and softer texture helps them blend in well with other flavours making them perfect as a plant based meat substitute. You can check if your walnuts are from California as they would say Produce of California or Produce of USA on the pack.

I do genuinely think that walnuts are underrated and under used. As well as them being a versatile plant-based meat substitute, they also have many health benefits. They’re the only tree nut to contain a rich source of the plant-based omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 2.7g/ 30g* and each 30g serving of California Walnuts offers 4.4 g of protein and 1.4 g of fibre[1].

To find out more about California Walnuts, and for recipe ideas visit www.californiawalnuts.co.uk

*Approx. a handful.

California Walnut Keema

Serves 2-4


130g California Walnuts
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
1 bay leaf
2 small pieces of cinnamon bark
3 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli
4 tbsp tomato purée
1/4-12 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp maple syrup
Salt & pepper
60g frozen peas, thawed


Place the California Walnuts in a food processor and pulse a few times until crumbly. Don’t blend for too long. You don’t want the texture to be too fine.
Transfer to a bowl and cover with lukewarm water. Leave to soak for 15-20 minutes, then drain.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes until transparent, then add the bay leaf, cinnamon bark and cardamom pods. Cook for another minute.
Add the garlic ginger paste and spices, then add the walnut mince. Toss and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the tomato puree, water, maple syrup and lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes), then fold in the thawed peas. Take off the heat, garnish with fresh coriander and serve with rice. Enjoy!

[1] Food Standards Agency (2002), McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, Seventh summary edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry