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Recipe for pheasant keema – perfect for feeding a large group of people

Spicy keema makes a mouth-watering appetiser or main and minced pheasant is the perfect ingredient for this recipe that will feed a large gathering of friends and family. Serves 20

spicy pheasant recipe dish

Pheasant keema - ideal for feeding a large group

You may find, like I did, that this colourful spicy pheasant recipe fast becomes a household favourite. Once a kitchen staple, the mincing machine has become rather outdated, 
but most chefs I know wouldn’t be without one. Minced pheasant will work very well 
for this dish but pretty much any minced game will do.

To avoid the dish coming out a bit flat, you will need to dig out your punchiest spices and darker, stronger meat is desirable.

What is ‘keema’?

Interestingly, keema, exotic-sounding as it is, simply means ‘mince’ 
on the Indian subcontinent.

As you can probably guess, there are endless variations of this dish and I’m not sure that any one version could claim 
to be more authentic than another.
I have always viewed Mark Hix 
as a great judge of spice and a bit of a magician when it comes to using an entire animal. To me, this recipe represents a fine example of the way he cooks.

As regular readers know, I often host days where there is a real emphasis on cooking birds that have come from the shoot. This dish is an excellent warmer when a team have come in after a cold morning out in the field.
It is also one of those dishes that can be made well in advance, which is a real blessing when hosting.


  • 725mL vegetable or 
corn oil
  • 2kg minced pheasant meat
  • 50g medium curry powder
  • 10 tbsp bay leaves
  • 10 tbsp fenugreek leaves
  • 10 medium onions, peeled, halved and neatly chopped
  • 20 cloves of garlic, peeled AND grated 
or crushed
  • 150g root ginger, scraped AND grated 
or chopped
  • 10 medium green or red chillies, trimmed and neatly chopped
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 5ltr lamb or beef stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 pickled walnuts, quartered
  • 2 handfuls chopped coriander


This spicy pheasant recipe makes for a great sharing starter or main. You can serve this with bread or even poppadoms. Or, do as I do, and keep some frozen puris to hand so you can cook them as you need them.

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, season the deer meat and fry 
it on a high heat, breaking it down 
as it cooks, then transfer 
to a bowl.
2. Meanwhile, put the spices in a heavy-based saucepan and dry fry them for a couple of minutes on a medium heat, stirring so they don’t burn. Add the ghee, onions, garlic, ginger and chilli and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, with a lid on, stirring every so often.
3. Add the meat, tomato purée and stock, bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for an hour, stirring occasionally. Check the tenderness of the meat and continue cooking if needs be, adding more water if it’s getting too dry. The end result should be a fairly dry mixture. Stir in the coriander and walnuts and serve.


Recipe kindly donated by Mark Hix
Mark Hix’s impact on British cuisine has been enormous, with many successful restaurants in his portfolio, cookbooks that number in double figures and he has given unfailing support of British producers and suppliers.