Keema Spring Rolls are crispy spring rolls filled with spiced ground meat, potatoes, onions and cilantro. I learned the recipe over text message from one of my closest friends, Neely (the convenience of technology!) This month I wanted to share a recipe that could be used during the Islamic holy month of Ramzan. Neely is always telling me about the wonderful food her family prepares for Iftar and their food traditions during this special time.
In fact, she and I have started a tiny tradition of our own. For the last few years every Ramzan, she comes over to our place and opens one of her rozas (fasts) with us. Knowing what an important time this is for her and her faith, it means so much to me that we can celebrate with her. While asking Neely for this recipe I wanted to hear what were her childhood memories of Iftar during Ramzan and how things had changed since her family had grown to include nieces and nephews.
Here’s what she had to say:
Some of my favorite memories of Ramzan include the preparation for Iftar. Every Friday of Ramzan was always the best day of rozas! Mom would make homemade samosas, fruit chaat and her amazing spring rolls! The homemade spring rolls were made from scratch; we call them “coopeyanjo” (they were stuffed with yummy keema, eggs and spices).
“They required a little extra work so Friday’s were the days we got to enjoy them! All five kids, mom and dad helped out. Those were the best Ramzan years for me. Now that our family has grown and we have younger kinds in the family ranging from teenagers to toddlers we incorporated more dishes to the table and hand held items like bhajias, different types of samosas, pakoras, flavoured rooh afzah and more. There are a variety of dishes for all the age groups to enjoy. From the oldest in the family to my itty bitty little baby niece, everyone has something to nibble on.”
This year Neely’s family added one more when she got married to her childhood best friend. I’m excited to hear what new traditions she starts with her husband and look forward to learning more of her Mom’s delicious recipes.
Tips and Tricks:
- To save time you can assemble the spring rolls ahead of time and fry when ready to eat. If cooking the same day, store in the refrigerator – if later freeze and defrost before frying.
- You can use your favorite ground meat.
– For added nutrition you can add chopped spinach, cabbage, peas, carrots and more.
- If you want to skip the frying. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway in.
What are your favorite traditions and memories of Iftar preparations during Ramzan? Have you created new traditions different from the ones you grew up with?
1 cup cooked keema*
1 potato, boiled, peeled & mashed
1 egg, whisked
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chaat masala
*If you are using plain ground meat vs. a keema with spices add 1 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder to the filling mix
Spring rolls, defrosted & ready to use
Paste of 1 tablespoon flour + 3 tablespoon water
4 cups oil for frying
Mix all the filling ingredients. On a flat surface lay a single spring roll sheet in the diamond position. Place a tablespoon of filling 3/4 way down the spring roll. Bring the bottom of the spring roll sheet up and stick on the sheet using the flour water paste as a glue. Next bring the right corner of the diamond shaped sheet towards the center of the spring roll and glue down. Do the same with the left side. Starting from the bottom roll up until a spring roll shape is formed. Set aside on a dry plate and repeat until all spring rolls are assembled.
In a wok or deep pan heat oil on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot drop in a spring roll and let brown, flipping to ensure frying on both sides. Multiple spring rolls can be fried together however they should not crowd each other.
Drain on paper towels and serve with squeezes of fresh lime juice and your favorite chutney.
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