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Kheema-Stuffed Radicchio




Photo © Molly Watson
Crisp and crunchy slightly bitter radicchio leaves are the perfect vehicle and foil for the spicy ground meat known as kheema. It makes a hearty appetizer, perfect for cold nights or as a balance to lighter meals. I've been known to make these to keep everyone while I finish making a simple vegetable soup.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef, lamb, or turkey
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala or 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Chopped cilantro and/or green onions or chives for garnish


  1. In a large frying pan or skillet over high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the chopped onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion pieces are tender and their edges start to brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the beef, lamb, or turkey and sprinkle with the salt. Cook, stirring, until the meat is cooked through. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the coriander and cumin. Stir to combine and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Stir in the turmeric and cayenne. When the spices are all combined, stir in the yogurt. Reduce the heat to medium low or even low to maintain a steady simmer. Partially cover the pan and cook, stirring once in awhile, until the flavors combine and the sauce reduces and most of it evaporates off, 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Add the garam masala and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning (add more salt, lemon juice, or garam masala to taste).
  5. Use a sharp paring knife to cut out and remove the core of the radicchio. Gently separate the radicchio into individual leaves. Arrange the leaves on a serving platter and spoon the spicy meat mixture onto each leaf. Garnish with chopped cilantro and/or green onions or chives, of you like.

Serve the Kheema-Stuffed Radicchio while the radicchio is still cool and the kheema is still warm. Diners can pick up each bundle, wrapping the edges up and around the spicy meat. Small plates or napkins are necessary to pick up any potential saucy drips.

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