Accompaniments/ Snacks/ Starters

Keema and Alu bake – healthy cutlets/cutlass (Mince and Potato bake)

This is an amazing reproduction of one of our childhood favourites – Potato & Mince cutlets – in Kenya also known as bateta champs or cutlass), but with fewer calories and a satisfying taste. 

My cousin from Reading inherited her mum’s recipe and makes it (upon request) at all our gatherings, she has not only perfected the recipe but also kindly shared it with me.

Print Recipe
Serves: 8-10 Cooking Time: 30 mins


  • Stage 1
  • 2 lbs baking or Maris Piper (UK) potatoes (or any other potatoes that are flaky when boiled)
  • water to boil the potatoes
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 4 tbs milk
  • 2.5 tsp salt
  • Stage 2
  • 2 lbs lamb/chicken/beef mince (lean)
  • 5-6 green chillies crushed
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger paste
  • 1 tbs fresh garlic paste
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs whole cumin
  • 1 tsp red chillie powder or red chillie flakes
  • 1 tbs bottled or fresh lemon/lime juice
  • fistful of freshly cut green coriander
  • 1 tbs good quality garam masala
  • 8 oz finely sliced red/white onion
  • 2 tbs melted butter/Olive oil for the final stage



Peel the potatoes and cut into two inch pieces, cover with water until the potatoes are fully submerged, bring to a boil and keep on a simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. (check with a fork, if it goes through they are done).


Drain the potatoes, add the butter, milk and salt and mash the potatoes with a fork, or masher.


Add the mince to a large pan, add the crushed green chillies, ginger, garlic, salt and whole cumin.


Mix and break up the mince as it starts to cook, add lemon juice and red chillies, turn heat to high and bhun keema until all liquids have dried out.


Switch on oven to GM 5-6/190C.


Cool the cooked mince (15mins), add the chopped onions, fresh coriander and garam masala, taste for salt and lemon, add more if needed.


Grease a large oven-proof dish with butter or olive oil (12 in x 10 in works best), put a two inch thick layer of mashed potato on the bottom, spread the cooked mince evenly over the mashed potatoes, cover the mince with another two inch layer of mashed potato.


Using a brush, spread the melted butter/Olive oil over the top layer of potatoes, run a fork through to make a wavy pattern over the surface and to ensure a crispy topping. Sprinkle with whole cumin (optional).


Place in the pre-heated oven for 30 mins or until golden brown on the top. Carefully remove baking dish from the oven and serve.


Serve with a crisp fresh salad, tamarind chutney, green chutney or with lashings of tomato ketchup.