There are a few good reasons the ground meat dish called keema has been beloved on the Indian subcontinent since at least the 15th century, when it even graced the tables of Turkic sultans and later, Mughal emperors. First, it’s a preparation that warms you from the inside out: Spices such as cinnamon, cumin, and cardamom mingle with the meat’s juices, creating a fragrant sauce that coats the supple bits and lightly pools in their nooks and crannies. It’s also quick to make and highly versatile: Serve it alongside rice, rolled into rotis, or stuffed into vegetables. Spread it between two halves of a plush roll and you’ve got keema pav, sold in Irani cafes all over the subcontinent. No wonder that keema shows up in so many seminal works on classic Indian cookery, including those penned by Madhur Jaffrey and Julie Sahni, or that New York Times restaurant critic Tejal Rao recently put it on her list of recipes that exemplify Indian home cooking.