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Masroor Ahmed’s paalag gosht – Mughlai lamb with spinach

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This timeless Moghul recipe should be served with Indian breads or rice and a yoghurt dish.

This is the classic Moghul recipe for lamb with spinach. The only new ingredient that has been added over the centuries is probably cayenne pepper. The dish is also known as saag gosht. “Saag” could mean any green, whereas “paalag” is very specifically spinach. The spinach needs to be cut fairly small. To do this, hold a handful at a time in a tight wad and slice, crossways, into fine strips.

Serve with Indian breads, or with rice, and a yoghurt dish.

Serves 4
boneless lamb shoulder 560g, cut into 2.5cm cubes
ginger 4 tsp, peeled and finely grated
garlic 7 cloves, peeled and crushed to a pulp
ground coriander 2 tbsp
corn or peanut oil 5 tbsp
onions 140g, peeled and sliced into very fine half-rings
ground turmeric ½ tsp
cayenne pepper ¾-1½ tsp
salt 1 tsp
natural yoghurt 4 tbsp
fresh spinach 450g, washed and cut into fine ribbons

Put the meat in a bowl, add the ginger, garlic and coriander, mix well and set aside for 30 minutes.

Pour the oil into a wide, non-stick, lidded pan and set over a medium heat. When hot, stir in the onions, and fry them, turning the heat down as needed, until they are golden and crisp. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and spread them out on kitchen paper, leaving as much of the oil behind as possible. Reduce the heat to medium, and put in all the meat, together with its marinade. Add the turmeric, cayenne and salt, and stir for a minute. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring. Remove the lid and add 1 tablespoon of the yoghurt. Stir and cook until the yoghurt is absorbed. Add the remainder of the yoghurt in this way, a tablespoon at a time. Then stir in the spinach. Chop the fried onions and add these as well. Continue to stir until the spinach has wilted. Cover the pan and cook on a very low heat for about 50 minutes or until the meat is tender, stirring now and then. If the liquid seems to have dried up completely, add a few tablespoons of water at a time and cover again. The spinach should cling to the meat.

From Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible by Madhur Jaffrey (Ebury Press, £27)

Jaffrey, Madhur. (2021, January 25). Masroor Ahmed’s paalag gosht – Mughlai lamb with spinach. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/jan/25/20-best-curry-recipes-madhur-jaffrey-masroor-ahmed-mughlai-lamb-with-spinach

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