Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lamb with Spinach (Dilli ka saag gosht)

Keeping with my latest infatuation of Indian cuisine, I tried this recipe, another one from Madhur Jaffery's Indian Cooking. It's fairly similar to the Lamb with Onions I made a couple of weeks ago but the approach is different in that the lamb is not really seared to start with but simply cooks with the spinach for a long time. I also made an eggplant side dish from Bal Arneson to go with this which I used for a separate post.
 Ginger root and garlic cloves pre-smash fest
 Lovely organic spinach with their pink ends
 Going all smash fest on the ginger and garlic
 Seasoning for the braise base: bay leaves, cloves and cardamom
 Ground coriander and cumin
 Onion base for the braise
 Chunks of lamb from the leg
 Incorporating the yogurt

Note that the original recipe was meant for 6 and uses 2 pounds lamb. I used only 1 pound but kept the amounts similar for most of the other ingredients. Our dish fed 2 of us over two separate dinners.

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
7 cloves
2 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods
1 medium onion peeled and diced
8 cloves garlic peeled and pounded (or minced)
1 inch ginger root pounded (or minced)
1 pound lamb leg meat cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 tablespoons natural yogurt (I use Greek) well-beaten
1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach well washed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

In a dutch oven or large skillet, add the canola oil and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is close to smoking, add the peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom pods stirring and allowing to cook for a few seconds. Add the diced onions and smashed ginger and garlic, stirring well to combine and cook until the ingredients start to brown. Add the meat, cumin, coriander, cayenne and a healthy pinch of salt. Allow the meat to cook for about a minute then add 1 tablespoon of the beaten yogurt, stirring it until it is completely incorporated with the contents of the pan. Keep adding the remaining yogurt into the pan in 1 tablespoon increments stirring it each time in order to build up a sauce in which the pan's ingredients will braise.
When all of the yogurt has been added and the meat is starting to brown, add the chopped spinach and another healthy pinch of salt. Keep stirring and cooking until the spinach has completely wilted. Cover the pan tightly, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for at least 1 hour.
5 minutes short of finishing, remove the lid, add the garam masala and increase the heat to medium to reduce the sauce slightly.
Remove the whole spices prior to serving.

So. did you try this recipe? If so, add your comments and/or questions below!

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