Lamb saag (lamb curry cooked with spinach)


Some currys only work with a concentrated dry sauce, and this is definitely one of them. The good thing about this one is that the sauce is largely made of cooked down spinach which has all sorts of beneficial nutritional values.

I find there’s always a tendency to underestimate the amount of spinach you need for a dish like this since so much of it’s uncooked volume is water, so you can fill the pan up, and think you have enough, but then discover you could have actually used more when the dish is done.

The only other liquid used in this recipe (apart from the water contained in the spinach) is natural yoghurt which helps balance the natural earthiness of the spinach with a smooth creamy tang.

Ingredients:

  • 500g diced lamb (shoulder or leg)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 1 inch pce ginger
  • 3-4 cloved garlic
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 large bag of spinach
  • 2 tblsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tblsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp sugar

Method:

Finely dice the onion, ginger, garlic, and chop the green chillies.

Fry until soft, then add the lamb and brown.

Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon and salt, and fry for 1-2 mins.

Add all the spinach (try and stir some of the meat off the bottom), cover the pan and cook on a low-medium until the spinach has wilted.

Add the yoghurt, stir in and cook for another 30-40 mins covered.

Remove the lid, add the tomato puree and sugar and simmer on low until the sauce has thickened and concentrated.

Serve.

Spicy Caribbean style lamb burgers served with rice and peas and a spinach and tomato salad

I’m not very good at some of the finer artful things in life. I remember being amazed at my sister’s prowess at drawing and painting, and thinking I would like to be able to do something similar, but having little success with a pencil or paintbrush. I thought I did have a modicum of arty talent, but it was limited to primitive cartoon drawings (the extent of which was always kept in check by the fact that my best friend in school was/is a genius cartoonist who has gone on to be one of theĀ leading professionals in his field ).

The fact that I don’t seem to be able to fashion aesthetically pleasing burgers with my hands seems to lend weight to my theory of my own limited skill in the physical arts, but I’ve definately stumbled upon ways compensate for this in terms of taste and flavour.

For these particular burgers, I prepared them wholly in the food processor for speed purposed. This results in a smoother textured, slightly more “elastic” burger than you would get if you chopped and mixed everything by hand, which I think would be the preferable ideal.

A compromise between these two would be to process all the ingredients bar the meat, and then mix by hand.

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A Chicken Pepper Fry served with a Buttered Mushroom and Saffron Pullao

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