Saag Gosht is a traditional Punjabi meat dish and a delight to make and even more to eat. It is a curry made with goat or lamb (gosht) and spinach (saag). Ensure you have the spices whole and can grind them freshly toasted.  If your are not living in South Asia make contact with your Indian spice provider or visit an Asian store. Invest in a mortar and pestle if you do not have one yet. Then you will be more inclined to make these delectable dishes from the South Asian sub-continent. Eat Saag Gosht with naan, chapati or rice.

The art of making saag gosht

The key is to grind the spices after toasting as much as possible. The spinach is cooked and drained separately.  It is best to use ghee instead of butter as it can handle a higher temperature which is needed to pop the whole spices used in the recipe. Do not use too lean meat: it needs to braise some time and in this period tough pieces of meat will become tender.

In essence making saag ghost with lamb and spinach is fail safe. I always make the dish somewhat in advance, to have the advantage of further taste development while cooling down. The large majority of the cooked and drained spinach is added just before serving.

Special equipment

  • mortar and pestle
saag gosht with lamb ©️ Nel Brouwer-van den Bergh

Saag gosht

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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian, South and South East Asian
Keyword: curry, lamb, saag ghost, Spinach
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 persons

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb (700 g) lambs meat (shoulder or leg)
  • 2 lb (900 g) spinach
  • 3.5 oz (100g) ghee
  • 4 dried Asian chillies
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 medium stick cinnamon
  • 5 green cardomom pods
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds whole
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds ground
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds whole
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds ground
  • 2 large brown or red onions
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ginger grated or diced
  • 3 tsp garlic minced
  • 0.5 tsp turmerac
  • 0.5 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp sliced fennel or cellery leaves
  • two cups (500 ml) meat broth
  • 0.5 cup cream or yoghurt
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves

Instructions

Instructions for the main preparations

  • Mince 3 cloves of garlic and keep a third aside
  • Cut the meat in 1/2 inch by 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch pieces (roughly)
  • Season with some salt and pepper
  • Heat up one tbsp of ghee in a heavy bottomed pan
  • On high fire, brown the meat on all sides
  • Add a cup of water and one clove minced garlic to the meat and braise for 1.5-2 hr at low
  • Meanwhile peel and cut the onions and ginger
  • Wash the spinach and transfer to a separate cooking pot without draining
  • Cook the spinach for 8 minutes
  • While the spinach is cooking, briefly toast the coriander and the cumin seeds in a skillet and let cool a bit. Grind the spices in a mortar and pestle and reserve

Instructions to cook the dish

  • Place the tomatoes in a bowl and use the hot spinach drainwater to cover the tomatoes
  • After 2 minutes rinse the tomatoes under cold water and peel and cut them. Let the spinach further drip dry
  • In another heavy bottomed pan, melt 1 tbsp of ghee and add the red chillies, cinnamon stick, cardamom seeds from the pods and cloves until fragrant
  • Then add the cumin and coriander seeds and when they start to pop add the onions
  • Panfry the onions on medium, until they are golden brown, 15-20 minutes Use a lid for the last 10 minutes. Do not led the onions caramelize
  • Subsequently add the ginger, remaining minced garlic and turmeric and heat for 2 minutes on medium high
  • Then add the diced tomatoes and fry on medium for about 5 minutes or when the tomatoes have become soft
  • Add one quarter of the spinach and cook for 1 minute
  • Transfer the contents to a bowl. Reserve the cinnamon stick
  • After the meat has braised for 1.5-2 h and is tender, add the juices to the bowl as well.
  • Use the immersion blender to make a thick slurry. If too thick, add some meat broth
  • Transfer the slurry back to the pan and cover with the ground cumin and cardamom; heat for 1 minute
  • Transfer the meat pieces into the slurry and heat for 15 more minutes
  • Cut the drained spinach with a knife fine
  • Bring the mixture to taste with salt
  • Just before serving mix in the spinach and heat through
  • Optionally add some yoghurt or cream before serving
  • Serve with some fresh coriander leaves

Notes

Method: braising
Food allergy & intolerance information: milk-cream/yoghurt

Remarks

  1. While the dish traditionally uses mutton, goat or lamb, you may use beef if there are no cultural or religious restrictions for you or your guests.

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