Moghlai Lamb with Spinach (Paalag Gosht)
Recipe type: Lamb or Mutton
Serves: 4
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder; cut into 1" cubes
  • 4 teaspoons finely-grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 7 garlic cloves; crushed to a pulp
  • 2 Tablespoons ground coriander
  • 5 Tablespoons corn or peanut oil
  • 1 Cup onion; sliced into fine half-rings
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to 1 1/2)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 pound fresh spinach; washed, and cut into fine ribbons (see comments)
  1. Put the meat in a bowl, add the ginger, garlic, and coriander, mix well, and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Pour the oil into a wide, nonstick, lidded pan and set over medium heat. When hot, stir in the onions, and fry them, turning the heat down as needed, until they are golden red and crisp. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and spread them out on a paper towel, leaving as much of the oil behind as possible.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, and put in all the meat, together with its marinade. Add the turmeric, cayenne pepper, and salt, and stir for 1 minute. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, removing the lid occasionally to stir the contents.
  4. Remove the lid and add 1 tablespoon of the yogurt. Cook, stirring, until the yogurt is absorbed. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of the yogurt in this way, 1 tablespoon at a time. Then stir in the spinach.
  5. Chop the fried onions and add these as well. Continue to stir until the spinach has wilted. Then cover the pan and cook over very low heat for 50 minutes, or until the meat is tender, lifting the lid to stir 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.
  6. This recipe yields 4 servings.
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, crosswise, into thin strips. Serve with Indian breads (or rice), and a yogurt dish.

Source: "From Curries to Kebabs" by Madjur Jaffrey
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