Lamb Saag

Lamb Saag (Lamb and spinach curry)

Ingredients

700g lamb leg or shoulder

200g spinach fresh or frozen

1 large onion

4 cloves of garlic

3cm fresh ginger

1 green chilli

1tsp salt

4tsp coriander seed

2cm cinnamon stick

1/2tsp black peppercorns

4 cardamom pods

4tbs oil

1tsp turmeric

300ml water

4tbs Greek yogurt

Trim the lamb and cut into 2cm pieces.
Wash the spinach and leave to drain in a colander or leave the frozen spinach to defrost.
Peel and chop the onion, peel the garlic, slice the chilli, peel and chop the ginger. Put them into a mini processor or blender with the salt and blend to a puree.
Put the coriander, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns and the cardamom pods into a dry frying pan and toast them over a gentle heat until they are a shade darker, but not dark and releasing their aromas. Empty the spices into a mortar or spice grinder and let cool. When cool grind to a powder. Heat a casserole with the oil in it over a medium high heat and when hot add the lamb and brown. Remove the lamb to a bowl as it browns. This may need to be done in batches. When all the lamb is browned and removed to the bowl, add the paste from the blender and fry it in the remaining lamb fat till dry and starting to brown. Add the ground spices the turmeric to the casserole.
Stir well and add the water and yogurt. Return the lamb to the casserole and simmer on the hob or in a low oven for 45 minutes and add the washed spinach. Continue cooking for a further half an hour.
Test for tenderness and taste for salt, season if necessary and serve with rice and cucumber raita.

 

Cucumber Raita

 

1 cucumber

1tsp salt

2 large handfuls of mint

500g Greek yogurt

1⁄2tsp roasted and ground cumin

Salt & pepper

Grate the cucumber and mix with the salt. Put into a sieve and leave to drain for 20 minutes.
Finley chop the mint in a mini processor or by hand.

Squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the cucumber. Mix the squeezed cucumber with the yogurt and mint. Taste, and season with the cumin, salt and pepper.