Home-style lamb saag
( SERVES 6 )
Lamb Saag is my favourite curry to get at an Indian restaurant (next to Kadai Chicken, but I am still working on that one!) For so long I have tried to recreate the magic at home and I finally got it! This recipe is super easy, tastes great the next day, and freezes well! So definitely make extra! For this recipe I use a pestle and mortar to grind my spices, if you don't have one you can use pre-ground. A food processor is also handy.
|1 Tbsp||Coriander seeds|
|1 Tbsp||Cumin seeds|
|1 Tbsp||Mustard seeds|
|4 cloves||Garlic, or 3 tsp crushed garlic|
|1 inch||Fresh ginger, or 1 Tbsp crushed ginger|
|1 large||Red onion|
|4 packets||Green cardamom pods|
|4 large||Tomatoes, quartered with skin removed, or use 1 can whole peeled tomatoes, drained|
|2 cups||Chicken stock|
|250 g||Baby spinach|
|1 handful||Fresh coriander|
Roti - Indian flat breads
- Toast then grind your whole spices! Toasting brings out the flavours, and grinding releases their natural oils. Heat a dry pan to med-high heat and pop in coriander, cumin and mustard seeds, along with the cinnamon stick. Shake them around in the pan as you go. They are ready when they start to smell toasty but don't toast them too long or they will burn, this will make them bitter. Once toasted, drop them into a pestle and mortar, don't grind the cinnamon - set it aside, and let them cool a couple of minutes before grinding them into a fine powder. If you don't have a pestle and mortar don't worry! you can just use pre ground spices and whole mustard seeds (no need to toast them).
- Make the curry paste! Pop the garlic, ginger, chillies and onion into a food processor and whiz 'em to a purée then set aside. No food processor? No problem! Crush garlic and ginger with chillies into a pestle and mortar and bash them then add finely chopped onion. No pestle and mortar? Just crush/chop them everything up super fine.
- And the spinach purée! Blanch your packet of baby spinach leaves (pop into boiling water until it has wilted), then drain and squish out as much excess water as you can. Pop it into the food process and whiz it, or chop up finely.
- Prepare the lamb! This can be done ahead of time. I prefer to use lamb shoulder chops as a budget friendly option, but you can use pretty much any lamb meat, just be sure to de-bone and trim off the excess fat. Then cut the meat into bite size pieces (approximately 1 inch cube-ish shapes) and it is ready to go.
- Make the Roti! This is a really easy flat bread to make and can be done while the curry is cooking. Mix together the dry ingredients, then add the water and oil and bring together into a smooth dough, if it doesn't come together add a little more water. Knead for at least 15 minutes, or until dough springs back when prodded, the more you knead it the softer your roti will be. Wrap in cling-film and rest for at least 20 mins. Divide into balls with 4-5 cm diameter and roll out into a circle with a diameter of about 20 cms (or no more than 2-3 mm thick!). Heat a heavy bottom frying pan to a med-high heat and pop on your rolled roti. Flip when you see little bumps start to form on the surface and press gently down with a clean cotton tea towel around the edges, if your pan is the right temperature your roti should start to puff up. Flip it back quickly and press down on any patches that look undercooked. Transfer into a dish and cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm. Roti can be frozen and reheated in the microwave or in the frying pan.
- Now get cooking! Heat a splash of oil in a large pot or casserole dish. Brown the lamb then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Back to your pot add in all the spices (including the cinnamon stick) and stir-fry for two minutes. Next add the curry paste and cook until fragrant (about two minutes). Add in the browned lamb, tomatoes and stock. Give it a stir then cover it up and simmer for 45 minutes. Add in the spinach puree, cook for another 45 mins, or until the lamb is tender. Stir through chopped coriander and serve with a few roti breads and fluffy rice and you're ready to go!