Moghlai lamb with spinach is a hearty dish, filled with chunks of flavorful lamb shoulder, ribbons of spinach, crispy onions, and loads of garlic and ginger. Serve with fluffy naan or rice.
This classic Moghul lamb with spinach recipe is called paalag gosht. 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 fine strips.–Madhur Jaffrey
LC Authentic Sides Note
So Madhur Jaffrey recommends Indian breads on the side of her Moghul lamb, meaning a sort of flatbread such as naan or roti. We’re working on more recipes for those, but in the meantime, you could always swing by a local Indian foods store and pick up some frozen flatbread dough to keep in the freezer. Pillsbury even makes a version of them (we’ve only seen them in Indian markets to date), though we recommend sticking with a lesser-known Indian brand. Just, you know, for the sake of authenticity.
Moghlai Lamb with Spinach
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder cut into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes
- 4 teaspoons peeled and finely grated ginger
- 7 garlic cloves crushed to a pulp
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 5 tablespoons corn or peanut oil
- 1 cup onion sliced into very fine half-rings
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 pound fresh spinach washed and cut into fine ribbons (see head note)
- Put the lamb in a bowl, add the ginger, garlic, and coriander, mix well, and set aside for 30 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Serve the Moghlai lamb at once.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I made this recipe for Easter lunch as one of our guests is actually from the Southern part of India. I had to double the recipe due to the amount of people present, and all I can say is that unfortunately there are no leftovers. The preparation was very easy and all of the ingredients were very easy to find. I marinated the lamb for about 1 ½ hours and the actual prep time was very fast (it actually took about 20 minutes). The cooking time was spot on. The final dish consisted of the lamb cooked to tender perfection and enough of the smooth sauce to spoon over the white rice. This is a recipe that we will be making more often.
Originally published April 07, 2010