Thursday 30 July 2015

Lamb Spinach Curry - Gosht Palak.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Finally! I'm sharing another curry recipe with you!

Honestly guys, a curry is cooked in our house at least once every two days.
Last night, it was this one (which I ate with toast - yum) and on Sunday, it was this lamb and spinach one. We call it gosht palak which literally just means lamb spinach. Sometimes we call it palak gosht. Which means spinach lamb. What exciting lives we lead!

Spinach is one of our favourite greens to stick into a curry. On this blog, I've shared the chicken versionthe potato version and the creamed version which is by far my favourite.
Why spinach? Well, because it's a winter green which is grown in the Punjab in Pakistan where my family originally hails from. Nowadays, we can get spinach from anywhere and everywhere at all time of the year, so it's a pretty regular fixture in our curries.

My mum cooked this one. It's a one-pot, throw it all in and forget about it curry. Most of the ingredients are added at the beginning and left to simmer away. At the end, there is a bhunning (I so made that word up) process which lifts all the flavours and makes the curry. We'll talk more about that later.
In other news, the weather is so weird here. It's summer in the sun and winter in the shade. Which means we're all falling kind of ill with a kind of cold/flu. Don't you hate it when that happens? The internet is screaming at you to make something frozen and enjoy summer before it ends but all you want to do is wrap yourself in a giant blanket and drink coffee. My niece has a sore throat too. She's famous in the family for her extra-strong voice. I advised her yesterday to keep the talking to a minimum to save her voice. I think I'll take my own advice too.

Curries with Spinach, previously: creamed spinach curry - saagpotato and spinach curry - aloo palakchicken and spinach curry.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Vegetable Oil
2. Ginger Paste
3. Garlic Paste
4. Frozen Spinach (you can use fresh too)
5. Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
6. Onions
7. Lamb Shoulder Pieces
8. Green Chillies
9. Water
10. Salt
11. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
12. Ground Cumin
13. Ground Coriander
14. Ground Turmeric
15. Curry Powder

Bismillah, let's begin!

Place a deep frying pan or pot over a medium heat and pour in 60ml (1/4 cup) Vegetable Oil.

Once the oil is hot, we're going to add ginger paste and garlic paste. You could add fresh too - use 6 crushed garlic cloves and 2 inches crushed ginger.

We used the paste though. Into the pan, goes 2 teaspoons Ginger Paste.

And, 2 teaspoons Garlic Paste.

Give it a stir and let it sizzle for about a minute.

Next up, 200 grams Tinned Chopped Tomatoes. That's half of the normal 400g tins.

In go the tomatoes.

Once they're in ...

... give them a stir.

Let the mixture bubble for a minute.

Next, it's spice time!

1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes (or to taste)
2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
1/4 teaspoon Ground Turmeric

Throw in the spices.

Stir them in and let them sizzle for a minute until their wonderful aroma fills the kitchen. Yum! It's curry night!

Next, the lamb! Take 645 grams (1 pound 6 ounces) Lamb Shoulder, cut into pieces. As you can see, some of the pieces have the bone. These bones will give incredible flavour to the curry. But if you don't have lamb with bone on hand, feel free to use boneless.

Add the lamb pieces to the pan.

Give them a stir and let them bubble too whilst you slice the onions.

Take 2 large Onions. Fun fact: these onions are those kind that make you cry. Oh my days, they are so strong.

Give them a peel and a rough slice. I would love to slice things like this one day. Goodbye chopping board! I do recommend a board though - slicing like this is only left to the pros. And, by pros, I mean our mothers.

Throw the sliced onions in. If you want your onions to dissolve faster, slice them finer. It's all up to you!

We don't really mind so we kept them quite rough but each to their own.

Give the onions a stir.

Then, bring everything to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat right down. Cover with a lid and let the curry simmer for 50-55 minutes on the lowest heat.

After this time, uncover the pan.

It's spinach time. We used 170 grams (6 ounces) Frozen Spinach. If you want to use fresh, use 2 bunches Fresh Spinach, chopped.

Let the spinach defrost and give it a wash and a chop. Frozen spinach can be quite straggly so if you prefer it to be smoother, give it a blitz with a little water before adding it in.

We don't mind so we threw it in as it was.

Give it a stir.

Then, take 3 Green Chillies. You can add more or less depending on how spicy you like it.

Give the chillies a fine slice and throw them in too.

Stir them in and bring the curry to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to the lowest.

Cover with a lid and leave to simmer again for 15 minutes.

Then, taste a piece of lamb to see if it's tender. If not, let it simmer longer until it is. Once it's tender, uncover and pour in 100ml (1/2 cup) Water.

Turn the heat to a medium-high and begin to dry out the water by stir-frying.

We want the water to dry out and the curry to bhun. To bhun a curry, means to dry the water out. When the oil rises, the bhunning is done and the curry looks smooth and glossy. It should leave the sides of the pan and not much steam should rise because the water will have gone.

My mother says that when it comes to bhunning, the longer the better really. But, it is a case of personal preference too. Our family likes the curry on the dry side. They prefer a curry with an intense masala (sauce) to be eaten with chapatti/roti. I say sauce but to be honest, it's not actually a sauce. More like, the sauce has really thickened up and clings to whatever the curry is made of. Here, the spinach masala has thickened and clings to the pieces of lamb.

For this curry, we bhunned it for about 10-15 minutes over a medium-high heat until the sauce had intensified and dried out. If it gets too dry for your liking, don't be afraid to add a little more water.
Once this is done, the curry is done!

It's time to eat. Traditionally, this kind of curry, especially as we have kept it on the dry side, is best eaten with roti/chapatti/naan.
The lamb should be tender and the masala should be intense, well-spiced and slightly sweet all at the same time.

Oh and since we baked this cake crumble on the same day, may I also recommend it to you for pudding after the curry? It goes perfectly well with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Full Written Recipe:

Lamb Spinach Curry – Gosht Palak.

Prep Time: About 10 minutes.
Cook Time: About 1 hour 30 minutes.
Serves: About 4-6 people depending on how dry you keep the curry.

60ml (1/4 cup) Vegetable Oil
2 teaspoons Ginger Paste (2 inches crushed ginger)
2 teaspoons Garlic Paste (6 crushed garlic cloves)
200 grams Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes (or to taste)
2 teaspoons Ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
¼ teaspoon Ground Turmeric
645 grams (1 pound 6 ounces) Lamb Shoulder, cut into pieces still with the bone
2 large Onions, peeled and roughly or finely chopped, depending on your preference
170 grams (6 ounces) Frozen Spinach, defrosted and washed or 2 bunches Fresh Spinach, chopped
3 Green Chillies, finely sliced
100ml (1/2 cup) Water (or as needed)


Take a large frying pan or pot. Heat over a medium heat and add the vegetable oil.
Add the ginger paste and garlic paste. Let it sizzle for a minute. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and let them bubble for another minute.

Add the salt, ground coriander, ground cumin, crushed red chilli flakes, ground turmeric and curry powder. Stir them in and let them sizzle for a minute until you can smell their lovely aroma.

Add the lamb. Stir it in and then add in the onions.
Stir them in and bring to the boil. Then, turn the heat right down, cover and let it simmer for 50-55 minutes.

Then, uncover and add the spinach and green chillies. Stir them. Bring to the boil. Once again, cover and turn the heat to the lowest. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

Now, uncover and pour in the water. Turn the heat to a medium-high, and begin to dry out the water by stir-frying.

We want the water to dry out and the curry to bhun. This will take about 10-15 minutes. My mother says, the longer, the better. We prefer our curries on the dry side so stir-fry until you get the consistency you like. If it gets too dry, don’t be afraid to add more water.

Once it’s to your preferred likeness, turn off the heat. Serve with preferably roti/chapatti/naan but boiled rice would be good too. Enjoy!

This Time One Year Ago:
Chinese Fried Rice - I remember making this like it was yesterday. So simple, full of veggies and any other leftovers from the fridge - the perfect weeknight dinner.

This Time Two Years Ago:
Keema Biryani - I need to cook this again sometime soon. It's got all my favourites: rice, chicken, peas, potatoes and plenty of spice.

Keep me in your duas, please, and enjoy your curry,


Spice Enthusiast
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