Lamb and Spinach Curry
Slowly but surely I’m building up my curry recipe collection. Every now and then, I give one a go, admittedly some are better than others, but, the ones I think have potential eventually end up as an official recipe. I take the base, do lots of research in my cook books and on the internet, tweak and twist until I get what I want. Then I practise a few times to make it mine. This lamb curry has been knocking about with me for a good few years. For some reason, I can’t remember what, I fell out of love with it, but never forgot it. Over the last month or so, I’ve resurrected it, got it just so, and now am proud as punch with it.
It follows the basic principle of so many curries in that it is basically a stew, but this one doesn’t have the sharp spike of heat you might associate with Indian food. The spinach sauce gives a delicious fresh contrast to the sweet fatty lamb. If you can make a stew you can make this curry.
Preparation Time: Under 15 minutes
Cooking Time: About 2 hours
Serves 4 to 6
800gr / 1.7lb leg of lamb meat, boned, trimmed and cubed
1 large onion, sliced in thin rings
2 tbsps vegetable oil
500gr / 1.1lb of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
6 large cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
100gr / 3.5 oz. of fresh ginger peeled and halved
3 green chilies, pricked with a knife
1 green chili, cut in half with the stalk removed
2 tbsps coriander powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
2 x tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
Serve with some natural yogurt on the side or drizzled over the curry
- Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, then add the lamb, let it brown on quite a high heat being careful not to overload your pan – you may need to do this in batches. Resist the temptation to try and move the meat around the pan straight away. If you do this too soon, before it has browned, it will stick.
- Add the chopped onions and the three pierced green chilies, stir through the meat. Allow the onions to cook until soft and browned lightly, a few minutes should do this.
- While the onions are cooking add the garlic, ginger, remaining chili, spinach and tomatoes to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add the spices and some a little salt to the pan, stir through.
- Pour the spinach mixture into your pan and mix it through the meat. Bring to the boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, turn to a low heat and let simmer gently for about one and a half hours or until the lamb is tender and cooked through.
- Remove the three chilies after about an hour. If you don’t they will disintegrate and you will have a really hot curry (unless of course you want this).
- Check the salt and also the balance of spices before serving. You may want it spicier or want to add a little extra of a certain spice. If you do add more spices, cook for a few more minutes before serving.
Tips and Variations
- You can easily add more vegetables to this dish, aubergines (egg plant) work well.
- If you are serving with rice, try making it fragrant by adding a cinnamon stick and some lime leaves while it cooks.
- The idea is that this is quite a dry curry, but you can add more water to it if you want a more liquid version.
- When making curry, I always measure my spice powders into a bowl before I start cooking. This is much easier than trying to do this quickly when everything is bubbling.
- Basically, this recipe follows the same technique as a stew, so, that means it is important not to let it cook too aggressively. To tenderize the meat, your curry needs to cook gently.