If you’ve never had lamb saag, it’s time to fix that. It’s is a nicely spiced lamb curry with spinach, green chilies and cilantro. Just really tasty.
I love lamb curries. I like chicken curries too but a good lamb curry is hard to beat. Something about the richness of the lamb against the spices. It all comes together beautifully. And lamb saag delivers.
Some people think they don’t like lamb. I guess some really don’t like it but my guess is most haven’t experienced how good lamb can be.
Lamb saag is a good place to start. A gateway dish. Try it before you knock it. This might just do it for you.
Or not. Lamb saag is great but it’s not going to make you do a complete 180. But if you are a real lamb hater why are you reading this anyway?
Lamb saag done restaurant style is different
Indian restaurant style curry is different from homestyle. It’s what you get when you go out for a curry. Homestyle is what’s all over the internet. What people make for dinner.
It’s kind of the same but completely different. That’s why what you cook winds up tasting different from what you get in a restaurant.
That unctuous sauce. That crazy gravy that’s good on its own. With a piece of naan bread dipped in it. That’s what this is about.
Restaurants don’t have big pots of every curry they serve just sitting around. They cook to order. And to cook for order they need to do it differently. That’s what this is about.
I’ve said this before. There are lots of Indian restaurant recipes on this blog. Learn how to do it once and you can make anything.
Any time you want. What’s better than that?
Do your prep when you cook Indian restaurant style
I cannot stress this enough. Do your prep. Before you get started. Make your curry base and have some heated and ready to go. Measure out your ingredients. Make sure the lamb is cooked.
Have everything ready. Indian restaurant style cooking goes fast. Maybe 10 minutes from start to finish. Seriously. You are cooking short order here.
And please put on some old clothes. It’s messy cooking. Turmeric stains are impossible to get out. You will not be happy about it if you don’t. Indian restaurant line cooks don’t wear nice clothes. There’s a reason.
If you haven’t read the guide to Indian restaurant technique yet, do it now. It has pictures to help you understand the recipe and cooking method.
There’s also a guide to Indian ingredients in that post. That should help take the mystery out of this.
Lamb saag. Try it. You’ll like it. Maybe you’ll even love it like I do.
lamb saag - Indian restaurant style
The spice mix
- 2 tsp Indian restaurant spice mix - recipe link below
- 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
- 1 tsp kasoor methi - dried fenugreek leaves
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 12 oz boneless lamb stew - trimmed of any sinew or gristle
- 1 tsp curry powder - or Indian restaurant spice mix
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- chicken stock to cover
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp onion - finely diced
- 2 tbsp green chili - seeded and finely diced
- 3 tbsp cilantro leaves and stems - finely diced
- 4 oz frozen spinach - the finely diced stuff
- 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste - recipe link below
- 15 oz curry base - recipe link below
- 1/2 tbsp tomato paste - plus enough water to get to the consistency of passata
- 1/6 lemon - juiced
- all of the spice mix
- the pre-cooked lamb
The spice mix
- Combine all the spice mix ingredients. Set aside.
Pre-cook the lamb
- Add the lamb, spice mix and salt to a small pot. Cover with chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
- Cook until the lamb is tender. This takes as long as it takes. Once you can insert a fork into the lamb without resistance it's ready.
- Drain the lamb and set aside. If you want, keep the stock. It makes a great addition to any home style lamb curry.
The lamb saag
- Be ready. Have your curry base simmering on the stove. Make your spice mix. Chop all the ingredients and have them at the ready. This is going to go very fast. You don't have time to mess around.
- Thaw the spinach. Drain it well.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the oil. When it shimmers add the onion and green chilies. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onions just start to brown on the edges. This takes 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic ginger paste and cook until it stops sputtering, about 1 minute.
- Lower the heat to medium low. Add the spice mix. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 30-45 seconds. You want to bloom the spices in the oil. You don't want to burn it. If you burn the spices, start again. There's no fixing it.
- Add the diluted tomato paste and cilantro. Stir to combine and cook for about a minute.
- Turn the heat up to medium high. Add 3 oz of the curry base. Stir to combine and cook until it it starts to crater. Little holes will appear. See the guide to Indian curries to understand what this means if you aren't sure.
- Add another 6 oz of curry base. Stir to combine and cook until it craters.
- Now add the remaining curry base. Cook until it craters and reduce the heat to low. Add the lamb and spinach and stir to mix. Simmer for about 5 minutes. If the curry gets too dry add a bit more curry base.
- Add the fresh lemon juice. Stir to combine. Serve. Enjoy!