A gift of some tasty Indian spices and a craving for some not too heavy Indian food prompted me to make this lamb shoulder and spinach curry this weekend.
I didn’t follow a recipe per se. Instead, I toured a variety of online sources and a cookbook or two and winged it from there based on the ingredients I had available to me.
If you haven’t noticed, I tend to stick to basic American fare with some Italian and French influences here and there. Spices like cumin routinely find their way into my cooking, but garam masala and tumeric are much less common. I was looking to expand my culinary horizons with this dish.
I liked that I went lighter on the spices, the oil and the onions and garlic, more so than a lot of the recipes I previewed. I also only made enough for about 4-5 portions because there was only 1.5 lbs of lamb left in the supermarket and I was experimenting. I added the spinach toward the end along with the garam masala (as many recipes recommended, although there were some that had it in the pot from the start). The addition of the greek yogurt was necessary and gave it a slightly milky element. It was a flavorful dish, but not overpowering or too heavy. It did turn out a little stew like, which was fine with me. You could eat it like a stew or serve it over brown jasmine rice mixed with a touch of butter, salt, pepper and cilantro. Leave out the toasted pine nuts, however. We tried that, and it detracted from the overall taste of the dish. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can alternatively simmer this stove top on low heat for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
It is worth noting that on this president’s day afternoon, as I improvised with the ingredients I had available to me, I found that I was the only awake soul in my house. This is a rare occurrence. When you are a working mother of two, these quiet and peaceful times where you are in touch with yourself separate and apart from the family that clings to you are virtually non-existent. As the rest of my household napped, I found my old self – just me (Hello? Wow. I haven’t seen you in a while.) I thoroughly enjoyed my minutes (note I did not say hours) alone as well as the product of my alone time. It was a gift. And I like to think that this enabled me to pull together a dish that was outside my comfort zone, but delicious nonetheless. Enjoy.
- 1½ tbsp canola oil
- 1.5 lbs of lamb shoulder, cubed in ½ inch pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced
- 1½ tsp coriander
- 1½ tsp cumin
- 1½ tsp tumeric
- 1 cup plum tomatoes, chopped (you can substitute canned tomatoes if needed)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 7-8 oz baby spinach
- 1½ tsp garam masala
- ¾ cup non-fat greek yogurt
- Cilantro, chopped
- Heat oil in large dutch oven or slow cooker. Add lamb and brown on all sides, 5-7 minutes. Remove lamb from pot with slotted spoon.
- Add onions and saute for 4 minutes until softened and slightly browned.
- Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add ginger, coriander, cumin and tumeric and stir and until even distributed among the onions, 1-2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and beef broth and bring to a boil. [At this point, move to slow cooker.]
- Add lamb and slow cook on high for 3½ hours.
- Add spinach and garam masala and cook for 30 minutes more.
- Add yogurt and cook for 5 additional minutes.
- Serve over rice with chopped cilantro, butter and salt and pepper. Top with additional chopped cilantro.