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A simple recipe for curried lamb with spinach from Madhur Jaffrey, this mildly spiced dish is perfect for a midweek Indian meal for the family.


This dish may be served with rice or bread. I think Fried Aubergine Slices and a yoghurt dish would also complement the meat well.

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8 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp black peppercorns
6–7 cloves
2 bay leaves
6 cardamom pods
175g (6oz) onions, finely chopped
6–8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2.5cm (1in) cube fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
900g (2lb) boned lamb from the shoulder, cut into 2.5cm (1in) cubes
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
¼–½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
5 tbsp natural yoghurt, well beaten
900g (2lb) fresh spinach, trimmed, washed and finely chopped, or frozen spinach, thawed
¼ tsp garam masala


Put the oil in a large pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom pods. Stir for a second. Now put in the onions, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry until the onions develop brown specks.

Add the meat to the pan, along with the cumin, coriander, cayenne and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Stir-fry for a minute. Add 1 tablespoon of the beaten yoghurt and stir-fry for a further minute. Add tablespoons of the yoghurt in the same way until all the yoghurt has been incorporated. The meat should also have a slightly browned look.

Add the spinach and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt to the pan, and stir to mix. Keep stirring and cooking until the spinach wilts completely Cover tightly and simmer on low heat for about 1 hour 10 minutes or until the meat is tender.

Remove the lid and add the garam masala. Increase the heat to medium. Stir and cook for a further 5 minutes or until most (but not all) the water in the spinach disappears and you have a thick, green sauce. Fish out the 2 bay leaves before serving.

This dish could also be made with beef. Use cubed stewing steak and cook it for about 2 hours or until it is tender.

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