Lamb and spinach curry

Lamb and spinach curry

I Love Curry
Jonathan Gregson

This is delicious and so much better than the sum of its parts, another of the dishes from my childhood. When I wanted to write this recipe, I only had a vague memory of what went in it, so I spent days in my kitchen getting the balance right until it was good enough to remind me of home. I finally got there and it is as sublime as I remember. It does take a while to cook, but involves minimal preparation and is not difficult to make. Serve with Chapati and nothing else. Whole leaf spinach has more flavour and I use the roots too, if there are any. Baby spinach tastes lighter and more velvety so, if you choose that, increase the quantity to 400g.


Quantity Ingredient
30g fresh root ginger, peeled weight
3 tomatoes, quartered
6 large garlic cloves
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 black cardamom pods
4 cloves
5cm cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
600g leg of lamb, with bones, cubed by the butcher
or 500g boneless lamb, cubed
1-3 green chillies, whole but pierced, (optional)
300-350g spinach, well washed
1 rounded teaspoon garam masala


  1. Finely slice 20g of the ginger into matchsticks and set aside. Blend the rest of the ginger with the tomatoes, garlic and a splash of water until smooth.
  2. Heat 5½ tbsp oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the whole spices and bay leaves and follow 15 seconds later with the onion. Cook the onion until deep golden. Add the tomato paste, salt, coriander, turmeric, cumin and chilli powder and cook over a moderate flame until it becomes a paste and releases droplets of oil on the base of a pan; it should take 15-20 minutes. Reduce the heat and sauté the paste for another five to seven minutes, stirring.
  3. Add the lamb and a splash of water, then sauté the meat and paste over a moderate flame for five or six minutes, until the paste has been completely absorbed by the lamb. Pour in enough water to cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 50–60 minutes, or until the lamb is tender. The sauce should only come one-quarter of the way up the lamb. If necessary, reduce some of the liquid over a high heat.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan, add the ginger julienne and green chillies (if using); cook for a minute, then remove both with a slotted spoon. Add the spinach and a splash of water to the empty saucepan and cook until completely wilted. At this stage, you can blend the spinach to a smooth paste or leave it whole. Add to the lamb with the garam masala, cover and simmer for another four minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.
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