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Lamb Shanks with Spinach - Gosht Saagwala

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This lovely, lush curry is perfect for a hearty family meal. It would not normally be made with lamb shanks in India, as lamb is not commonly eaten - goat is more popular and is known (erroneously) as mutton! I however love using lamb shanks - the resulting curry has a hearty and wholesome quality. While I will eat lamb shanks any time of year, I especially love them in winter! The spinach in this dish adds a delicious, earthy texture to it and packs a powerful, nutritious punch! Lamb Shanks with Spinach/ Gosht Saagwala tastes great with hot Chapatis, Parathas, plain rice, Jeera Rice.... Add a green salad and you're set!

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 (2 shanks per person)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsps garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 green chillies (optional but tastes great and adds a lovely 'kick' to the dish!), ground to a coarse paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 8 lamb shanks
  • 1 kg fresh spinach leaves
  • 5 tbsps vegetable/ canola/sunflower cooking oil
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 pods cardamom
  • 2 large onions chopped very fine
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped fine
  • Salt to taste
  • A dollop of butter to garnish

Preparation:

  • Mix the garlic and ginger pastes, green chilli paste and garam masala together in a large deep bowl till they are well blended.
  • Add the lamb shanks and mix till they are coated well with the mixture. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  • While the lamb shanks are marinating, wash the spinach well and chop. Put into a pot with half a cup of water and salt to taste and boil till wilted/ cooked.
  • Grind the spinach into a paste in a food processor. Keep aside.
  • When the lamb shanks are done marinating, heat 3 tbsps of the cooking oil in a deep pot/ pan on medium heat. Add the marinated lamb shanks and fry them till browned. Remove and keep aside.
  • Add the rest of the cooking oil to the pot/ pan and heat. Now add the whole spices and sauté.
  • As the spices turn slightly darker, add the onion and fry till they are pale golden in color.
  • Add all the other spices - coriander, cumin and garam masala - and fry for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and fry till the oil begins to separate from the masala.
  • Add the spinach and the previously browned lamb shanks to this masala, mix well and add half a cup of water. Cover the pot/ pan and simmer the heat. Cook till the lamb shanks are tender. This will take approximately 1 to 1.5 hours and will result in a lovely, thick gravy.
  • Remove from the fire and garnish with a dollop of fresh butter.
  • Serve with hot Chapatis, Parathas, plain rice or Jeera Rice!
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