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What’s cooking today: Saag Gosht

TGIFOOD

DOUBLE ACT

What’s cooking today: Saag Gosht

Tony Jackman’s Saag Gosht, served in a risotto bowl from Mervyn Gers Ceramics. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

This is two curries in one. The Gosht is a mutton curry, in this instance made from mutton rib. Saag is spinach, so the second dish is a spicy spinach curry. Then the second is stirred into the first and served as one dish.

The most important thing in this cook is to allow yourself enough time for the mutton rib to become perfectly tender; so tender that you can just slide the little bones out with your fingers. My mutton curry cooked from 1pm till just before 8pm, when I finally stirred in the saag. So, logically, the green curry takes much less time to make.

The combination of saag curry with mutton curry, once it’s been stirred into the meat dish shortly before serving, lends the whole dish a lovely creamy texture. 

I made the two curries-in-one as part of a dinner for good friends, and the rice dish was Kashmiri Pilao, the recipe for which I published on Monday; the dessert was orange-cardamom ice cream, and I’ll be publishing that recipe tomorrow (Wednesday August 3). So, if you like, you could plan an exotic dinner party using all three recipes.

Ingredients

2 kg pieces of bone-in mutton ribs

4 cups spinach leaves, shredded

1 Tbsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp cumin seeds

4 pieces of cassia

4 bay leaves

½ cup crumbled curry leaves

5 tbsp cooking oil

2 onions, sliced

1 x 4 cm piece of ginger, sliced

6 garlic cloves, sliced

4 green chillies, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground fennel

2 tsp ground fenugreek

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 to 3 Tbsps hot masala

1 tsp chilli powder (or more, I added 3)

Salt to taste

1 x 400 g can of chopped tomatoes

400 ml water or more

1 x 400 g can of coconut cream

Coriander leaves for garnish

Method

Ask a butcher to chop the whole rib up into smaller chunks. Or, as I did, use a cleaver to chop through the bones. Careful now…

Wash the spinach in a sink of cold water, and drain.

Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pot with the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cassia, bay leaves, and curry leaves. When they start to crackle, add ginger, garlic and onions and sauté for five minutes. Add the dry spices and chopped chilli and cook, stirring, for two minutes.

Add mutton pieces and stir so that everything is coated. Cook for two or three minutes.

Season with salt, generously, then add the chopped tomatoes and water and cook for a few minutes, stirring.

Cover and cook on a very low heat until the meat is tender enough to slide off the bone. This being mutton, it could take as long as 6 to 7 hours.

An hour before the end, stir in the coconut cream and continue cooking.

Meanwhile, make the saag (spinach curry).

Ingredients

½ cup butter or ghee

2 Tbsp ground turmeric 

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 green chilli, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

6 cups chopped fresh spinach 

1 tsp ground cumin 

1 tsp ground coriander 

1 tsp coarse sea salt

Method

Shred the spinach (which you’ve already washed and drained).

Melt the butter in a heavy pot, stir in the turmeric, cumin seeds, chilli and garlic and cook gently for two minutes for the aromatics to flavour the butter.

Stir in the ground cumin, coriander and salt, add the shredded spinach, stir so that the spinach is coated with the buttery spices, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. This is ready to be stirred into the mutton curry.

To finish:

When the mutton curry is cooked, leave it with the heat turned off, and uncovered, for 10 minutes or so so that the fat will rise to the surface. Spoon off excess oils.

Stir the saag into the gosht, heat through and serve with Kashmiri pulao. Garnish with chopped coriander. Try my Orange-cardamom ice cream for afters.  DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Mervyn Gers Ceramics supplies dinnerware for the styling of some TGIFood shoots. For more information, click here.

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.

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  • You achieve the long slow (and never burnt) cooking if you use a Wonderbag. If you have never used a Wonderbag, Google it and use it. You can put something into it in the morning and by evening it is slow cooked perfection. No electricity either which is good.

    It is fabulous for stews and curries and hearty soups.

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