Recipe: Saag gosht

Rating: 4.9 stars based on 1241 reviews


  • 3 cups cooked spinach
  • 3 pounds lean boneless beef round, or lamb, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • cups thinly sliced onions AND 1½ tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin AND 2 tablespoons ground coriander AND 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 medium-sized ripe tomato, finely chopped, or 1/4 cup chopped canned tomatoes
  • 3 green chiles, seeded and minced, or 1 teaspoon red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches long, broken into small pieces
  • 6 black (or 12 green) cardamom pods AND 9 whole cloves
  • 3 bay leaves, crushed AND 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons garam masala, or ground roasted cumin seeds


  • Finely puree the cooked spinach, using a food processor or electric blender, or mince it with a knife on a chopping board. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over high heat until very hot.
  • Brown the meat, turning and tossing the pieces, until nicely seared on all sides. As each batch is browned, transfer to a heavy-bottomed casserole.
  • Add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil to the frying pan and add chopped onions.
  • Reduce heat to medium-high, and fry them until they turn light caramel brown (about 25 minutes).
  • Add garlic and ginger and fry for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add cumin, coriander, and tumeric, and stir rapidly for 15 seconds.
  • Add tomatoes and chiles, and continue frying until the tomato is cooked and the entire mixture is turned into a thick, pulpy paste (about 3 minutes).
  • Add yogurt or sour cream, and immediately turn off the heat. When slightly cool, puree in an electric blender or food processor, and add to the meat in the casserole.
  • Place a double layer of cheesecloth, about 6 inches square, on the work surface.
  • Put cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves in the center, bring up the four corners of the cheesecloth to wrap the spices, and tie them to form a bag.
  • Crush the bag slightly with a wooden mallet or any heavy tool to break up the spices. Add the spice bag to the casserole.
  • Add 4 cups of boiling water along with the salt, and stir to distribute the meat into the sauce. Place a piece of aluminum foil on top of the casserole, and cover tightly with the lid.
  • Bring the contents to a boil on top of the stove. Place the casserole in the middle level of the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Alternatively, it may be cooked on top of the stove over low heat for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven (or turn off the stove) and take off the lid.
  • Remove the spice bag, squeeze hard to extract as much juice as possible, and discard the bag.
  • Add the cooked spinach and garam masala and blend well, being careful not to break the fragile meat pieces.
  • Cover the pot, return it to the oven or stove, and cook for 5 minutes more.
  • Turn off the oven, and let the pot remain undisturbed for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Check for salt, and if the sauce lacks adequare glaze, stir in a few tablespoons of oil.


This dish, just like any other braised dish, tastes better with keeping.

It is particularly good if made a few hours in advance, and allowed to rest at room temperature before being reheated and served.

This dish keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 2 days and also freezes well. Defrost throughly before reheating. To reheat, gently simmer over low heat until warmed through. Before serving, taste for salt, and if necessary, fold in a little garam masala.

C. Mict07


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