Its summer here. Which means we have an abundance of everything. Including spinach. But before that, take a look at the more colorful summerlicious moments I managed to see with my lenses.
Now for the recipe for Mutton Saagwala, loosely translated as mutton (a generic term in India for goat meat) cooked in spinach. A healthy, delicious meat curry most often cooked in winters in India by many North Indian families. It has strange resembles to Palak Paneer.
Well, my two cents are that this dish could possibly be palak paneer for the hardcore mutton lovers.
Ingredients for Mutton Saagwala are:
1 kg goat meat/mutton (I buy the shoulder portion with enough marbling from my butcher lady)
400 grams spinach, cleaned, washed, and chopped coarsely, stem and leaves, and pureed with little water
1 small can of tomato paste
1 large, juicy red tomato, pureed
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly ground cumin powder
2 tablespoons pureed garlic
2 tablespoons pureed ginger
2 tablespoons green chili paste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder (black+green cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon)
3-4 tablespoons ghee
Julienned ginger for garnish
6-7 dry red chilies for garnish
A few shavings of (frozen) unsalted butter for garnish
Start by heating the ghee in a large pan. Once it is really hot, add the onions and sauté till lightly browned. Add the meat. Make sure there is no moisture/water in the meat. This will help you get a nice, brown color to the mutton.
Add the green chili paste, cumin and garam masala powders to the meat and let it cook on low heat, covered all the time for 10 minutes.
Now add the pureed ginger and garlic, season with salt (I use sea salt), mix, cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
Scrape the spices and onions from the bottom of the pan and let them cling on to the mutton.
Add the pureed spinach, red chili powder and turmeric to the meat and mix. Crank the heat up to medium and let the pureed spinach bubble for about 10 minutes. Once you have spinach splinters attacking you, add the tomato paste and puree and cook covered for 10-15 minutes on low heat.
You will see the change of color in this dish – from a bright, green to a moss-colored. Slowly, but surely a thin line of oil will appear at the sides of your cooking pan. At this point, you have a choice of adding your work-in-progress Mutton Saagwala to the pressure cooker to cook through the mutton. I did that and waited till two whistles went off to cook my mutton.
Transfer the Mutton Saagwala to a serving dish and garnish generously with shavings of unsalted butter, julienned ginger and dry red chilies. You can add some green ones too for added heat and color.
Serve Mutton Saagwala with warm chapatis and salad. A meal like this should be consumed by keeping quiet, and listening to your own chomps and burps. Meals like this also make a family less cranky and more happy. I have proof. My almost-two-year-old sealed my Mutton Saagwala with her stamp of approval by saying “nice” and “wow”, all in the same breath in between her dinner.