Lamb and Squash Saagwala with a Persimmon and Tamarillo Chutney
I love Lamb Saagwala. It is without a doubt, the BEST thing you can order on an Indian menu. At the very least, it's the healthiest. It's my go-to. My general feeling is however... MORE VEGETABLES. Hence this recipe. Now, it's already got the spinach and tomatoes. But my tastebuds wanted another element for the spices to work off. The sweetness of Butternut Squash fit the bill. That, coupled with a punchy/tangy combo of persimmon and tamarillo, and you've got a dinner winner.
600g diced lamb (chunks a couple of centimetres)
3 tablespoons butter
4 large onions, sliced
1 Bulb of Garlic, Peeled and minced
2 Tablespoons grated ginger
400g chopped fresh tomato
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
5 Cardamom Pods
1 Tablespoon ground coriander seeds
1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon garam masala
400g of Spinach
4 Green Thai Chillies, choppped
1 Butternut Squash, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
Bunch of Fresh Coriander
Juice and zest of one lime
Greek yoghurt (none of this low-fat bull****)
For the Chutney
2 Ripe Persimmons, roughly chopped
1 Ripe Tamarillo, roughly chopped
1 Red Onion, Finely Sliced
3 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled and Finely Sliced
1 Teaspoon Grated Ginger
1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1/4 Cup Lime Juice
1 Star Anise
I love how easy this is. Start by melting the butter in a large stock pot, medium heat. When melted, add the onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, smoked paprika, chillies, lime zest and garam marsala. Fry until the onions are soft, then add the lamb. Brown the lamb, add the tomatoes, then cover with water. Keep on a medium heat and simmer without a lid for 2 hours. This will get the meat nice and tender.
Now for the chutney. In a pot, add all the ingredients, cover with water, simmer and reduce on a medium-low heat until it becomes a chunky paste. You want it really thick, nearly like a jam. Keep it moving so it doesn't burn. Salt and pepper to taste when down.
Now, if you've cooked rendang before, you'll know all about cooking the sauce down into nothing. I like to do that here. Give it hell - cook until the sauce is super thick and sticky. At that point lower the heat while you prepare the spinach.
In a blender, blend the spinach along with a couple of cups of water in a blender. I like mine quite rough, perhaps still a bit chunky, but go as fine as you like. Once done, you should have a nice spinach smoothie. Pour that in with the meat, along with the diced squash. Turn to medium heat and reduce by a third so the sauce is nice and thick, then add the cream. Stir that through. Check the squash to see if it's cooked through. Taste if so, then add salt and pepper accordingly. Finally, stir through the coriander. (I love it when the fragrance drifts up with the steam when doing this)
It should be a fragrant dish, a rich emerald green colour. Serve it with basmati rice, a dollop of yoghurt and a helping of that tangy sweet chutney!
PS Be wary of the cardamom pods when eating if you can. I bit down on one and they're INTENSE.