Palak Gosht (Spinach Lamb Curry)

This delicious homestyle dish is from Camellia Panjabi’s 50 Great Curries of India, the world’s best selling curry book. I was fortunate to be a guest of the Taj Hotels when Camellia was marketing director at a time when she was introducing little known regional dishes to many of the Taj restaurants. She later joined her family’s London-based restaurant company, Masala World, owner of Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy, Masala Zone and Amaya


About this Recipe

By: Sheridan Rogers

The north-western state of Punjab in India is home to an earthy cuisine and is where Palak Gosht originated. “The fields are full of wheat, rice, corn, mustard, tomatoes and other wonderful vegetables which the people cook well and are almost always doused with home-made butter. And they love their chicken and mutton too!” says Camellia. “This is a homestyle dish, also often found in restaurants, best eaten with parathas and rotis.”


Serves 4



  • lamb neck chops, 1Kg, trimmed of fat
  • fresh ginger, 2 cm x 5mm piece, peeled
  • garlic cloves, 2 large, peeled
  • green chillies, 1 -2
  • yoghurt, 1/2 cup
  • ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon
  • spinach leaves, 200g (or frozen spinach)
  • vegetable oil, 1/4 cup
  • cinnamon or bay leaf, 1
  • black cardamom, 1
  • cloves, 2
  • onions, 225g, peeled and chopped
  • ground coriander, 1 teaspoon
  • ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon
  • tomatoes, 2, chopped
  • tomato paste, 1 tablespoon
  • salt, 1 teaspoon
  • ground nutmeg, a little to sprinkle
  • butter, a knob (optional)

Soak the lamb in warm water for 15 minutes to lighten the colour.
Puree the ginger, garlic and green chillies in a blender with a little water. Whisk the yoghurt and add to the garlic-ginger puree, together with 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin.
Marinate the lamb in this mixture for at least an hour, longer if possible. Meanwhile, blanch the spinach in boiling water with a little salt for 10 seconds.  Drain well and squeeze our the water. Puree the spinach.
Heat the oil in a casserole pot with the cinnamon or bay leaf, cardamom and cloves. When the oil is really hot and the cinnamon leaf begins to fry, add the onions.  Fry for 15 minutes over low-moderate heat.
Add the ground coriander and saute for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.  Add the 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin.  Add a little water after 10 seconds.  Allow the spices to cook.
Add the meat and its marinade, stir well and cook over a moderate heat for 10 minutes until the yoghurt is absorbed. Saute the meat for 3 minutes, stirring continuouslly, then add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add 1 1/4 cups hot water  and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt.
Turn heat to low, cover with a lid and leave to simmer.  When the meat is almost done, add the pureed spinach, taste for salt and mix well.  Cook for 5 minutes, uncovered.
When ready to serve, sprinkle with a little ground nutmeg and add a knob of butter if liked.