Saag Gosht (Beef in Fragrant Spinach Sauce)
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Adapted from Julie Sahni
  • 2 10-oz boxes of frozen chopped spinach (or equivalent, about 2 cups, cooked and chopped)
  • 4 T vegetable oil
  • 3 lbs boneless beef chuck* (see note below) or lamb -- cut in 1½-inch pieces
  • 3½ cups onions -- thinly sliced
  • 2 T garlic, minced
  • 3 T fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 2 T ground coriander
  • 1 t turmeric
  • ½ 15-oz can of tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 green chiles, seeded and minced
  • 4 T plain whole fat yogurt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 green cardamom pods
  • 9 whole cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 T kosher salt, to taste
  • 3-4 t garam masala, to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 5-6 qt Dutch oven over high heat until very hot. Pat the meat dry on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add to the pot in batches. Brown the meat, turning until nicely seared on all sides. After each batch is browned, transfer it to a large plate.
  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the frying pan, and add the onions. Reduce heat to
  4. medium-high, and fry until they turn caramel brown (about 25 minutes), stirring occasionally to
  5. prevent scorching. Add the garlic and ginger, and fry for an additional 2 minutes. Add the dry ground spices and fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Then add the tomatoes and chiles, scraping at the bottom of the pot to deglaze it. Fry the tomatoes for about 5 minutes total. The entire mixture will turn into a "thick pulpy paste." Add the yogurt and immediately turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree as best you can (or you can transfer it to a blender, as Sahnit suggests, but frankly I just don't care that much that my braised beef sauce is smooth).
  6. Add the meat back into to the Dutch oven, along with the whole spices (Sahni recommends tying them into a cheesecloth and crushing slightly but I could not find my cheesecloth so we just picked around them). Add 3 cups of water and/or beef stock (I used water plus some Better Than Bouillon beef soup base) to the Dutch oven. Stir to mix the sauce and beef evenly. Bring to a boil and then cover with a tight fitting lid (if there is a lot of head room in the pot, cover with parchment paper first).
  7. Place the Dutch oven in the middle level of the oven for 3 hours, or until the beef is fork tender. *Sahni recommends top round but I prefer chuck because I think it gets much more tender.
  8. Remove the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and any other whole spices you catch when it is done. Add the spinach and garam masala to the dish and stir to incorporate evenly. Cover the pot, return it to the oven or stove, and cook for 5 minutes more. Turn off the oven, and let the
  9. pot remain undisturbed for an additional 10 minutes. Taste to see if it needs salt, cayenne pepper or more yogurt. Serve over basmati rice.
Recipe by The Spiced Life at