Warm Up with a Spicy Indian Dish Tonight

Warm Up with a Spicy Indian Dish Tonight

Take Out Tuesday becomes Cook In Tuesday with my recipe for Lamb Saag. The secret is to find lamb tenderloins… which I’ve had success sourcing from Fresh Market.

Another fabulous Christmas dinner is spicy lamb, made the way they love it in India. My recipe features a lamb tenderloin – the center portion cut from the rack of lamb. With the Christmas countdown at 13 days, I say you cheat a little and make this dinner partly take-out.

You can purchase lamb from your local butcher, from specialty markets like The Fresh Market and online. If you are unable to find lamb loins, substitute with a whole rack of lamb. Season the rack with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the lamb for 12 to 15 minutes per rack. Rest the lamb for 5 minutes. Cut the lamb into double chops, and serve over a spicy Indian spinach sauce. So far as sauces go, this is one of my favorites! Mostly because it’s so versatile. This rich, spicy spinach sauce works great on chicken or pork…. So, don’t fret. It’s all about Christmas!!

The only thing you need to worry about is having enough bread on hand to dip into the saag, the spicy spinach sauce this meal revolves around. I think spinach is the perfect accompaniment for lamb; the two served together is sure to be a Sunday favorite, if you don’t get a chance to debut it sooner.

And speaking of acting fast….no Christmas is complete without a personalized copy of SUNDAY BEST DISHES: A COOKBOOK FOR PASSIONATE COOKS. Email me your address at jorj@jorj.com and I’ll sail my glossy, beautiful cookbook right over, with a cute bookplate made out just for you!

Spicy Lamb Saag



2 pounds fresh baby spinach

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and deveined

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and finely diced, about 2 cups

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Use a microwave steam dish, or a steamer basket over boiling water to steam the spinach (in batches). Drain in a colander.

Place the ginger, jalapeno pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a deep pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to caramelize, about 8 to 10 minutes (note: not sure if it takes that long to turn brown). Add the ginger and spices and cook for 2 minutes more. Pour in the tomatoes and cook until most of the moisture begins to evaporate, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and garam masala. Cook until the spinach is warmed through, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and stir in the yogurt. Stir until the sauce thickens.



1 (2.5 to 3-pound) package lamb tenderloins

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the loins to the pan and sear on all sides until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes total. The lamb should be quite rare in the center. Let the lamb rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes. Cut into 2-inch diagonal slices and add to the sauce. Add the butter to the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Traditional accompaniments for Saag are naan (Indian flatbread) and rice.







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