Kale and Lamb Saag

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 15-20 leaves kale and other greens
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 Tbs. ghee (or butter and oil mixed)
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seed
  • 1/8 tsp. asafetida
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 Tbs. water
  • 3 Tbs. cream (or use sour cream or yogurt)
  • 2 tsp. salt

Cover lamb shanks with water in a large pot.  Add 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil.  Simmer until the lamb is starting to loosen from the bone.  If you have time, put boiled lamb shanks onto the grill to brown.  Chop lamb and set aside.

Meanwhile, wash kale and strip leaves off of stems.  Chop coarsely.  Combine cayenne, coriander, black pepper, nutmeg, turmeric and cumin in a small bowl, add water, and stir well.  Melt the butter and oil (or ghee) in a 5-quart pan over moderate heat.  Add mustard seed and cook until it starts to pop.  Add asafetida and let it sizzle, then add spice mixture and onion.  Fry for about 2 minutes.

Add chopped lamb and kale to pan, sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt.  Cover and reduce heat.  Stir occasionally until kale is all bright green.  Add water if necessary.  At this point, the saag can be removed from heat and can sit if necessary.  Before serving, stir in cream and reheat briefly.

Adapted from The Best of Lord Krishna’s Cuisine by Yamuna Devi.

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