Sagwala Gosht [American Style]

We have the family tradition that, rather than going out to eat to celebrate our birthdays, I prepare the birthday boy or girl his or her favorite meal.

Today is my husband’s birthday. He asked for curry, so we had a collection of several different types of curries along with a variety of condiments.

The recipe featured here is fabulous—authentic enough to taste like a true Indian curry, but Americanized enough for local palates. I’ve used beef here, but the original recipe calls for goat.

It takes hours to prepare, but it is well worth the effort. I made it yesterday, so the flavors have had more time to fully blend.

NOTE: Don’t freak out about the large number of ingredients. You toss them in pretty much all at the same time.

Sagwala Gosht [American Style]

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds stew beef, patted dry
  • 1 3-inch-long cinnamon stick
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 8 whole cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp coriander
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1-½ tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 serrano peppers, minced
  • 1 2-inch-long piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tomato-can of water
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach leaves
  • ¼-½ c. heavy cream
  • hot cooked basmati rice

Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and brown on all sides. Transfer to bowl using slotted spoon. Reduce heat to medium and add next four ingredients and stir until spices sizzle, about 2 minutes. Add onions and cook until beginning to brown, stirring frequently.

Mix in coriander, paprika, cumin, salt, turmeric, and garam masala, and stir 30 seconds. Add in garlic, serrano peppers, and ginger; stir 2 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and water; bring to a boil, and then reduce and simmer, covered, for at least 2 hours.

When beef is tender, turn heat up and cook off some liquid (if necessary), until you have a thick sauce covering the meat. Add in spinach and stir until wilted. Blend in heavy cream, stirring until warmed through.

Serve with hot cooked basmati rice and any or all of the following toppings:

  • mango chutney
  • slivered almonds
  • pineapple chunks
  • shredded coconut
  • golden raisins
  • fried onions
  • chopped, boiled eggs

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