Baked Lamb Spinach Stew, Afghani style, is a marvelous blend of fresh veggies, olive oil, spices and cardamom, surrounding pieces of lamb so tender they melt in your mouth. It is a true comfort food, that will give your taste buds a delightful experience of a favorite meal enjoyed by people in Afghanistan.
Baked Lamb Spinach Stew Afghani Style Recipe-
- 2 to 3 lb. Leg of Lamb meat, chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and rough chopped
- 8 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 2 tsp. freshly ground turmeric root
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground East Indian Spicy Nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 32 oz. canned whole tomatoes, juices drained off and rough chopped
- 1 cup lamb broth
- 1/3 lb. fresh spinach, rinsed well and drained
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp. grated lemon peel
- salt and pepper, to taste
- olive oil
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, for garnish
It would be good to have: a Dutch Oven
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a Dutch oven, over medium high flame, heat a little olive oil. (Note: if you don’t have a Dutch Oven, you can use a large, deep walled cast iron skillet – and it must have a tight fitting lid)
- Sear the lamb, stirring, until nicely browned all over, but not yet cooked all the way through.
- Add in the chopped onions; sauté them for about 2 minutes, until fragrant and turning translucent. Then add and stir in the garlic and sauté it for 1 minute more.
- Next, add and stir in the nutmeg, cardamom, crushed red pepper, turmeric and cinnamon. Sauté this mixture for about 2 minutes more. You may need to turn down the heat, you do not want to char the garlic or onion.
- Now add and stir in the chopped tomatoes and the lamb broth.
- Place the lid on the Dutch Oven or skillet, and put it in the oven. Bake for about 1 hour, then do a tenderness test. The meat should be so tender it pulls apart effortlessly with a fork. If necessary, bake a little longer.
- Take the dish out of the oven, and then add and stir in the fresh spinach. Keep stirring until the spinach is wilted and thoroughly incorporated into the stew.
- Keep the lid off and allow the stew to “set up” and cool down just enough to eat comfortably.
- Lastly, add and stir in the lemon zest and the yogurt, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve your Baked Lamb Spinach Stew while still nice and very warm, garnished with a sprinkling of roasted pine nuts.
Note: For more great dishes from Afghanistan, click here.
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