This is one of Abbas’ favourite dishes. The scarcity of food, particularly meat, in Afghanistan means many families survive on bread, rice, beans, legumes and vegetables. This is the type of dish that would only be served for a special occasion. While it seems like a lot of ingredients, it comes together very quickly.
PREP: 10 MINUTES COOK: 1 HOUR
3 tablespoons of olive oil 2 large white onions, finely sliced 1 kilogram of boneless lamb, cut into cubes 2 teaspoons of salt ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper 2 large cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons of tomato paste ½ cup of water 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric 2 teaspoons of ground coriander ¼ teaspoon of ground cumin 1 tablespoon of dried dill 500 grams of spinach leaves ½ cup of chopped fresh coriander 2 tablespoons of lemon juice Thick natural yogurt to serve
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onions. Fry for about 8 minutes, until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
While the onions are cooking, season the lamb with one teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Once the onions are browned, add the lamb to the pan and continue to cook until the onions and meat melt together and the meat just begins to colour on the outside.
Add the garlic, tomato paste, water, and all the dry herbs and spices to the pan. Cover with a lid and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. If the sauce begins to dry up, add another ¼ cup of water. Add the spinach to the lamb and continue to cook over medium high heat, stirring regularly, until the spinach wilts into the sauce – add a few tablespoons of water if needed. Once it’s combined, add the coriander and lemon juice. Stir thoroughly, cover an cook for another 30 minutes or so until the lamb is tender. Keep an eye on the pan so it doesn't dry out. If it does, just add a little water. Serve with rice, thick natural yoghurt and naan bread to mop up the juices.