Friday, January 20, 2017

Cookbook Countdown: Saag Gohst

Tonight's dinner didn't come from a dedicated pressure cooker book, but from Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Cooking, which has several meat dishes that can be hurried along using a pressure cooker. This is one of my favorite Indian cooking books because everything can be done fairly quickly (within about thirty minutes), but a few of the recipes are quick only if you use the pressure cooker.

Tonight's dinner was Saag Gosht—Beef or Lamb with Spinach (p36). This is a dish I've made before, also with lamb, but without the pressure cooker. Tonight the one-hour cooking time without the pressure cooker was reduced to only 15 minutes under pressure, making it very fast for stewy dish with wonderfully tender meat.

I defrosted frozen spinach early in the day. To start the preparation, you whiz a coarsely chopped onion, two inches of ginger, and six to eight cloves of garlic. I used my staff mixer for this (what a wonderful gadget!), but a food processor would work fine. Spices are added in two groups, and I prepared these next. One dish with three bay leaves, ten cardamon pods, eight cloves, and four inches of cinnamon stick, another with salt, ground coriander, ground cumin, and cayenne.

Start by heating oil in the pressure cooker over high heat. Add the bay leaves and friends, stir, then add the onion mixture and cook over high heat for five minutes. Then stir in the meat (1-1/2-inch cubes of lamb), spinach, two cups of water, and the rest of the spices; cover and bring up to full pressure. Lower the heat so that it's PSSCH-ing along merrily and cook for fifteen minutes. Reduce the pressure quickly, then bring the contents to a boil again. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes, until the sauce is a bit reduced and thickened. I called it a one-dish meal served over rice. Yum!

January starts a new year with Cookbook Countdown. Why don't you choose a book, or two, or more, from your cookbook shelf and join in?

Afterthought: I very much liked that the pressure cooker saved forty-five minutes of cooking time for this dish, and will definitely look at similar recipes. It occurred to me later, though, that the house didn't have the wonderful smell of an Indian dinner, either during and after the cooking.


  1. Wow, a stew in such a short time! That seems so unreal to me that you can actually have a tender tasty stew in so little time. What a deal! I am enjoying learning about all this from you this month...totally uncharted territory for me.

  2. I was just looking through some books of MJ the other day, and thought that I have not used it for quite some time. Planning to cook a MJ dish after Chinese New Year. A good observation on the lack of wonderful smell of an Indian dish when using the pressure cooker, even though the cooking time is reduced greatly. I supposed nothing beats the aroma of food slowly simmering on the stove!

  3. I am starting to use the pressure cooker MORE since I now have an Instant Pot. I love quick meals because I never know until about an hour before dinner what we are going to have. LOVE Jaffrey's recipes. (But I agree with Kitchen Flavours....)