Skip to Content

Lamb Saag from Scratch

Sharing is caring!

Lamb saag from scratch that tastes better than the takeaway!

This is the latest in my series of curry house style recipes that you can make in one pan without the need for a base curry sauce.

Scroll down to get links to other one pan curry house favourites such as chicken tikka masala, chicken chilli garlic and rogan josh, just to name a few. These curry house style curries are so easy to make. Perfect for an after work curry or your next weekend curry feast.

Want to make your lamb saag into a feast? There are a few links to popular sides below too. 

Lamb saag from scratch

Restaurant quality lamb saag. Try this today.

The idea behind this lamb saag from scratch recipe…

Having published many curry house style recipes in my cookbooks and on this blog, I know from the feedback I’ve received that many of you want cheat’s version for the recipes.

Many of you don’t want to fuss with making the ‘essential’ base curry sauce used at restaurants. Others don’t have the freezer space.

So I’ve been experimenting and this lamb saag will get you excellent results. 

What do you serve lamb saag with?

If you’d like to make this curry into a feast, you’ve come to the right place. You could just go for a side of Basmati rice or mushroom fried rice.

If you’d like to make naans, why not try one of these?  Instant naans, Peshwari naans, stove top naans, keema naans, garlic naans, tandoor naans (if you have a tandoor oven), or if you’re cooking outdoors, karahi naans.

Want to start your lamb saag meal off with a bang? How about fried shop bought poppadoms or if you’re feeling ambitious, make your own poppadoms from scratch and serve them with coriander chutney, red onion chutney, and/or tamarind chutney.

What is the difference between this lamb saag and those cooked the curry house way?

You won’t taste any difference in flavour. When you make a base sauce and cook up a lamb saag with pre-cooked meat, you can whip it up in about 10 minutes.

The base sauce was developed over the years for speed and economy.

This recipe will take about 40 minutes to cook as it is all prepared on one pan.

Do I have to use lamb?

Absolutely not. It’s all about that saag sauce. You can add the protein of your choice.

Try this with beef, chicken or paneer. They will all taste amazing.

I want to make this lamb saag the curry house way.

No problem. I’ve got the recipe for you. Give this curry house style lamb saag using base sauce a try.

Step by step photographs…

Ingredients for one pan lamb saag

Get all your ingredients together before starting. It’s a lot easier.

Browing meat for the lamb saag

Brown the meat for a couple of minutes and then add the ground spices for the pre-cooed meat and the onion.

Simmering meat until tender

Cover with 750ml (3 cups) water and simmer until the meat is tender. Strain, retaining the meat and stock but discard the onion.

Frying the onions, garlic and ginger

Fry two onions in the ghee until golden brown and then add the garlic and ginger paste. Fry for a further 40 seconds.

Simmering sauce for lamb saag

Stir in the ground spices and about 125ml (1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer and then allow to cool some.

Blending curry house style sauce until smooth

Blend this sauce until smooth. Set aside.

Blending spinach puree

Blend the ingredients for the spinach puree with just enough water to blend to a thick paste.

Returning blended sauce to the pan

Return the smooth sauce to the pan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer.

Simmering the lamb pieces in the smooth sauce

Stir in the cooked lamb. Remember to add more stock if too thick or simmer down if too thin.

Adding spinach puree to the pan

Pour in the spinach puree and continue to adjust by adding more stock or cooking down to thicken. Add the yoghurt and season to serve!


If you like this lamb saag from scratch, you might like to try some of these one pan curries too…

Chicken Tikka Masala from Scratch
Chicken Dopiaza from Scratch
Beef Madras from Scratch
Chicken Vindaloo from Scratch
Rogan Josh from Scratch
Chicken Korma from Scratch
Chicken Chilli Garlic Curry From Scratch
Keralan Lamb Stir Fry

Lamb saag from scratch

This takeaway style lamb saag is so good and so easy to prepare! Dig in.

Yield: 4

Lamb Saag from Scratch

One pan lamb saag from scratch
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • FOR THE MEAT (optional)
  • 700g (24 oz) lamb leg meat, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 3 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 750ml (3 cups) water
  • 225g (1/2 lb.) baby spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped
  • 3 – 6 bird’s eye chillies
  • 60g (2 oz) fresh coriander, rougly chopped
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 generous tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp picante paprika
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (more or less to taste)
  • 200g (7 oz) tinned (canned) chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp plain natural yoghurt
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt to taste


  1. To cook the meat, brown it in a large frying pan or karahi in the oil over medium high heat. This should only take a couple of minutes.
  2. Stir in the spices and quartered onion and then cover with 750ml (3 cups water). Allow to simmer until the meat is good and tender. This should take about 20 minutes for lamb leg meat and longer for shoulder. Remember, it’s ready when it’s tender so don’t rush this.
  3. When cooked to your liking, pour this through a sieve into a bowl, retaining the meat and stock but discarding the onion pieces. Keep warm.
  4. Wipe you pan with a paper towel. No need to make it spotless. Add the ghee to the pan over medium high heat. When bubbly hot, stir in the chopped onions and fry for about 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.
  5. Now add the chopped garlic and garlic and ginger paste and stir it into the onions to fry for another 40 seconds. Stir in the cumin, coriander, curry powder, 2 tsp of the garam masala, paprika and chilli powder.
  6. Using a large spoon, stir this into the onion mixture and then add 125ml (1/2 cup) stock from the cooked lamb or water along with the chopped tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and then take off the heat and allow to cool some.
  7. Pour this onion sauce into a blender and blend until smooth and set aside.
  8. Then pour the blended onion sauce into the pan over medium high heat. The sauce will be quite thick so stir in about 250ml of the cooking stock from the lamb and bring to a simmer, only stirring if the sauce is sticking to the pan.
  9. The sauce will begin to caramelise around the edges of the pan. Be sure to scrape this back in for additional flavour.
  10. Add the cooked lamb pieces and more stock/water if needed. If the sauce is looking too thick, add more stock or water. If too thin, cook it down.
  11. Meanwhile, Place the spinach, green chillies and coriander (cilantro) in a food processor or blender and blend to a smooth paste using just enough water to do so. Set aside.
  12. When the sauce is looking like you would expect a good curry house style saag sauce to look, stir in the spinach puree and swirl it around until you have a green sauce.
  13. Be sure to add more stock or water if it is looking too thick or cook it down to your liking.
  14. To finish, add the yoghurt one tablespoon at a time, stirring it into the sauce as you do.
  15. Season with salt to taste and squeeze in the lemon juice. Sprinkle over the remaining garam masala and serve on its own or with white rice, naans and/or chapattis.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 461mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 21g

Did you like this recipe?

Please join me on Facebook where I share all my latest recipes and videos. Just click that Facebook icon on the left and let's get to know each other!

I hope you enjoy cooking and eating this lamb saag from scratch. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Laura Rayment

Saturday 9th of September 2023


The directions for this say to add cumin to the sauce but it’s not on the ingredients list?

Dan Toombs

Monday 11th of September 2023

Hi Laura

Thank you for catching that. All fixed now. The cumin goes in at the same time as the rest of the ground spices.

Thanks, Dan

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!