Pakistani Style Beef Stew with Spinach

Beef cuts
Alpha / Flickr / Creative Commons
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 9 hrs
Total: 9 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
671 Calories
38g Fat
36g Carbs
54g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 671
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 137mg 46%
Sodium 1018mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 12g 43%
Protein 54g
Calcium 451mg 35%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The spices and seasonings in this beef stew give it fabulous, bold, and fragrant flavor. The recipe includes a garam masala mixture, which can be kept for a couple of months in an airtight container.

This is spicy, but not too hot, (note that the only hot spice, cayenne, is optional) and a wonderful and different change of pace from everyday beef stew. You could also use lamb in place of the beef. This is usually served with flatbread but is good over rice or noodles.


  • 8 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 20 whole black peppercorns
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 6 whole cardamom pods
  • 2 medium onions (chopped fine)
  • 6 cloves garlic (chopped fine)
  • 1 ginger root (1-inch cube, chopped fine)
  • 2 pounds beef (cubed, 1 inch)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed (ground)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 tablespoons yogurt (beaten)
  • 2 pounds chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • For the garam masala:
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (seeds only)
  • 1/2 cup whole black peppercorns
  • 1/3 cup cumin seed
  • 1/4 cup coriander seed
  • 3 each cinnamon stick (3 inches long)
  • 6 cloves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Make the garam masala by combining the spices until very fine, using a blender or a coffee grinder. Set aside.

  3. Put the ginger, onions, and garlic into a blender, and mix to a paste, adding a tablespoon of water if necessary. Set aside.

  4. Put the peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, and cardamom pods in one bowl.

  5. Put the ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in another bowl.

  6. Put the yogurt into another bowl.

  7. Wash and chop and drain the fresh spinach, have it ready to add into the dish. (Or defrost the frozen spinach.)

  8. Put the remaining teaspoon of salt into another bowl.

  9. Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven.

  10. When hot, put in the peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, and cardamom pods.

  11. Stir for a second, put in the onions, garlic, and ginger. Stir and fry until the paste starts to develop brown specks.

  12. Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne, and one teaspoon of the salt. Stir together, then add the meat. Stir and fry for a minute.

  13. Next, add the yogurt one teaspoon at a time, until the yogurt has been mixed thoroughly with the other ingredients. Keep on frying until the meat has a slightly browned look.

  14. Add the spinach, bit by bit, stirring in more as the spinach in the pan wilts. Keep stirring and cooking until the spinach wilts completely. It should give up its juices, to cook the meat.

  15. Put the entire mixture in the slow cooker, and allow it to simmer for 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low until meat is tender.

  16. When done, sprinkle the garam masala over the meat, and stir in, then simmer for about 5 minutes longer. If there is too much liquid, simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes until sauce is thicker.

  17. Enjoy.