Rogan josh is a popular dish in Indian restaurants in Britain for its thick nutty, spicy sauce and delicious aroma. Making it at home will fill your house with a gorgeous spicy fragrance, but it’s not a quick dish to make, so try it at the weekend, so that you can enjoy it in a leisurely fashion.
Although the ingredient list seems scarily long, it is well worth toasting your own spices and making your own fresh spice paste, which will give the dish the depth and complexity it deserves. You can use any boned lamb cut, including shoulder, leg or shank, cut into bite sized pieces.
Recipe for Lamb Rogan Josh
1 kg boned lamb in bite sized pieces
6 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1 chilli pepper, deseeded and chopped
6 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons chopped almonds
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2cm fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon mace
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons plain yoghurt
½ tin tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
In a large heavy-based frying pan heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the cloves, chilli pepper, peppercorns and cardamom. Stir for a few seconds and then add a batch of meat in one layer, being careful not to crowd it. When it is brown on all sides, remove it onto a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving behind the spices and add the next batch of meat to brown. When all the meat has been browned, turn off the heat.
Find a small heavy based pan to toast the rest of the spices. Put the cumin, coriander, coconut and almonds in and toast over a medium heat stirring constantly for 5 minutes until they are browned and fragrant. Put these spices into a blender with the chopped garlic and ginger. Add the whole spices (without the oil) from the frying pan in which you browned the meat. Also add the turmeric, nutmeg and mace with half a cup of water. Blend to a smooth thick paste.
Now fry the onion in the same pan and oil that you used to brown the meat. Stir and scrape up all the spicy residue and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to brown. Add the spice paste from the blender and cook stirring for another 5 minutes. Add the yoghurt a little at a time and then add the chopped tomatoes, continuing to cook and stir for another 2-3 minutes.
Add 1 cup of water and simmer this sauce covered over a low heat for 15 minutes. Add the meat to the sauce, stir in the salt, bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for about 1 hour until the meat is tender.
Don’t have time to cook this tonight? Why not try the lamb rogan josh at one of Northampton’s finest Indian restaurants instead.