Indian Rogan Josh

Rogan josh is a staple of Kashmiri cuisine and is one of the main dishes of the Kashmiri multicourse meal or the wazwan.  It is an authentic Indian lamb recipe cooked in a curry (curry just means sauce in India) or sauce. The dish was originally brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, whose cuisine was, in turn, influenced by Persian cuisine. “Rogan” means clarified butter or oil in Persian, or “red” in Hindi, and “josh” refers to passion – fiery or hot – so this dish is all about cooking in an oil-based sauce with an intense heat. Generally, rogan josh consists of lamb or goat that has been slow-cooked in oil, yogurt and a mix of many different spices. Despite its intense red hue, it is usually not a particularly spicy curry. Rogan josh remains a common dish in Northern India and is a popular menu item at Indian restaurants in North America and Europe.

I made my own version of rogan josh the other night and it was very good. I used the last of the lamb I had cooked earlier. Lamb Gyros. This lamb went a long way. I think I prepared it 5 different ways, all of which were very, very good too. I served this over a combination of lentils and rice, with some naan bread and a citrusy chardonnay. A sweeter wine, like a Riesling, would be good with this too. Sweeter wines tend to pair very well with spicy dishes.

As with any recipe, there are many, many different versions. Here is my version. I added green beans, green bell peppers and fresh tomatoes to my version, making it even better, in my humble opinion of course. 🙂

My green bell peppers and tomatoes were a delicious gift from Janet and Bob’s own garden. Bob picked them straight out of the garden and then I went home and put them to good use.

Rogan Josh

2 lbs cubed lamb

6 tsp ground coriander

1-2 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

salt & black pepper to taste

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 cup plain yogurt

Mix all the ingredients together and marinate the lamb for at least one hour before cooking. I started with lamb that was already cooked, but I still combined all of these ingredients to use as my sauce.

1 onion, sliced very thin

olive oil or vegetable oil for cooking

1 TBSP garlic

1 TBSP ginger

1 TBSp ground poppy seeds

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup water

dash lemon juice

2 cups tomatoes, diced medium

1 green bell pepper, diced medium

2 cups fresh green beans, cut into pieces about 1-1/2 inches in size

Get the oil very hot, then add the spices and cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until they become fragrant.

Once the spices have opened up, add the onions, peppers, green beans, garlic and ginger and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

Next add the lamb, tomatoes and yogurt and cook until the lamb is completely cooked or about 2-3 minutes. Add the water and the ground poppy seeds and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 40-45 minutes, stirring frequently. The poppy seeds will act as a thickener for the sauce. You can also use cornstarch mixed with either water or a little bit of the sauce.

Right before serving, add the lemon juice and top with fresh cilantro.

If you like lamb and Indian food, you are going to love this dish. I really liked it with the added vegetables too. It makes it more of a complete meal in my books. 🙂

Stay cool, stay safe and stay well Everyone. Have a great weekend. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

14 thoughts on “Indian Rogan Josh”

  1. Curry is an incorporation of complex combinations of spices or herbs, usually including fresh or dried hot chillies. The decisive identity of India with the world starts with the flavours of the ubiquitous curry. It has successfully arrested the fascination of the globe all through. It is one delicacy that is prepared with different variations by different chefs.

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