Authentic lamb rogan josh step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
What is rogan josh
Rogan josh is a staple of Kashmiri cuisine and is one of the main dishes of the Kashmiri multi-course meal (wazwan). Roughan means oil in Persian and Urdu, while juš means "stew" or "braise". Rogan josh, by this definition, may mean "stewed in oil". The dish was originally brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, whose cuisine was, in turn, influenced by Persian cuisine. The Indian influence in this dish is evident by the usage of ghee and lots of spices. It is made with red meat, traditionally lamb or goat. In India, rogan josh is often made with goat instead of lamb, since lamb is less widely available than goat meat. However, this dish tastes best when made with good-quality lamb.
Rogan josh is not a spicy dish, and unlike other meat dishes from India, onion and garlic are not used. This dish is quite easy to make. Lamb or goat meat is browned in ghee which is seasoned with whole spices. A mix of yogurt and spices is added and the meat is cooked in the yogurt mixture on low heat till the meat is soft and falls apart. The red colour of the dish comes from ratan jot (the root of Alkanna tinctoria) and Kashmiri chillies. Traditionally, tomato is not added to rogan josh. If you want to recreate the authentic rogan josh, do not add tomatoes, which is sometimes used to achieve the red colour. I have not used ratan jot in my dish as this is not widely available - the reddish hue in my dish comes solely from the Kashmiri chilli powder.
Lamb: Rogan josh can be made with either lamb or goat meat.
Ghee: I use ghee to make the dish. However, you may replace it with the cooking oil of your choice.
Spices: The whole spices I use are cumin seeds, cinnamon, pepper, black cardamom, dried chilli, and fennel seeds. The powdered spices I use are ginger powder, coriander powder, and chilli powder.
Yogurt: Yogurt is an important part of this dish. I use homemade yogurt here.
About this recipe
My dish follows the Kashmiri Hindu Pandit version of Rogan Josh. Lots of yogurt is used in this dish. Onion and garlic are not used. Ginger powder is used instead of fresh ginger. Hing is used instead of garlic for the uniquely pungent taste. The meat is browned before cooking in the yogurt mixture.
The Muslim version of this dish uses fresh ginger, garlic, and shallot onions. Yogurt is not used in this version. The meat is boiled and not browned. So the end result is quite different from the Pandit version. I will write a post on the Muslim version of Rogan Josh soon.
Click here for more lamb recipes.
This lamb curry is:
- unique and flavourful
- authentic rogan josh recipe
- suitable to be made with both lamb and goat meat
- suitable for beginners
Step by step instructions
1. Heat ghee in a kadhai or thick bottom frying pan. Add cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, whole black pepper, black cardamom, dry red chilli, and hing.
2. Add the lamb pieces and mix well. Fry on medium heat for 5-7 minutes till browned on all sides
3. Add ½ cup water to it and mix well. Reduce the flame to low, cover, and cook for a further 10-12 minutes
4. Add the yogurt mixture and salt to the lamb, and mix well
5. Simmer on low flame until the lamb is completely cooked
Lamb Rogan Josh
- 500 grams lamb chopped into cubes
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2-3 black cardamom
- 2-3 Kashmiri red chilli
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ⅓ cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup water
- Heat ghee in a kadhai or thick bottom frying pan. Add cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, whole black pepper, black cardamom, dry red chilli and hing. Fry for a few seconds
- Add the lamb pieces and mix well. Fry on medium heat for 5-7 minutes till browned on all sides
- Add ½ cup water and mix well. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, grind fennel seeds into a powder. Blend it with yogurt and remaining powdered spices (ginger powder, coriander powder, and chilli powder)
- Add the yogurt mixture and salt to the lamb, and mix well
- Add some water to adjust consistency and bring it to boil. Simmer on low heat for about 15 mins or until the lamb is completely cooked
- Serve hot with steamed Basmati rice
Click here to watch lamb rogan josh web story.