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How to make Indian Rogan Josh

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Lamb Rogan Josh is a particularly mild Indian curry. It’s often made with lamb (or the older version of mutton) and even goat, and the key is to tenderise the meat by covering it in yoghurt and spices. It hails from the northern regions of India. It is a delicious curry, full of flavour, that can be used as a base for many different proteins.

Lamb Rogan Josh was the first Indian meal I ate. It may not have been in India but the balance of all those wonderful spices kicked off a love of Indian curries.

herbs and spices lamb rogan josh

Why this recipe works

There’s nothing quite like eating a curry that is made from scratch. The layers of flavour are built up to produce a curry that is delicious and free from ingredients and additives you don’t need.

Commercial curries are always full of salt not to mention other preservatives, so making your own is always best if you have the time.

Cooking Indian food is all about flavour. Key ingredients of garlic, ginger, turmeric and chillies are usually always present. A large proportion of the population in India is vegetarian, but I’m not a very good one, so I love a hearty meat curry.

Like all Indian curries, the same ingredients are used over and over, developing great flavours and complex layers.

Indian food myths

There are also many myths when it comes to making Indian food. You can read our article on 10 Indian food myths for more information.

Indian Rogan Josh curry recipe

Ingredients

  • 150g lamb*
  • 1/3 cup plain yoghurt**
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 15ml vegetable oil
  • 15ml butter, melted
  • 1cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 2/3 tsp turmeric
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 tbsp ginger
  • 1/3 tbsp garlic
  • 2/3 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander (or parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala

COOK’S TIP: We used lamb cut from a leg which gives a tender result with less cooking time. You can use lamb shoulder but as this is a secondary cut it will take longer to cook.

We use Greek yoghurt. Whatever brand you use, be sure to get one that is as natural as possible. Do not use flavoured yoghurt.

ingredients lamb rogan josh

Method

Cut the lamb into one inch cubes and put into a bowl. Add the yoghurt and 1/2 of the salt and mix together. Make sure the yoghurt completely covers the lamb.

indian-rogan-josh-curry-recipe

Leave in the fridge for at least ten minutes, but longer if you have time. The yoghurt helps to tenderise the lamb.

Using a large frying pan, heat the oil and the butter together over medium heat.

COOK’S TIP: I found it easier to melt the butter first in order to get the 15ml, prior to placing it in the frying pan.

Add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and roast until fragrant. Move the spices around the pan whilst they are cooking. Be careful not to burn them!

Add the chopped onions and the remainder of the salt and cook over a low-medium heat until the onions are brown and soft. Cook them slowly. It should take 10-15 minutes.

Add the ginger and the garlic and mix through.

Add the lamb mixture, chilli powder and turmeric to the onion mixture and combine. Cover the pan and cook until the lamb is tender. Because I used lamb leg, this only took about 20 minutes on a slow heat.

indian-rogan-josh-curry-recipe

COOK’S TIP: It’s not really traditional but I find adding a little stock to the mix before putting the lid on keeps it moist. This recipe is not over-laden with liquid and can be quite dry.

To serve, add the chopped coriander (or parsley) and sprinkle some garam masala over the top. Mix it into the Rogan Josh.

Traditionally, Rogan Josh is served with rice or paratha/naan. For a healthier option, we served ours with pearl barley.

lamb rogan josh served
ingredients lamb rogan josh

Lamb Rogan Josh

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Make this simple lamb rogan josh curry from scratch at home with this simple recipe, instructions and video

Ingredients

  • 150g lamb*
  • 1/3 cup plain yoghurt**
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 15ml vegetable oil
  • 15ml butter, melted
  • 1cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom pod
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 2/3 tsp turmeric
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 tbsp ginger
  • 1/3 tbsp garlic
  • 2/3 tsp chilli powder

Instructions

  1. Cut the lamb into one-inch cubes and pout into a bowl. Add the yoghurt and 1/2 of the salt and mix together. Make sure the yoghurt completely covers the lamb.
  2. Leave in the fridge for at least ten minutes, but longer if you have time. The yoghurt helps to tenderise the lamb.
  3. Using a large frying pan, heat the oil and the butter together over medium heat.
  4. Add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and roast until fragrant. Move the spices around the pan whilst they are cooking. Be careful not to burn them!
  5. Add the chopped onions and the remainder of the salt and cook over low-medium heat until the onions are brown and soft. Cook them slowly. It should take 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add the ginger and the garlic and mix through.
  7. Add the lamb mixture, chilli powder and turmeric to the onion mixture and combine. Cover the pan and cook until the lamb is tender. Because I used lamb leg, this only took about 20 minutes on a slow heat.
  8. To serve, add the chopped coriander (or parsley) and sprinkle some garam masala over the top. Mix it into the Rogan Josh.
  9. Traditionally, Rogan Josh is served with rice or paratha/naan. For a healthier option, we served ours with pearl barley.

Notes

*We used lamb cut from a leg which gives a tender result with less cooking time. You can use lamb shoulder but as this is a secondary cut it will take longer to cook.

**We use Greek yoghurt. Whatever brand you use, be sure to get one that is as natural as possible. Do not use flavoured yoghurt.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 432mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 22g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

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indian-rogan-josh-curry-recipe ingredients

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