Lamb Rogan Josh

A classic Indian staple with lamb as the star. This lamb rogan josh from Rick Stein brings together Kashmiri chillies, garam masala and green cardamom pods.

Introduction

One of the greatest sources of new-dish information for me on my travels in India has been the hotel buffet. Much Indian cooking lends itself to being kept warm in chafing dishes and in a big hotel you might get as many as thirty or forty different curries. They’re never going to be the best but you get a good idea of what you like and what you don’t. So it was with this rogan josh from the Kenilworth Hotel in Calcutta. I liked it and asked the chef to cook it for me. Sadly we couldn’t film in Kashmir, where the dish comes from, because of security problems. The dish comes originally from Persia where rogan means ‘oil’ and josh means ‘hot’. In other words, this dish is cooked with intense heat. But rogan can also mean ‘red’, and above all this dish is red and satisfyingly spicy from Kashmiri chillies.

Serves 4-6
Easy

Ingredients

40g ghee
5cm piece of cinnamon stick
3 dried Kashmiri chillies, torn into pieces
6 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised with a rolling pin
4 cloves
1 large onion, chopped
15g / 3 cloves garlic, finely crushed
15g / 3cm ginger, finely grated
2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
¼ tsp ground mace
1 tsp garam masala, plus 1 tsp extra to finish
1 tsp toasted ground fennel seeds, plus ¼ tsp extra to finish
4 tbsp tomato purée
750g boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 3cm cubes
1 tsp salt
300ml water
125g natural yogurt
50ml double cream
A handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped, to finish

Instructions

Put the ghee in a large, sturdy casserole over a medium heat. When hot, add the whole spices and fry for 1 minute, then add the onion and fry for 10 minutes until softened and golden. Stir in the garlic and ginger, fry for 1 minute, then add the ground spices (reserving the extra garam masala and ground fennel) and fry for 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomato puree, then add the lamb and salt and stir to make sure the lamb is well coated in the other ingredients. Pour in the water, bring to a simmer, then cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the lamb is tender. Stir in the yoghurt and cream, then season with the extra garam masala and ground fennel. Scatter with the fresh coriander and serve.

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