The word rogan refers to the red oil or glaze that develops on top of the curry as it cooks, while josh means ‘something pleasing that packs a punch’.
Originally from Kashmir, the traditional recipe did not include onions or tomatoes. The roganjosh most people are familiar with is a North Indian version with the sweet flavour of caramelised onion, ginger and tomato.
This recipe is a simplified version, which is just as delicious using meat on or off the bone. Serve with Pulao Rice or Naan, Parathas or Masala Pappadums.
60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) vegetable or canola oil
6 green cardamom pods
2 large onions, sliced
1 tablespoon ginger paste
2 tablespoons garlic paste
250 g (9 oz/1 cup) plain yoghurt
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) diced lamb or
1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) lamb chops, or a combination of both (see Chef’s Note)
½–1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cardamom pods and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5–7 minutes, or until well browned. Stir in the ginger and garlic pastes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Stir in the yoghurt, turmeric and chilli powder, then add the lamb and salt with 60 ml water. Stir, then cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the meat is tender, adding a little more water if required to keep the curry moist.
Stir in the tomato paste, reduce the heat to low, cover again and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until the meat is fall-apart tender. Serve hot.
Makes 1 cup
100 g (31/2 oz) fresh ginger
Peel and chop the ginger. Process in a food processor with 120 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) of water to form a smooth paste.
Makes 1 cup
100 g (31/2 oz) garlic cloves
Peel and chop the garlic. Process in a food processor with 120 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) of water to form a smooth paste.
You can use diced lamb, which is boneless, or you can choose from lamb forequarter or shoulder chops, slices of lamb shank or marrow bones. Get your butcher to cut shoulder chops and marrow bones into 3 cm pieces. Traditionally, Indian cooks use a combination of meat cut both on and off the bone.