About this recipe:This is my take on a warming Kashmiri style rogan josh curry that you might get in a classic British curry house. Mine is less brightly red, but has a richer flavour, brought out by cooking the meat with bones to draw out a meatier stock. You can tweak the heat levels yourself by increasing the chilli used if you are after a hotter flavour.
750g (1¾ lb) lamb, chopped into 2-3cm dice (include some bones if you can)
1 pinch asafoetida
1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower oil or ghee
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3cm root ginger, peeled, then grated
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons beetroot powder (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
2 black cardamom pods
1 (65mm) cinnamon quill
1 bay leaf
200g (½lb) yoghurt, ideally Greek style
1 pinch saffron, soaked in 4 tablespoons cold water for 30 minutes
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr20min
Heat the 2 tablespoons sunflower oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan then add the lamb and pinch of asafoetida, then cook until lightly browned and sealed all over. Set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pot, add the 1 1/2 tablespoons sunflower oil and fry the onions, garlic and ginger until translucent. On a low heat, this should take about 5 minutes.
While the onions-garlic-ginger are frying, we need to prepare the spices for the rogan josh masala. Heat a small frying pan to dry fry some of the spices. When hot, add the coriander seeds, black peppercorns and cloves and dry roast for about 2 minutes; however, watch over them and ensure that they do not burn. Remove them from the heat and grind in a mortar with a pestle or a coffee grinder.
Add the other ground spices, beetroot powder, salt, the black cardamom pods, cinnamon quills and bay leaf.
When the onion-garlic-ginger is translucent, turn down the heat and add the spice masala and thoroughly mix through, cooking gently for 1 minute. Stir throughout as it can stick to the pot and then start to burn.
Add the yoghurt and mix thoroughly. Cover and heat up until just steaming, then remove lid. Add the meat, then cover with just enough water to go over all the meat. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat, place the lid on the pot and simmer for at least 1 hour.
Remove the lid, then add the saffron infused water and cook through thoroughly.
Ready to serve with rice and dhal.
You can simplify the masala preparation by either buying a ready made rogan josh powder and using about 3 teaspoons, or replacing the whole seeds for toasting with powders and missing out the dry cook stage.
You can replace the water with chopped tomatoes to give a redder colour.
I like to cook this on the night before then reheat the next day – this gives a much richer, deeper flavour and lets all the spices really meld together.