May 30, 2011

Rogan Josh, or, Kashmiri Lamb Curry — sinfully delicious blend of very fragrant spices and flavors

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It’s been too hot outside lately and my last two blog posts featured easy, simple, fresh and healthy recipes to cool off in this weather. I had another easy, summery recipe lined up for today too. On second thoughts, I felt it was more appropriate to publish a recipe with a bit more substance. Something that’s....mmmm, meaty, classy, unique. Something with a real wow-factor. Like the classic rogan josh I had prepared last week.

I realize I haven’t posted a single red meat recipe on my blog. Until now. Reason? We prefer white meat to red, and mostly don’t cook lamb or beef at home unless there’s a special occasion—that too, once in a blue moon. But last week, with my brother in town, I was in a mood to prepare something sinfully rich and indulgent to enjoy on a warm summer evening. Without further ado, I chose rogan josh. One of my family’s favorite way to enjoy lamb, desi style.

 
Rogan josh is a fine delicacy from the picturesque state of Kashmir, bordering India and Pakistan, and per book knowledge, it’s equally popular in both these countries. This creamy, rich, spicy, aromatic meat dish has its origin in Mughal cuisine, one of the largest Muslim influences on India.

The curry is prepared with lamb or mutton shoulder, cooked to a tender, succulent texture in a gorgeously rich sauce packed with flavors. Traditionally the dish is prepared in ghee, Indian clarified butter, with the spices fried in fat to awaken flavors and infuse the fat with the essence before adding other ingredients. Yogurt, the foundation of the sauce, gives a lovely tang together with the tomato. Almond adds texture, flavor and also thickens the sauce. There is a bit of heat from the chilies and pepper, too. All in all, the redolent flavors are to die-for. For a glorious, guilty pleasure, serve rogan josh with any flat Indian bread like chappati, paratha, naan—perfect choices for mopping up the rich gravy.
Okay, if you eyeball the ingredients, this might look like a marathon recipe. I know. But this curried dish is the master of flavors -- it shows off the fiery delights of authentic Kashmiri cuisine -- and the end result is well worth the time and efforts. So don’t be intimidated—there’s nothing really difficult about it, and it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Yes, this comfort food is ideal for sharing. You can even prepare it the night before and simply re-heat, which somehow enhances the taste and flavor, making it a terrific dish for a party.

My first attempt at rogan josh, years ago, was following a recipe from the cookbook that came with Hawkins pressure cooker, my first ever cookbook. This recipe is always a winner, a great crowd-pleaser. Bonus? Delicious, braised lamb is ready in a fraction of the normal cooking time. Pressure cooking is such a blessing!
Lamb Rogan Josh

(adapted from Hawkins pressure cooking recipe book)

Ingredients
Serves 4-5

2.2 lb (1 kg) lamb shoulder, cut into bite-size chunks
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
16 almonds, shelled
3 brown cardamoms, peeled
¼ teaspoon peppercorns
7 cloves
generous pinch mace
2 tablespoon fresh coconut, grated
5 whole dry red chilies, soaked in ½ cup water for 15 minutes
8 garlic flakes
20 gms ginger
generous pinch nutmeg, grated
¼ cup vegetable oil and melted unsalted butter, combined
2 bay leaves
2.5 cm cinnamon stick
8 green cardamoms, slightly crushed
2 medium onions, grated
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder
¾ cup yogurt, beaten
4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup water


Directions

In a pan, over low heat, dry roast coriander, cumin, poppy seeds, almonds, brown cardamoms, peppercorns, cloves, mace and coconut, together, until fragrant and lightly colored, taking care not to overbrown or burn the spices. Allow the spices to cool and tip into a blender along with the red chilies, ginger, garlic and nutmeg. Add water in which the chilies were soaked ( ½ cup), little by little,  and blend to a smooth, thick paste.

Meanwhile, heat oil and butter mixture over medium heat in a large pressure cooker. Tip in bay leaves, cinnamon and green cardamoms, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onions and fry over medium-low heat, stirring often, until onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Now tip in the ground masala paste, tomato, turmeric and chili powder, and toss well. Let the sauce bubble for 2 minutes.

Stir in yogurt, in tablespoons, and stir-fry until all yogurt is added and the oil separates, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, and then add the lamb and fry till the meat is slightly browned, for maximum flavor. Top with 1 cup water and stir well to combine.

Now, close the cooker and bring to full pressure on high heat (the cooker whistles when it reaches full pressure). Then reduce heat and cook for another 10 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool naturally.

Once completely cool, open the lid and skim off the excess fat settled on the top, if you like. Mix well and then return to heat, uncovered, to reduce if the sauce is too thin. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the sauce is reduced and thickened slightly. Add more seasoning if needed.

Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves and a red chili on top, if you like, next to a soft pillow of naan or kerala poratta; ghee rice or plain rice. Lovely.
PS: For some reason, my recipe index page is acting up and I’m not able to update the contents. Sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you. No matter what I do, the formatting gets screwed and the hyperlink does not work, how weird! Looks like another system glitch—will have to report to blogger perhaps. Is anyone facing similar problems? So, kindly bear with the incomplete recipe list until I figure out a solution. Thanks for your patience with me!

68 comments:

  1. I am a big fan of this curry..Love to make it.. thaks for sharing.

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  2. I want to dig in right now dear....nice clicks to match the recipe...its a hit on any hotel menu...love the colour ...pics does justice to the recipe.

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  3. Hi Nashi, a rich gravy!! Definitely bookmarked!! When it comes to cooking red meat, my husband dons the apron and he loves to experiment with the spices and flavours. I'm sending this recipe to him for his next try.. :-)

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  4. Outstanding looking rogan josh dear. Can't help but compliment you for the perfect looking dish that you have created.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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  5. sadly..the lamb we get here is horrid..at least i think so and have never cooked it at home..i shud probably try this with beef perhaps??

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  6. Omg, mouthwatering here, havent had lamb curry since a long,fingerlicking curry..

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  7. A great write up and beautiful photography!!! Just awesome :)

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  8. Omg, drool-worthy curry,simply inviting...

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  9. looks fabulously delicious love it flavourful
    love adding coconut as a thickner
    thank you :) love coming to yours as well
    cheers

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  10. Looks so delicious and mouthwatering recipe.Excellent photography.

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  11. wow curry looks so tempting and rich gravy !! awesome clicks !!

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  12. lovely pics and mouthwatering lamb curry very tempting

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  13. Had been looking for this recipe for sometime now .... thanks for posting. Awesome clicks !

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  14. curry looks tempting....superb clicks too....

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  15. Looks delicious curry.

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  16. Have heard a lot about this delicacy, in fact it is really popular in my extended family.Appears very authentic n nicely done!
    Really like the crispness of your images.
    US Masala

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  17. Beautiful lighting and pictures..looks yumm with hot rice

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  18. This looks yummy....you have a lovely blog...I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/2011/05/chocolate-recipe-and-chocolate.html

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  19. Amazing clicks and looks mouthwatering!

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  20. Thank you all for the comments. Glad to hear I would tempt you with the rich curry -- hope you give it a try. Big hugs!

    Schmetterlingwords, sounds delicious that you/hubby gonna try make some. I think you'll enjoy it a lot. Would love to hear from you!

    Nisha, I'm sure beef would work. Just keep an eye on the cooking time, beef requires more time in a pressure cooker.

    Satrupa, hope you give it a try..! :)

    Hi Aarthi, thanks for popping over!

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  21. Delicious rogan josh,spicy and absolutely flavorful.

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  22. As usual droolworthy pics :), I love this curry and this one is a permanent fixture whenever I have a party , isn't it simply the best .

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  23. Rich, royal, spicy & mouthwatering gravy!! I know authentic recipe uses lamb but will veg instead can be added to this same masala?
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  24. oooh...that looks so rich....would be perfect with the malabar paratta you have in one of the pics...love the pic of the red chilies...deceptively cute:)

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  25. hey, I just posted an event on http://indugetscooking.blogspot.com/2011/05/food-for-little-champs-event.html

    Do try to participitate :)

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  26. Creamy and spicy gravy..drooling drooling..looks absolutely delicious.

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  27. What a lovely recipe. It looks amazing as well. I really must try this. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  28. That rogan josh looks so appetizing! So scrumptious when served freshly baked pillowy naans. Mmmhhhh...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  29. ah you're a girl after my heart. and i heart rogan josh...jus hunting for the best recipe that tastes like Hotel Mandovi one in Goa. i shd try this out and tell you!

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  30. Superb..loved the look and click as well.:)
    delicious to the core!!

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  31. Not a meat eater anymore :P yet can vouch for it's authenticity and of course taste!!

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  32. hey chk out bos-bowl.com. you'll love him!

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  33. This looks amazing! I should try this out. Also, Congrats Nashi, your watermelon shake won the best pic for Kerala Kitchen

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  34. Hey all, so happy to hear from you. Each time I log in, your comments make me smile... :) Big thanks!

    Prathima, using lamb or mutton is a winner. I'm sure veggie, phaps potato (?), can also be very interesting and tasty. You'll have to adapt the cooking time to whatever you are using and remember that the flavor might not be the same. But hey let me know if you make it!

    Indu: Sure sweetie, will check out your event. Thanks!

    Ginza: O yea, plz do try it and let me know! :)

    Sarah...WOW...this's good news! I'm so thrilled!! Heading over to Kerala Kitchen right now :) Hugs!

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  35. Hello dear!! Thanx for ur lovely words in my blog. Juz visiting ur blog for the very first time and loving the recipes. I'm ur happy follower now.

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  36. Your roghan josh looks really good & your photography is spectacular. Great post ... must try someday.

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  37. wow........im drooling over this.........

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  38. arey! I am ghas poos dear, but I am sure you recipe is a meat eater's dreamy dish dear :)

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  39. AnonymousJune 02, 2011

    Lamb Curry simply irresistible and drool-worthy. Looking yum.

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  40. looks rich.. lovely clicks :)

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  41. That looks so delicious...

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  42. OMG! This looks wonderful, incredibly flavorful and delicious:)

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  43. Beautiful clicks...curry looks absolutely perfect and delicious..

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  44. This is probably my first visit in your blog and may i say it's gorgeous .. you have lovely collection of recipes with gorgeous clicks! :)

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  45. Lovely red curry Nash. Amazing clicks as usual. Presentation is perfect.

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  46. One more thing Nash, thankyou so much for your lovely and kind words.

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  47. wow...great recipe and fantastic clicks too...it looks so tempting that I am feeling hungry now....:)

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  48. Aww girls, thanks again for the wonderful comments! :)

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  49. "sinfully delicious"? I want to be a sinner!!! ;)
    It looks so great! And now I'm very hungry too.

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  50. lol...thanks so much Sarah!

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  51. My goodness this looks wonderful and I adore Kashmiri lamb curry. I just made a Kerala style chicken curry and now I need to make this one. I have all the ingredients in my pantry except for the Kashmiri red chili powder and the brown cardamoms, sure hope that I can find those ingredients.

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  52. Hey Lisa! Based on how much you loved the Kerala style chicken curry, I am sure you're gonna love this Kashmiri lamb curry too. I hope you give it a try!

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  53. Hi Nashi,

    Really liked your descriptions in the paragraph that starts, "The curry is prepared with lamb..." Especially, "spices fried in fat to awaken flavors..." Spices & Meat, yes!

    Reese & I are now going to Little India tomorrow for lunch to get our curry fix.

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  54. Hey Mark, thanks. I hope you enjoyed your time at Little India!

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  55. babe...i should thank you for this recipe. thomas wont let me make anything else with mutton but this. it hit the jack pot. xcept i would keep the red chillies to four nos and salt to three tsp.

    lovely all the way. you're a true blogger: recipe, writing, pics...impeccable!!!

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  56. Hey hey, Ginza thanks so much for the feedback. Makes me smile to know you liked it too, thought not so spicy eh? :) Again, thanks lovely!

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  57. Delicious, thank you, I used fresh ginger, chilli and garlic - was a treat fit for kings.

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  58. Hi Jen, I'm really happy to read this! Thanks for the feedback.

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  59. GREAT JOB!!!!!! IM INDIAN AND THIS WAS PHENOMENAL. LOVELY PHOTOS. ONLY THING I CHANGED WAS ADDING CURRY LEAVES A TTHE END

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    Replies
    1. Glad you loved it! I'm sure curry leaves added to the taste, I'm huge on curry leaves too :)

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  60. Have made this so many times now!

    Pl post some Nadan Mutton Curry recipe..with coconut oil and thenga kothu and all that...slurrp!

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  61. Thomas wants me to make this for the huge party we've on Sat. He won't lemme make anything else!! When's the next mutton dish coming in here.

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  62. Hi Nashi,

    This looks amazing ! I am feeling ambitious and planning on making it this weekend . I have a question though . When you say 16 shelled almonds , do you mean powder 16 raw almonds (as you do with cahewnuts in Butter Chicken recepie) ?

    Aplogies i think i posted this butter chicken page too . oops .
    Thanks !
    Vikas

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vikas, it means almonds with the thick hard shells removed--but not blanched. Almonds are dry roaster together with the other spices and ground to a paste per the recipe.
      Hope this helps. Good luck!

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    2. Got It ! Thanks a lot for the quick response . I'll let you know how it goes . :)

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi