If you love Lamb Rogan Josh and have never made it before, this is the perfect recipe for you. It is simple and easy to make, and it’s made from scratch. This is not a chilli hot dish, making it ideal for even the fussiest eater.
I have made Lamb Rogan Josh many times over the years. My first attempts were using store bought pastes, simply because I thought it was too difficult to make from scratch.
Cooking this way was convenient at the time, however, after eating the curry my stomach always felt heavy and unsettled. I think it could have been due to the amount of oils and spices used in the bottled version.
I soon learnt how to make Rogan Josh paste from scratch, and it’s not difficult at all. In fact, it will take you about 35 minutes to put together and then slow cook.
Tips For Making The Best Rogan Josh Curry Ever!
- The secret to a nice spice paste is to “dry fry” the spices before making the paste. This will help intensify the flavours.
- Use meat from lamb with the bone-in and add the bone to the curry when cooking – this will give added flavour to the dish.
- Lamb can be quite fatty, so trim away most of the fat from the meat but not all. You will want to leave some fat, as it will add to the flavour of the dish.
- After cooking the curry and even trimming away the fat, you see fat on the surface. If you don’t want this, you could. Use a spoon to skim of the fat or, allow it the curry to cool completely then place in the fridge overnight. This will allow the fat to harden. You can then remove the solidified fat before re-heating.
- Cut the meat into 2 cm cubes rather than large chunky 5 cm cubes, the meat will cook quicker and absorb more flavour.
- If you can wait, eat the curry the next day. Place it fridge overnight so that the flavours will develop and make it taste even better.
- The curry can be frozen, then re-heated in the microwave or on the stove.
- Serve Rogan Josh with basmati rice and naan bread.
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Lamb Rogan Josh
- 850 grams lamb
- 10 grams desiccated coconut
- 10 grams flaked almonds
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon black poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel powder
- 6-8 garlic cloves
- 12 grams fresh ginger roughly chopped
- 3 red fresh chillies or to tastes
- 4 cardamom pods lightly bruised
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 200 grams brown onion diced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
- 4 red tomatoes diced
- 1½ teaspoons salt – or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon garam masala or to taste
- fresh coriander to garnish
- PREPARE THE LAMB– Remove excess fat from the lamb and cut into 2 cm cubes.Note 1: I prefer to use lamb leg with the bone-in (for this recipe the lamb leg was about 1.8 kg), I removed excess fat and discarded the lower shank bone (this is the small piece of bone at the end of the leg, it usually has little meat and is very fatty). I will then cut the meat away from the bone and cut it into 2 cm cubes. I always keep the bone and add it to the curry as it cooks and will remove it before serving.
- MAKE THE SPICE PASTE– In a dry fry pan and on medium heat, lightly toast the coconut – stirring as you brown it, as soon as you see the coconut start to brown turn down the heat, continue stirring, until most of it is lightly golden. Transfer the coconut to a plate.– In the same dry pan, toast the flaked almonds, using the same method as the coconut. Transfer to the same plate as the coconut.– In the same dry fry pan, dry toast the coriander powder, cumin powder, poppy seeds and fennel powder until they become fragrant. Remove from the fry pan, you might like to use a pastry brush to remove all the spices from the pan. Note 2: Don’t be tempted to do steps 2, 3 and 4 all at the same time. You will run the risk of burning some of the ingredients, as the time it takes to brown the coconut, almonds and spices does vary.– The next step is to grind the coconut, almonds, and toasted spices with the garlic, ginger, and chilli. This can be done in a small blender or using a pestle and mortar. Grind until it becomes a fine paste – adding a little water if you think it will help. Transfer to a container.– To the spice mix add the cardamom pods, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ground pepper, and turmeric powder. Put aside for later.
- MAKING THE CURRY– In a large saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onions until golden brown.– Add the combined spice paste mix from steps 5 and 6 to the onions, turn down the heat and fry for about 2-3 minutes. Note 3: You may find that if the pan is too hot the spice mix will start to stick to the bottom of the pan, turn down the heat and add a little water and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.– Add the yogurt, diced tomatoes and salt, mix well and cook for 5 minutes on medium to high heat.– Turn the heat on high and add the cubed lamb and stir well until it is covered in the spice mix, then add the lamb bone if using.– Bring the mixture to the boil, turn down the heat to low. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer on low heat for 1 – 1½ hours or until the meat is tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot, to avoid burning. Note 4: At this stage the curry will a little look dry however, as it slowly simmers the liquid will increase, giving you a lovely thick sauce. Just a word of warning, do make sure that the pot is tightly sealed, if it’s not it will cook dry and can burn if you are not careful. If your curry does look a little dry or you are worried that it may burn, turn down the heat and add half a cup of water.– Once the meat is tender add the garam masala to the curry. Mix well and cover with the lid and simmer for 5 more minutes.– Adjust the seasoning, remove the bone and cardamom pods before serving.
Pocket Food Facts
Did you know?
In India lamb is seldom used to make curries, instead goat (which they call mutton) is used, it is lean and is ideal for long slow cooking. Learn more about the differences between mutton, lamb, and goat meat.