The great thing about Rogan Josh is that it is best made ahead so easy to serve for guests.
Rogan means “fat” and josh means “heat” or “intensity”. This dish was traditionally made with fatty meat on the bone, slow cooked for flavour. In these more health-conscious days, I like to use trimmed lamb shoulder, lamb leg, or even lamb leg or grilling chops. I have used a combination of spices to get an authentic flavour, although you could easily use a commercial Rogan Josh paste if you prefer. While spinach is not traditional in Rogan Josh, I love to stir it through for colour and to add another vegetable.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 ½ hours
1½ tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1.5kg trimmed diced lamb
¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil or ghee
4 bay leaves
4 black cardamom pods
6 green cardamom pods
1 piece cassia or 1 cinnamon stick
1½ teaspoons fennel seeds
6 medium (600g) brown onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons grated ginger
6 small red chillies, finely sliced
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
1 cup (280g) thick natural yoghurt
200g baby spinach leaves (optional)
1/3 cup chopped coriander
- Combine ground coriander, turmeric and cloves in a large bowl. Add lamb and toss to coat.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan on high. Cook lamb, in batches, for X mins, until browned all over. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Heat remaining oil in same pan on high. Add bay leaves, black and green cardamom, cassia or cinnamon and fennel seeds. Cook for 1 min, until fragrant and black cardamom pods have popped. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and season well with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 mins, until golden brown and caramelised. Add garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for 1 min.
- Return lamb to pan with tomato and stir to combine. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 mins. Season yoghurt with salt and whisk with a fork to combine. Add to curry, 1 tbsp at a time, stirring well after each addition. Simmer, uncovered, for another 30 mins, until lamb is tender.
- Just before serving, remove cassia or cinnamon from curry, and stir through spinach, if using, and coriander. Serve with spiced basmati rice.