Route 79 : Rogan Josh (Lamb Curry)

The effects of feeling hungry on the way home


February 29 2004

Lamb Curry: Rogan Josh

If you have read the Lamb Biryani recipe - then you now know what I did with the rest of the Lamb! This is a classic lamb curry - no idea why it's called Rogan Josh - but this recipe is dead simple - and is also a very healthy low-fat dish given the use of fresh lean leg of lamb. Here are the ingredients:

* Around 600-700 grams of leg of lamb - chopped into bite-sized chunks.
* The usual chunks of frozen pulped garlic, ginger your freezer. (no chillie this time!)
* 2 teaspoons salt.
* 1 teaspoon haldi (turmeric)
* 3 teaspoons garam masala
* 2 teaspoons ground coriander
* 2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 2 dessert spoons of plain natural yoghurt
* 1 teaspoon of red chillie powder
* 2 medium onions - finely chopped
* Three-quarters of a tin of peeled plum tomatoes

Ingredients for Rogan Josh (Lamb Curry)

This is a no-fuss method - involving just one pot and your skill and patience as a stirrer of a wooden spoon! First pour a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil into the pot and heat on high until very hot. Throw in the finely chopped onions and stir fry until the pieces start to go soft and translucent. Then throw in the frozen chunks of garlic and ginger and keep stir-frying. (make sure you zapped the frozen chunks for 10 seconds in the microwave first so that the ginger and garlic is not frozen any more!)

Then add all the quantities of ground spices and keep frying - the mixture should be dry-ish - and this is called "dry-frying" - or "pot-roasting". Fry for a few minutes until the heavenly aroma fills up your entire house - and then add the chunks of fresh leg of lamb. Keep stir-frying!

You should stir-fry for around 5 mins on high-ish heat until the meat has fully browned. Then throw in the tinned tomato. I forgot to mention that you should chop all the peeled-plum tomatoes into smallish/finer chunks first with a knife and fork. (Or else you could use pre-chopped tinned tomatoes if you like - but they are usually twice as expensive as the non-chopped ones!)

Stir it all about and let it cook for a few mins before adding a couple of large dollops of plain natural yoghurt. Stir it all in and then put the flame on high to bring it to a boil.

Then put the lid on and immediately transfer to the lowest possible flame burner and then go off and do something else for half and hour. Come back after half hour - take the lid off and give it a stir - and then put lid back on and let it simmer for another half hour. Repeat this for around one and half hours - and you will notice that the consistency of the mixture is a bit thicker - and the colour is bit redder/browner.

At this point it's done! Taste it in order to see if any more salt or chillie powder needs adding - and make sure that the lamb pieces are tender - not chewy! Then sprinkle on a generous handful of freshly chopped coriander leaf and stir it in. Let it rest with the lid on for 5 minutes and it's ready to serve!

This dish is best served in bowls with naan or rice accompaniment (or both) and a side salad of chunky cucumber, tomato, onion and carrot with a dash of lemon or vinegar. Very tasty - and very easy to make.

Have you tried this? Even if you haven't - let me know what you think!
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