Rogan Josh roughly translates as "Hot, Fat Meat". Apart from being a promising title for a porn movie, it is also enough to put health-conscious folks off. But never fear! For I have a version of Rogan Josh that does not have to fur up your arteries. In fact, it uses little fat. Wow.
The heat in this dish comes from chillies, black cardamom and cloves. In India you would use Kashmiri chillies, but you can use whatever chilli you like. We are using Serrano chillies because they are quite mild, like the Kashmiri.
If we were going about Rogan Josh in an ultra-traditional fashion, then we would use the fattest mutton there was, and then add more fat to it. But I'm not going to make you do this because I don't hate you. Instead we have a recipe that can be prepared with regular lamb.
In some parts of India, yoghurt is not used, but most people do, as it adds body to the sauce.
- 4 cloves
- 2 black cardamoms
- 4 green cardamoms
- 1 blade of mace
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp corriander powder
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp fennel powder
- 1/3 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chilli powder (from whatever red chilli you like)
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1-1 1/2lbs cubed lamb (cooking time will be decided by which cut you have)
about 1/2 pint good lamb stock (made with the bones if you have them)
- 6-10 shallots, chopped
- 1/2 cup yoghurt (full fat)
- 1/4 cup ghee (or some vegatable oil)
Make a paste with of the powdered spices and some water, it should look like this...
Ok, now fry your chopped shallots in the ghee for 10-15 minutes until light brown. Then add the garlic and continue to fry for a couple of minutes.
(I figure at this point you don't need a picture of fried shallots)
Now add the cloves, cardamoms, mace, bay leaves and carry on frying for another minute or so. Then add the spice paste and fry for another few minutes. Add a bit of water (a tablespoon or so) if the spices are sticking like a bastard during the frying process. It will look a bit like this I would imagine...
Whack in your lamb and sauté for five minutes. Add the yoghurt and sauté for a further five minutes.
Now add most of the stock, salt to taste, and leave to simmer. Add more stock if it starts to dry out too much.
The dish is done when the lamb is very tender. This will take you somewhere in excess of an hour, depending on what cut of lamb you have. Just leave it until it's done!
Our otter approves...
Here's the finished dish. Note how it completely changed colour during the stewing process.
I hope you like this dish, it's a really tasty thing. Serve it with boiled rice, or maybe some sort of bread. A full-bodied red wine should go with this well.