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A long-time favorite of mine, and very popular in the UK, is this exquisite dish from Kashmir, northern India. Meat-eater or vegetarian, your palate will sing the praises of Rogan Josh! I first enjoyed the dish in 1968, when a very good friend introduced me to it in New York city. I've been hooked ever since.

Unlike the dishes we associate with "curry powder", Rogan Josh is a beautiful red sauce, creamy and lush.

Many recipes use tomato in some form. I have been taught that tomatoes were introduced by European traders, and, therefore, are not native to Rogan Josh. I recommend not using tomatoes in Rogan Josh because they really bring nothing to the table.

I use this sauce with lamb, chicken, goat or beef. It is a slow-cooked dish, so it would be well-suited to the crockpot kitchen. My friend, Lauren CoffeeMuffins, recommends using only chunky vegetables - whole button mushrooms, carrots, Bell peppers and root veggies - a terrific idea for a vegetarian dish!

Accompanied by a well done basmati rice dish and perhaps an Indian-kitchen-inspired vegetable dish or two, this is a perfectly wonderful dish to serve guests who appreciate complex and pleasant flavors, and not a lot of heat.

Rogan Josh runs to the mild- to-medium range of spicy. Not all Indian cuisine will 'light up the night' with heat, and this is one that will not. Rogan Josh is a perfect way to introduce someone to the exquisite culinary heritage of the Indian sub-continent.

Do not be afraid to blend your own spice mixtures - they become the stamp on your signature dishes. All you need, really, is a small electric coffee grinder dedicated to the grinding of your spices. All you need to do is thoroughly clean the grinder after use.

(TIP: 1 Tbs of granulated sugar buzzed for a couple of pulses in the grinder will 'clean' the machine of virtually all residual spice)

Following is how I have come to blend my spice mixure for the regal dish of Rogan Josh. I continue to learn from my more knowledgeable Kashmiri culinary friends. This recipe will provide seasoning for 2-3 lbs of any meat.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients

Cost per serving $1.55 view details
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (about 3")
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cardomom seeds (I prefer black - but you can use green) [TIP: cardomom can often be found in pods. You must remove the seeds from the pods before cooking the dish]
  • (Process the above spices in your grinder to powder)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp tumeric powder
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 onions
  • 1 C thick yogurt combined with 1/2 tsp corn flour + 1/4 tsp corn starch (prevents separation)
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala (a powdered blend of many spices)
  • 1/4 C chopped (cilantro leaves only) (optional garnish)
  • 2-3 lbs of meat OR chunky vegetables
  • 1/4 C cooking oil
  • 2 Tbs sweet butter (clarified would be perfect)

Directions

  1. THE SAUCE FOR ROGAN JOSH:
  2. Process the cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and cardomom seeds to a powder
  3. Add to the above: the paprika, tumeric, chili powder, cardomom, and cayenne pepper and combine
  4. Combine the yogurt,corn flour (not meal), and corn starch (TIP: this will prevent the yogurt from breaking down during cooking, keeping a creamy consistency)
  5. Incorporate the above spices into the yogurt mixture
  6. Make a fine paste of the garlic, ginger and sea salt (TIP: mincing the garlic and ginger will create an extremely smooth paste quickly when mashed into the salt)
  7. Incorporate the garlic-ginger paste into the yogurt sauce
  8. Grate the onions and incorporate the onions into the sauce
  9. Refrigerate the sauce as you prepare the meat
  10. Brown the selected meat throughly in the heated oil and sweet butter
  11. Add the sauce to the meat and simmer gently for 40 minutes (until done, depending of the meat you are using)
  12. Then the meat is done, remove to a serving dish
  13. With a very fine sieve, dust the Rogan Josh with the garam masala [TIP: I learned long ago from Mr. Singh that GARAM MASALA, whatever the combination of spices that went into it, is really a delicate "finishing" spice, like a finishing salt or vinegar or oil in other cuisines. Hence, while some cooks add it during the cooking stage, Kashmiri chefs will add the garam masala as a dusting on the plated dish, adding immeasurable nuance and delicacy to the serving.]
  14. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro to garnish
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 423g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 429  
Calories from Fat 208 48%
Total Fat 23.63g 30%
Saturated Fat 6.39g 26%
Trans Fat 0.35g  
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 511mg 21%
Potassium 875mg 25%
Total Carbs 49.17g 13%
Dietary Fiber 13.7g 46%
Sugars 5.3g 4%
Protein 12.87g 21%

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Reviews

  • A.L. Wiebe
    January 20, 2012
    This looks great, but I have to confess that I don't know what the heck corn flour is...is it corn starch? I have never seen corn flour before!
    1 reply
    • Amos Miller
      January 20, 2012
      If you have any access to Mexican groceries, ask for 'masa' for corn tortillas. Short of that, I get mine from www.aslifinefoods.com - 4lbs for about .50 cents (US) a pound = shipping, so I suggest reviewing what ever else you may want to add to th order. If you have fine (rather than coarse) corn meal, process it to dust and that would also work, I believe. Thanks for the comment!

    Comments

    • Judit Hogya Demcsak
      July 11, 2012
      It looks very tasty and delicious!!!:)
      • Lauren CoffeeMuffins
        January 31, 2012
        I love this recipe, it's very similar to a Rojan Josh recipe that I use. While Chicken or Lamb is good in a Rojan Josh, I've also found that chunky vegetables can be really good. Whole button mushrooms, bell peppers, cauliflower etc. Perfect!
        1 reply
        • Amos Miller
          January 31, 2012
          Hi, Lauren! Thanks for the outstanding comment. So constructive was your input that I've incorporated you into the prologue for the recipe and have added this recipe to the various vegetarian Groups on C-E-S. You represent the best aspects of C-E-S: share and build, and helping to improve what we prepare. Thanks, and be well!
        • judee
          January 28, 2012
          Research is saying that spices are full of healthy antioxidants and really good for you. This dish has so many spices, it must be really healthy. I'm a big fan of Indian food and would love to try the sauce over tofu.
          1 reply
          • Amos Miller
            January 28, 2012
            Judee - I do not see why your tofu idea would not work - just choose the right tofu. I know it is delish over white or brown rice - and would probably be very good with certain firm vegetables.
          • Amos Miller
            January 27, 2012
            Shalini - I have added the ground ginger into my formulation, at your suggestion. I felt the garlic/ginger paste would be sufficient, but can see how the addition of a small amount of ginger powder will elevate the dish. I look forward to a beef Rogan Josh in the immediate future. I also immediately know that the ground ginger will, indeed, greatly enhance the dish! Thanks and this is why I love this site!
            • Amos Miller
              January 27, 2012
              Dear Shalini - Outstanding suggestions! I do have black cardomom seeds, garam flour, ground ginger, of course, and fennel seeds to try. I will incorporate the ginger powder into the next go-round. Thanks for these creative and nuanced suggestions. I have no problem obtaining any of the ingredients necessary for creating the fine dishes of the sub-continent, I just wish most of our members had the same access because these dishes can be magnificently elegant and lush. Please stay in touch!
              • shalini
                January 27, 2012
                hey amos...if you add a tsp of ground ginger powder to this you'll elevate the taste to such a level...you'll want to lick the pot....2 spices ---fennel seed powder and ground ginger in combination= an authentic kashmiri taste,and the garam masala is not required ,you have al the spices needed.,only if you can get black cardamom seeds..wow! try this now...and if you dont have corn flour/cornstarch we use besan or gram flour....cheers!
                1 reply
                • Amos Miller
                  January 27, 2012
                  Dear Shalini - Outstanding suggestions! I do have black cardomom seeds, garam flour, ground ginger, of course, and fennel seeds to try. I will incorporate the ginger powder into the next go-round. Thanks for these creative and nuanced suggestions. I have no problem obtaining any of the ingredients necessary for creating the fine dishes of the sub-continent, I just wish most of our members had the same access because these dishes can be magnificently elegant and lush. Please stay in touch!
                • Amos Miller
                  January 26, 2012
                  Fergyhun - Thanks so much for the promise to give this a try! I will be looking to you for a reliable review. Always looking for a way to improve, so fire away! very best regards - Amos
                  • Guilt Free Cuisine by Fergyhun
                    January 26, 2012
                    Amos - I'm from the UK and you're right, we do love it over there. In fact Lamb Rogan Josh was my Dad's favorite dish. I'm going to try your version. It looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing.
                    1 reply
                    • Amos Miller
                      January 26, 2012
                      Fergyhun - Thanks so much for the promise to give this a try! I will be looking to you for a reliable review. Always looking for a way to improve, so fire away! very best regards - Amos
                    • Amos Miller
                      January 21, 2012
                      And Claudia, it tastes 100 times better than it looks! I'll put some photos of my Chicken Rogan Josh up. So good...
                      • Claudia lamascolo
                        January 21, 2012
                        Wow this is a keeper ... sounds and looks fantastic!
                        • Amos Miller
                          January 20, 2012
                          If you have any access to Mexican groceries, ask for 'masa' for corn tortillas. Short of that, I get mine from www.aslifinefoods.com - 4lbs for about .50 cents (US) a pound + shipping, so I suggest reviewing what ever else you may want to add to the order. If you have fine (not coarse) corn meal, process it to dust and that would also work, I believe. Thanks for the comment!

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