Spicy Lamb Rogan Josh

Lamb cooked in a beautiful ginger & tomato sauce

This particular lamb dish has a Kashmiri origin. It can be made with lamb or goat and is actually a signature dish there, although it was originally brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, which also gives it a Persian influence.

In my version of this dish, the gravy is flavoured with garlic, ginger and aromatic spices, cardamom, and cinnamon, liberal amounts of cumin, mustard and Kashmiri Chilli of course, giving it a beautiful red colour.  These chilies are considerably milder than the typical red chilli powder. The recipe’s spice emphasises aroma rather than heat, as the heat will come from the mustard seeds, ginger and garam masala.  However, as I like my food hot, I have added green chillies which are totally optional.

This dish is sooo tasty.  The lamb is on the bone, and releases its juices into the masala base, the combination of all the aromatic spices with the flavour of the ginger and remainder beautiful ingredients leaves you with a flavour so amazing – it’s definitely one you will cook again and again.

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Ingredients – serves 4

2 tablespoons of oil

8 green cardamom

2 black cardamom

2 inch cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

Handful dried curry leaves or 3 to 4 fresh leaves

2 medium diced onions

2 heaped tablespoons of garlic paste

2 heaped tablespoons of ginger paste

2 teaspoons of turmeric

Handful coriander stalks

Green chillies to your taste – these are optional

400g tin of plum tomatoes – pureed

1 ½ teaspoon kashmiri chilli

1 ½ teaspoon garam masala

Salt to taste

1 kilo of lamb meat on the bone – ask the butcher to cut it into pieces (leg works well)

A handful of chopped coriander leaves

1 cup of boiled water

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and add the cinnamon, cardamom, curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds
  2. Add the onions as soon as the seeds begin to splutter in the pan
  3. Cook the onions on a medium heat until they take a golden tinge – will take about 12-15 minutes
  4. Add the garlic and ginger paste and sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic releases its aroma
  5. Stir in the turmeric and cook for a further minute or so
  6. Add the tomatoes and coriander stalks and also the green chillies if you are using them
  7. Cook on a medium heat until the tomatoes have cooked down and have darkened in colour
  8. Now you can add the Kashmiri chilli, garam masala and salt
  9. Keep cooking for a further 6-7 minutes
  10. Stir in the washed lamb pieces, ensuring they are all covered with the masala base
  11. Cover and cook on a low heat for 50 minutes – stirring intermittently
  12. The sauce should be thick and the meat almost cooked through
  13. Add a large handful of chopped coriander, and a cup of boiled water and cover and cook for a further 10 minutes
  14. Serve with rice, naan or roti