Rogan Josh – an Indian lamb curry with a heady combination of intense spices in a creamy tomato curry sauce. The lamb is fall apart tender and packs a serious flavour punch!
While this recipe calls for a lengthy list of spices, you won’t need to take a trip to an Indian store to get them – they’re even sold at my local grocery store!
Lamb Rogan Josh
I’d say Daal is up there too, but let’s be honest – if you can only order one curry, it probably won’t be daal (unless you’re with a vegetarian). Right? 🤷🏻♀️
There’s a decent list of spices called for in Rogan Josh. As would be expected given the kapow! flavour of the creamy tomato curry sauce!
But it doesn’t call for any hard to find ingredients. In fact, you can get all the spices at large supermarkets here in Australia.🙌🏻
This recipe is based on one from one my favourite chefs, Rick Stein, from his book Rick Stein’s India. I felt the addition of stock and increasing the amount of spices really made this Rogan Josh taste just that much more curry-house style. Now “that’s a mind-blasting curry, Ricky ….”
Ingredients in Rogan Josh
Here’s what you need. And yes, dear fellow Aussies, you really can get all the ingredients at Coles, Woolworths or Harris Farms!
- Spices – all spices listed above are common ones with the exception of Garam Masala. This is an Indian Spice Mix which is sold at supermarkets nowadays, however, if you are struggling to find it, substitute with curry powder;
- Best lamb for Rogan Josh – Lamb shoulder is best because it’s well marbled with fat and becomes ultra tender and juicy when slow cooked for a couple of hours;
- Ghee – this is just pure butter so it has a more intense butter flavour than normal butter (spreadable or block for cooking). In fact, it’s just clarified butter also known as browned butter, which is simply butter that’s melted and simmered until the water content evaporates, leaving behind 100% butter fat. It’s SO GOOD and it’s an essential ingredient for flavour in Indian cooking, adding a layer of richness to the sauce. Sold at large grocery stores, or substitute with butter.
How to make Rogan Josh
And here’s how you make it. All in one go, in one pot – nice and easy!
Fall apart lamb
Rogan Josh is made with stewing lamb, so it needs to be cooked long and slow (2 hours, to be exact) for the lamb to become tender and for sauce flavour to develop.
You know it’s ready when you can use two forks to do THIS to the lamb:
What to serve with Rogan Josh
Something to mop your bowl clean would also be ideal and traditional. Real Naan you can make at home is no-brainer here! Chewy, fluffy and stretchy, you’ll feel like you’re at a restaurant! For a quicker alternative, try this easy No Yeast Flatbread that I use as naan with all my Indian curries.
Of course, something fresh will complete the meal. It’s pictured with a variation of this Herb & Garlic Cucumber Salad – I cut the cucumber into thicker chunks (for juicier bites), skipped the herb & garlic (the curry has enough flavour!) and sprinkled with coriander. Cooling Indian Tomato Salad with Mint Dressing would also be lovely, or for something a little more substantial and exotic, try South Indian Cabbage & Carrot Salad with Coconut.
If you’re going the whole hog to create a full Indian feast, try Samosas for the ultimate appetiser / starter!
– Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Rogan Josh (Indian Lamb Curry)
- 3.5 tbsp ghee , substitute butter (Note 1)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 green cardamom pods , lightly bruised
- 4 cloves
- 1 large onion , finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , finely minced
- 1 tbsp ginger , finely grated
- 5 tbsp tomato passata (US: tomato puree/sauce, Note 5)
- 1 tsp salt
- 750g/1.5lb boneless lamb shoulder , cut into 3cm/1.2" cubes (Note 6)
- 1.5 cups / 375ml chicken stock , salt reduced (broth)
- 2 tbsp paprika , normal or sweet
- 3/4 tsp chilli powder (or to taste, Note 2)
- 4 tsp ground coriander
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp garam marsala (Note 3)
- 1/2 tsp fennel powder (Note 4)
- 1/2 tsp extra garam masala (Note 3)
- 1/2 tsp extra fennel powder
- 1/2 cup / 125g plain yoghurt (Greek yogurt fine)
- Chopped coriander leaves, finely shredded ginger, yogurt
- Basmati rice
- Melt ghee over medium heat in large heavy based pot. Add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and cook for one minute.
- Add onion and cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until pieces are golden and starting the brown on the edges.
- Add the garlic and ginger, cook for another minute.
- Stir in the Spices, cook for 30 seconds.
- Mix in the tomato puree and salt, then add stock and mix.
- Add lamb, stir, bring to simmer.
- Place lid on and adjust heat to low or medium low so it's simmering gently.
- Cook 1 hour 45 minutes, giving it an occasional stir, until lamb is quite tender - use 2 forks to check, it should pry apart pretty easily.
- Remove lid, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes (to reduce sauce slightly) - lamb should be very tender by this stage.
- Stir in the Yogurt, the Extra garam marsala and fennel. Cook for another few minutes.
More great curries of the world!
Life of Dozer
Teaching Dozer to use his new dog door using avocado toast as incentive!!
[Update] PS Dear everyone expressing concern about avocado being bad for dogs – they are not! I use a dog nutritionist to help me create Dozer’s raw food diet, to ensure he has the right nutrition etc. And I double/triple checked with him yesterday that avocado is fine for dogs in moderation, as with many things! You wouldn’t feed dogs a whole avocado everyday (also bearing in mind the seed is a choking hazard) but some is ok.
(Though having said that, the farm dog of an avocado farmer I know has been eating 3 avocados a day her whole life, and she’s healthy and fit, and has the shiniest coat I have ever seen on a dog!!)