Rogan Josh is a delicious mutton or lamb curry: the name literally means ‘stewed in butter’. No wonder I love it so much. I can’t think of anything that I wouldn’t like if it was slow cooked in butter. Especially if that something was tender bits of lamb with spices. The entire dish is as comforting to me as being cuddled up in a warm bed with a raging thunderstorm outside.
To make this curry as best as I possibly could, I harnessed all of my knowledge of Indian cuisine that I have learned over the years. Use lots of onions and a bit of tomato puree, like the British are inclined to do. Be heavy handed on the spices like my Indian cooking instructor taught me. Also, NEVER use a store bought curry paste. Be patient and learn how to use those aromatic spices to instill genuine flavor (and trust me, it isn’t as hard as you might think).
AND, most of all, share. As much as I would like to have this curry all to myself, Indian food is meant to be shared with good friends and family. It just tastes better on a table surrounded by people. So, invite a party round for dinner, feast and take in all the praise for creating such a delicious meal.
Indian lamb curry slow cooked in a lot of spice until it is tender and delicious. An Indian favorite sure to please and impress. #curry #lamb #spicy #Indian
6 tbsp unsalted butter
500 g / 18 oz (about 3-4) yellow onions
1 head of garlic (about 12 cloves)
2 inch/ 2.5 cm ginger
1 kg / 2.2 lbs mutton (cut into cubes)
14 green cardamon pods
3 bay leaves
1 inch/ 2.2 cm stick of cinnamon
15 black peppercorns
1/2 tbsp ground coriander
2 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp cumin seeds
6 tbsp plain unsweetened yogurt
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp tomato puree
mug full of water
Separate garlic cloves, peel outer shelling off and remove fibrous stems. Place in a blender or food processor along with peeled and chopped ginger. Blend together to form a paste. If you feel like you need a splash or two of water to get things moving, feel free to add it.
Diced the onions ahead of time and set aside on a plate.
Cut the mutton into bite sized pieces (around 1 inch/ 2 cm cubes). You can use any kind of mutton you like for this but the rule of thumb is that meat always tastes better on the bone and keep that fat on! You’ll need it for the slow cooking.
Preheat oven to 450 F /230 C
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium/medium-high heat. Let it cook until the butter starts sputtering and it is clarified.
- When butter is clarified, add bay leaves, black peppercorns, green cardamon pods (cut it half to let out the spice), cloves and cinnamon stick. Cook for a minute or so until spices have infused into the butter and is fragrant.
- Add diced onions, cover and cook until translucent and a little bit brown. As Samia, my former Pakistani cooking instructor says, ‘Yellow onions for curry, brown onions for rice’.
- Meanwhile, while onions are cooking, place mutton cubes in an oven pan and toss with half of the ginger garlic paste and 3 tbsp of melted unsalted butter. Season lightly with salt and pepper and place in the oven to roast at 450 F/ 230 C for 20 minutes.
- When onions are yellow and soft, add remaining ginger garlic paste and stir together. Let cook for a minute or so until fragrant.
- Next, add ground coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and cumin seeds. Stir into onion mixture and cook for a minute or so.
- Once spices are toasted and fragrant, slowly add yogurt and tomato puree stirring it into the spiced onions after every spoonful.
- Add a mug of water to the mixture. Stir together and let simmer away for 5-10 minutes or until mutton is finished roasting in oven.
- Remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick then transfer curry mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add back to pot with bay leaves and cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer. (If you are finding that the cinnamon is a bit too much for your taste, simply leave it out for the slow cooking part).
- Add roasted mutton pieces along with any juices left in the oven tray from roasting. Stir together and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 min- 1 hour. Sauce should be reduced to a thick gravy and the mutton is tender.
- Remove from heat and garnish with chopped cilantro Serve with basmati rice or fresh naan.
Sprinkle with a dash of garam masala before serving for the restaurant like taste.
- Category: Curry, Main, Meat
- Method: slow cooking
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: lamb, mutton, curry, Rogan Josh, Indian food, spicy