Rogan Josh (Kashmir Style)

It’s not often I discover a new taste sensation in curry. What am I talking about? Every curry I make is a taste sensation! That said, this curry in particular is a real stand-out. I’m not sure what gives it its unique taste – maybe the mustard oil, maybe the copious amount of fennel. Whatever it is, it’s an ingredient that has inaugurated this dish into my curry ‘hall-of-fame’. One of the tastiest sauces you’re ever likely to experience. A rich, glossy curry which on first glance may look a little oily. On further inspection, I discovered the word ‘rogan’ actually means ‘shiny’ so, by all accounts it’s just living up to its name. Just eat it! You only live once, who cares if you’ve potentially shortened your life by a few minutes?!


1kg lamb shoulder (cubed)
2 cups natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
1/4 teaspoon asafaetida
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Other ingredients:
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
5 cloves
10 cardamom pods
10 dried red chillies
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (soaked with 3 tablespoons hot water for 30 minutes)
1/3 cup mustard oil

Combine all the marinade ingredients with the lamb and cover. Leave in the fridge for 2 hours at least, the longer the better, up to 24 hours.

Using a spice grinder or pestle and mortar, grind together the fennel, cloves, cardamom and chillies and garam masala into a fine powder. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan until hot. Add the meat, and marinade and stir well. Let the sauce come up to a boil the cook vigorously for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the spice mix and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the saffron and soaking liquid together with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan and gently simmer the sauce for 1 1/2 hours, until the lamb is tender. Remove from the heat and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serve with Indian breads or rice sprinkled with fresh herbs such as mint or coriander.

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