Rogan Josh an aromatic lamb dish of Persian origin, distinguished by its fiery, red flavourful sauce. The origin for the dish’s name has often been debated. It is likely that the name came from the Persian word “rogan” which means clarified butter, and “josh” meaning heat. Others believe that “rogan” means red in colour, from the same root as the French word “rouge” or the Spanish “rojo”.
Now a staple in northern Indian cuisine, there are many variations in how the Rogan Josh is prepared, however the main ingredients remain the same. These include: butter, garlic, pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander and cumin. The distinctly red pigment of the dish, is born from the Kashmiri chilli’s used for the heart of the sauce. Traditionally made with lamb, this curry is both tender and rich in taste, making it a popular choice for all palettes.
This lamb curry originally came to Kashmir from Iran, or Persia as it was then known. When Persia was very hot, a clan of people known as the Mughals travelled to Kashmir because it was a lot cooler than their homeland as a result of its high altitude. They brought with them Rogan Josh, which has been a curry staple ever since.
Regardless of its etymology, it is undeniable that the delightful deep red used when preparing Rogan Josh comes from the dried Kashmiri chillies used to prepare it. Despite being made predominantly with chillies, this creamy dish is actually milder than other Indian curries – so if you’re not too keen on spice, this is a great option to go for!
Mutton Rogan Josh
Preparation time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: 45-50 minutes
Ingredients for Mutton Rogan Josh
Mutton cut into 1 cm pieces 1 kilogram
Yogurt 1 cup
Garlic crushed 5 cloves
Ginger chopped 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Ghee 3 tablespoons ( melted butter)
Pepper powder ¼ teaspoon
Cinnamon 1 inch stick
Black cardamom 1
Green cardamoms 4
Onions finely sliced 2
Coriander powder 1 1/2 tablespoons
Cumin powder 1 tablespoon
Fennel seed powder 1 teaspoon
Kashmiri Red chilli powder 2 teaspoons
Lamb stock 3/4 cup
Garam masala powder 1 teaspoon
coriander leaves chopped 3 tablespoons
Mint leaves 1 tablespoon
1) Marinate mutton with yogurt, half of the garlic, half of the ginger and salt. Cover and refrigerate for six to eight hours.
2) Heat ghee in a non stick pan. Add cinnamon, cloves, black cardamom, green cardamoms. Sauté for two minutes.
3) Add onions, remaining garlic and ginger and sauté till onions are golden brown.
4) Add coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, red chilli powder. Mix well and sauté for five minutes.
5) Add marinated mutton. Sauté for eight to ten minutes. Add Mutton stock, cover and simmer for fifty to sixty minutes.
6) Cook uncovered for ten to fifteen minutes more.
7) Sprinkle garam masala powder and mix well. Serve hot garnished with mint and coriander leaves.