A long-time favorite of mine, and very popular in the UK, is this exquisite dish from Kashmir, northern India. Meat-eater or vegetarian, your palate will sing the praises of Rogan Josh! I first enjoyed the dish in 1968, when a very good friend introduced me to it in New York city. I've been hooked ever since.
Unlike the dishes we associate with "curry powder", Rogan Josh is a beautiful red sauce, creamy and lush.
Many recipes use tomato in some form. I have been taught that tomatoes were introduced by European traders, and, therefore, are not native to Rogan Josh. I recommend not using tomatoes in Rogan Josh because they really bring nothing to the table.
I use this sauce with lamb, chicken, goat or beef. It is a slow-cooked dish, so it would be well-suited to the crockpot kitchen. My friend, Lauren CoffeeMuffins, recommends using only chunky vegetables - whole button mushrooms, carrots, Bell peppers and root veggies - a terrific idea for a vegetarian dish!
Accompanied by a well done basmati rice dish and perhaps an Indian-kitchen-inspired vegetable dish or two, this is a perfectly wonderful dish to serve guests who appreciate complex and pleasant flavors, and not a lot of heat.
Rogan Josh runs to the mild- to-medium range of spicy. Not all Indian cuisine will 'light up the night' with heat, and this is one that will not. Rogan Josh is a perfect way to introduce someone to the exquisite culinary heritage of the Indian sub-continent.
Do not be afraid to blend your own spice mixtures - they become the stamp on your signature dishes. All you need, really, is a small electric coffee grinder dedicated to the grinding of your spices. All you need to do is thoroughly clean the grinder after use.
(TIP: 1 Tbs of granulated sugar buzzed for a couple of pulses in the grinder will 'clean' the machine of virtually all residual spice)
Following is how I have come to blend my spice mixure for the regal dish of Rogan Josh. I continue to learn from my more knowledgeable Kashmiri culinary friends. This recipe will provide seasoning for 2-3 lbs of any meat.
- 4 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick (about 3")
- 8 black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp cardomom seeds (I prefer black - but you can use green) [TIP: cardomom can often be found in pods. You must remove the seeds from the pods before cooking the dish]
- (Process the above spices in your grinder to powder)
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp tumeric powder
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 onions
- 1 C thick yogurt combined with 1/2 tsp corn flour + 1/4 tsp corn starch (prevents separation)
- 1 Tbs minced garlic
- 1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp garam masala (a powdered blend of many spices)
- 1/4 C chopped (cilantro leaves only) (optional garnish)
- 2-3 lbs of meat OR chunky vegetables
- 1/4 C cooking oil
- 2 Tbs sweet butter (clarified would be perfect)
- THE SAUCE FOR ROGAN JOSH:
- Process the cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and cardomom seeds to a powder
- Add to the above: the paprika, tumeric, chili powder, cardomom, and cayenne pepper and combine
- Combine the yogurt,corn flour (not meal), and corn starch (TIP: this will prevent the yogurt from breaking down during cooking, keeping a creamy consistency)
- Incorporate the above spices into the yogurt mixture
- Make a fine paste of the garlic, ginger and sea salt (TIP: mincing the garlic and ginger will create an extremely smooth paste quickly when mashed into the salt)
- Incorporate the garlic-ginger paste into the yogurt sauce
- Grate the onions and incorporate the onions into the sauce
- Refrigerate the sauce as you prepare the meat
- Brown the selected meat throughly in the heated oil and sweet butter
- Add the sauce to the meat and simmer gently for 40 minutes (until done, depending of the meat you are using)
- Then the meat is done, remove to a serving dish
- With a very fine sieve, dust the Rogan Josh with the garam masala [TIP: I learned long ago from Mr. Singh that GARAM MASALA, whatever the combination of spices that went into it, is really a delicate "finishing" spice, like a finishing salt or vinegar or oil in other cuisines. Hence, while some cooks add it during the cooking stage, Kashmiri chefs will add the garam masala as a dusting on the plated dish, adding immeasurable nuance and delicacy to the serving.]
- Sprinkle the chopped cilantro to garnish
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 423g|
|Recipe makes 4 servings|
|Calories from Fat 208||48%|
|Total Fat 23.63g||30%|
|Saturated Fat 6.39g||26%|
|Trans Fat 0.35g|
|Total Carbs 49.17g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 13.7g||46%|