Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rogan josh..A rich Kashmiri lamb Curry with Nuts

For years I have cooked this Kashmiri Rogan josh from my recipe book which i got from my aunty long back. Though it took a good hour and a half to make, it was worth it, because every bit was polished off with relish by whomever it was served to, family or friends. If there ever were leftovers, they did not lasted beyond the next meal. 

                 Rogan josh is a gravy dish with moist spices and lot of fat floating around the meat ."Rogan" means oil or fat which comes from the meat itself. Josh means intense heat that goes while cooking this dish. Kashmiri dishes are known for having aromatic and sometimes spicy flavors, and some dishes often contain liberal amounts of oil which contributes to a richer, fuller mouth feel and flavour. Brown cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mace, hing/asafoetida and saffron are the most commonly used spices in the making of a wide variety of dishes throughout Kashmir. Cumin seeds,coriander powder chilli powder, turmeric and bay leaves are also very popular Garam masala (aromatic spices) is a very popular blend of spices used in many kashmiri dishes. 

The original recipe demanded fatty lamb meat but here i have used a leg of a lamb approximately 1 kg 100 grams very tender and less fatty meat,which produces the same and often better results with way less oil and much less effort. I have cooked it three times in the last month each time with different garnishing. First time i used almonds only as mentioned in the recipe and second time i have prepared this only with cashew nuts and the thirrd time i used both cashew and almonds for garnishing,but each time the favour and aroma was just the same.
Cook time: Depending on the tenderness of the lamb
Total time: 60 mins
  • 2 Onion( peeled and sliced)
  • 10 Green cardamoms ( lightly crushed)
  • 5-6 Black cardamoms
  • 15 Cloves
  • 3 Bay leaves 
  • 4 1 inch pieces of cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 tsp Hing /asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder or fresh root ginger 2 inch piece( ground to paste)
  • 10 Garlic cloves (ground to paste)
  • 1 kg lamb,cut into cubes
  • 2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp Kashmiri chilly powder
  • 3 tsp Coriander powder
  • 2 tsp saunf /fennel powder
  • 10-12 Almonds chopped and blanched
  • 3 tsp Poppy seeds ( soak in warm water and make paste)
  • 2 cups Thick curd ( not very sour)
  • 1/2 cup Ghee or oil
Cooking Directions

  1. Fry onion in ghee or oil until lightly browned.
  2. Stir fry cardamoms,cloves,bayleaf and cinnamon for a minute.
  3. Add in ginger powder or fresh ginger paste,garlic paste stir and add meat.
  4. Sprinkle on,one at a time,the dry ginger/saunt ( if you are using ginger paste then omit this powder) cumin,chilli,hing,coriander powder and fennel powder.Fry the mixture for about 2 minutes on high flame
  5. Add curd and salt,mix it well ,cover and cook for 5-7 mins until dry and oil separates on low flame.
  6. Add blanched almonds and poppy seed paste,stir fry for 2 mins and add about 1/2 litre or 3-4 cups,cover and cook for 30-40 mins gently simmering until meat is tender and the mixture is fairly dry.
  7. Sprinkle with saffron.Cover again and cook for 5 more mins taking care not to burn the meat.Stir the mixture a few times to mix saffron.