The Classic Kashmiri Rogan Josh

Discover the authentic flavors of Kashmiri cuisine with this easy lamb Rogan Josh recipe! This aromatic curry dish is sure to become a family favorite. This hearty, delicious, and flavorful curry will warm your dinner table. Serve it tonight, and your whole family will thank you!

A bowl of Kashmiri rogan josh curry.

What Is Kashmiri Rogan Josh?

Rogan Josh is a flavorful and aromatic curry dish originating in Kashmir’s beautiful valley. It typically features tender meat, often lamb or goat, cooked in a rich and spicy sauce. It is often paired with various Indian breads (like naan or roti) or steamed Basmati rice.

Indian curry, rogan josh in a black bowl.

This lamb curry was initially introduced by the Mughals, whose cuisine was influenced by Persian cuisine. Kashmir was colder, and the Mughals would come there to escape the summer heat of the Indian plains. They carried the expertise of their preferred recipes with them.

The name Rogan Josh has a few different meanings. In Hindi, “Rogan” means red, and in Persian, it refers to clarified butter (ghee), while “Josh” refers to “braise” or “high-heat cooking of meat.”

The reason for Rogan Josh’s widespread appeal is that it’s made with a blend of potent spices. The gravy has a rich taste, and the meat is cooked to perfection. It is undoubtedly one of the best Indian dishes you can ask for on a cold winter night, especially when served hot!

I tried this curry with meat for the first time at one of the local Indian restaurants. It was absolutely delicious, and I learned to make it myself. Luckily, my extended family is partly Kashmiri, so they can teach me an authentic Rogan Josh recipe.  

Why You Will Like This Curry?

You’ll love Rogan Josh curry for a bunch of awesome reasons!

  • It’s super easy to make. You can make this delicious curry without difficulty or sweating, even if you’re not a kitchen pro. It brings that restaurant-level flavor right to your home kitchen.
  • Need simple ingredients: If your spice drawer is well-stocked, you likely have the necessary ingredients to prepare the dish. If not, you can locate any ingredients at your nearby grocery store, negating the need to visit a specialty shop.
  • It tastes amazing! Combining spices and tender meat creates a flavor burst that will make your taste buds happy. Plus, it’s so fulfilling – like a big, cozy hug for your stomach—definitely comfort food. 
  • A naturally low-carb dish. It can easily fit into a low-carb or keto lifestyle because each serving has just 5 grams of net carbohydrates! You can serve carbohydrates over cauliflower rice to cut down on carbohydrates.
  • Better leftovers. This curry, like others, is much better the next day when the flavors have had time to meld.
Lamb curry in a black bowl with black tea towel next to it.

Simple Ingredients – Great flavor 

Although a long list of spices is required for this curry recipe, you won’t have to visit an Indian market to purchase them. Most of them are probably already available in your pantry! Here’s what you’ll need. 

  • Boned meat (lamb or beef) – You can choose any red meat you prefer. Lamb, mutton, beef, or goat are good. I used lamb shoulder in this recipe because it is well-packed with fat and gets super soft and juicy after a few hours of slow cooking.
  • Ginger and garlic – Use fresh for greater flavor. If you have ready-made garlic & ginger paste, you can use that instead. For this recipe, one tablespoon of ginger and garlic, respectively, is enough.
  • Cooking oil – Traditionally, it is made with pure butter for a more intense butter flavor, but you can use cooking oil.
  • Spices – I used whole green cardamom pods, bay leaf, whole cloves, whole black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, garam masala, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Brown onion – For making an amazing curry base.
  • Plain natural yogurt –  Yoghurt adds a slight tang.

How To Make Rogan Josh?

Photo collage of how to cook rogan josh.

Peel the garlic and ginger, then put them into a food chopper or blender. Blend them until they become a smooth paste, adding a tablespoon of water to make things easy.

Next, heat oil in a cooking pot at medium heat and brown the meat pieces in the hot oil. Set them aside.

Using the same oil, fry the cardamoms, bay leaf, cloves, black peppercorns, and cinnamon sticks until the spices swell and the color of the bay leaf changes.

Add the chopped onion and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion turns golden brown.

Then, put the ginger-garlic paste and stir-fry for about 30 seconds before adding ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika powder, Kashmiri chili powder, and salt. Continue frying for another 30 seconds until the aromatic spices release aroma.

After that, add the browned meat cubes to the spice mixture and stir-fry for a minute.

Photo collage how to make rogan josh, part two.

Put one tablespoon of yogurt at a time and stir-fry until the yogurt is well-mixed each time.

Let it cook for about 3 minutes, then add one cup of water, stir well, and put the lid on. Once the liquid reaches boiling point, lower the heat and continue cooking at low heat until the meat is tender. Try checking and stirring occasionally to ensure the bottom does not get burned.

It takes approximately 30-40 minutes, depending on the meat quality.

Once you’re happy with the succulent pieces of lamb and the gravy has thickened to your liking, turn the heat off. Stir it and sprinkle garam masala and freshly ground black pepper over.

Tips And Notes For Making The Best Rogan Josh

  • Rogan Josh gets its signature red hue from Kashmiri chilies. If Kashmiri pepper powder is unavailable, you can use any Asian red chili powder or a mix of paprika powder and cayenne pepper. Or, you can use ready-made tikka masala, which usually has red food coloring. 
  • Feel free to adjust the level of spiciness according to your personal preference. This recipe offers a mild taste of spice.
  • Put less or more salt if you need to. I use Himalayan salt so that it may differ from any other salt. You can use your preferred salt and put it according to your liking. The best way is to put less and add more if needed. Less salt isn’t worse. That is something you can fix. But, too salty is unfixable.
  • You can use store-bought garam masala. I usually make my own garam masala, which is easy to do.
  • If you want a thick gravy, mix two tablespoons of all-purpose flour into your yogurt and thoroughly whisk it in before adding it to the gravy. This will also improve the dish’s flavor.
  • Patience and good spices are the keys to a delicious curry. It’s important to go low and slow and not skip any ingredients mentioned.
  • You can cook rogan josh in a pressure cooker to expedite the process, but it’s best prepared in a pot over low heat.

How To Store Lamb Rogan Josh?

This curry can be refrigerated for up to four days in an airtight container and frozen for three months. Like other curries or stews, it tastes even better the next day!

Reheat it in the microwave or on the stove. If it seems a bit thick, use some hot water to loosen it. If necessary, adjust the seasoning; sometimes, it requires a tiny pinch of salt the next day.

What To Serve With Rogan Josh?

This meat curry is typically served with steamed rice to soak up the delicious Rogan Josh sauce. Fragrant Basmati rice is ideal! You can serve it over cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.

This recipe tastes best when paired with refreshing cucumber and tomato salad or Indonesian Acar Timun; it creates a stunning supper with a touch of the Orient!

Plus, it would be classic and perfect to serve it with naan bread or any other Indian flatbread.  

If you plan all out for an Indian feast, choose Samosas or Pakoras for the ultimate starter/appetizer!

Kashmiri lamb curry, rogan josh.

FAQs

What does “Rogan Josh” mean?

“Rogan” means pure butter or oil in Persian, or “red” in Hindi, and “josh” means passion – hot or fiery. So, the name refers to this curry’s characteristic deep red color and bold flavors. 

How long does it take to cook Rogan Josh? 

The cooking time for Rogan Josh can vary depending on the meat used and the desired tenderness. On average, it takes about 30-40 minutes to cook the dish. Simmering the curry until the meat is tender and the flavors are well-developed is important.

Can I make Rogan Josh in advance?

Yes, Rogan Josh often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld. You can make it in advance and refrigerate it, then reheat it before serving. 

A Must-Try Kashmiri Rogan Josh Recipe!

Rogan Josh is one of those curries that are super easy and tasty! It’s not just delicious but really satisfying. The spices combination and the juicy meat make it a fantastic choice for any meal. 

If you tried this recipe, please let me know in the comments section how it turned out.

Lastly, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. To sneak a look at what’s cooking in my kitchen. 

Take care and all the best.

A bowl of Kashmiri rogan josh curry.
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5 from 1 vote

Rogan Josh Recipe

Find out the authentic flavors of Kashmiri cuisine with this easy lamb Rogan Josh recipe! This aromatic curry dish is sure to become a family favorite. This hearty, delicious, and flavorful curry will warm your dinner table. Serve it tonight, and your whole family will thank you!
Author: Devy Dar
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Servings: 4 portions

Equipment

  • Chopping board
  • Kitchen knife
  • Food chopper or food processor
  • Cooking pot or kadai/ karahi
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 1.3 pounds boned meat lamb or beef
  • 1- inch fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 6 whole green cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1- inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium brown onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 3 tablespoons plain natural yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • Freshly ground black pepper optional

Instructions

  • Peel the ginger and garlic, then put them into a food chopper or blender. Blend them until they become a smooth paste. You can add a tablespoon of water to make things easy.
  • Heat the oil in a cooking pot at medium heat and brown the meat pieces in the hot oil. Set aside.
  • Using the same oil, fry the cardamoms, bay leaf, cloves, black peppercorns, and cinnamon sticks until the spices swell and the color of the bay leaf changes.
  • Add the chopped onion and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion turns golden brown.
  • Put the ginger-garlic paste and stir-fry for about 30 seconds before adding ground coriander, ground cumin, paprika powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and salt. Continue frying for another 30 seconds until the spices release aroma.
  • Add the browned meat cubes to the spice mixture and stir-fry for a minute.
  • Put one tablespoon of yogurt at a time and stir-fry until yogurt is well-mixed at each time.
  • Let it cook for about 3 minutes, then add one cup of water.
  • Stir well and put the lid on. Once the liquid reaches boiling point, lower the heat and continue cooking at low heat until the meat is tender. Please take care, check, and stir occasionally to ensure the bottom is not burned.
  • It takes approximately 30-40 minutes, depending on the meat quality.
  • Once you are happy with the meat and the gravy has thickened to your liking, turn the heat off. Stir it and sprinkle garam masala and freshly ground black pepper over.

Notes

  • You can choose any red meat you prefer. Lamb, mutton, beef, or goat are good. In this recipe, I used lamb shoulder. If you have ready-made ginger or garlic paste, you can use that instead. For this recipe, one tablespoon of ginger and garlic, respectively, is enough.
  • If Kashmiri red chili powder is unavailable, you can use any Asian red chili powder. Feel free to adjust the level of spiciness according to your personal preference. This recipe offers a mild taste of spice.
  • Put less or more salt if you need to. I use Himalayan salt so that it may differ from any other salt. You can use your preferred salt and put it according to your liking. The best way is to put less and add more if needed. You can use store-bought garam masala. I usually make my own garam masala, which is really easy to do.

Nutrition

Serving: 150grams | Calories: 613kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 503mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 542IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 4mg

Disclaimer

Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.

Author: Devy Dar

Title: Food Writer, Recipe Developer, and Digital Content Creator.

Bio:

Devy Dar founded So Yummy Recipes and Drizzling Flavor to share her love of food after exploring various cultures and cuisines for more than two decades. Her mission is to help others easily recreate traditional and non-traditional food with readily available ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more. 

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