Recipe courtesy of Passage to India

Lamb Rogan Josh

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 to 5 servings


Lamb Preparation:



  1. For the lamb preparation: Chop lamb into bite-size pieces. In a bowl, combine lamb, yogurt, salt, turmeric and lemon juice and mix together. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the lamb with water to draw out impurities and any gamey odors.
  2. For the curry: Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard oil and allow it to smoke. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Spoon in the ginger paste and garlic paste and saute until slightly browned, about a few minutes.
  3. Toss in the lamb pieces and saute until the lamb begins to shrink and develop a nice shine, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the asafetida and salt and saute for 1 minute.
  4. In another bowl, mix together 1/2 cup water with the chile powder, fennel powder, garam masala, ginger powder and turmeric. Add this mixture to the saucepan. Saute until you see the oil bubbling up, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the yogurt and stir well for about 2 minutes. Add 2 to 3 cups water.
  5. Cover the pan and simmer on medium-low heat until the lamb is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the fenugreek leaves. Allow it to settle down, covered, for about 20 minutes.
  6. When ready to serve, spoon the curry out into bowls. Garnish with the cilantro and serve with a side of basmati rice, chapati or naan.

Cook’s Note

Lamb Rogan Josh is a dish that needs no introduction if you're a native of Kashmir or have spent significant time in North India. I was born in Mumbai, but grew up in South India, mainly in the city of Bangalore. It wasn't until I boarded a train in the early 80's for engineering college, landing at the opposite end of the country, that I was introduced to this amazing curry. The dish was first brought to India in the 15th century by the Mughals and was made popular by the Kashmiri people. The version of Lamb Rogan Josh that I'd like to introduce you to is the authentic one, close to the flavors and ingredients that I grew up eating during my time in the Kashmir region. Authentically, this dish does not use tomato or onion. The most flavorful cut of lamb for this dish is the front leg which provides a wonderful stock from the bones. If you aren't able to find it, substitute with whatever lamb legs you have available. Indian cooking is dynamic. Taste between steps and keep checking on the stove heat. If the heat is too high, the dish might begin to lack moisture and the spices may burn. Therefore, the amount of water you use and the timing of when you pour it in can vary.