Lamb Rogan Josh

Another fine Moghul Cuisine dish, Rogan Josh or Roghan Josh is an aromatic lamb dish of Persian origin, which is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri cuisine. Rogan means “clarified butter” or “fat” in Persian, while josh  means “heat, hot, boiling, or passionate”. Rogan josh thus means cooked in oil at intense heat. Another interpretation of the name rogan josh is derived from the word rogan meaning “red color” and josh meaning passion or heat.

Traditionally, Rogan Josh is made with lamb and yogurt, but I replaced the yogurt with coconut milk, and it worked great. You can substitute beef for the lamb if you prefer (also tried this with chicken thighs and it worked well)… and if you’re feeling particularly decadent, add sliced almonds to the sauce for added richness.

Different cooks make their spice blend different ways, but generally, Rogan Josh includes cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, cumin, aniseed, saffron, fennel, and red chillies. The resulting curry is rich and creamy with plenty of depth, but not very much heat. Delicious, dinner-time comfort food.

The cooking technique is very much like a stew, where you brown the meat in oil first. You may cook this in the oven or in a tajine. The Rogan Josh spice mix is available at spice stores but it would be worth your while to check the sugar and stabilizer content.  Preferably, make your own, using the spice mix recipe as listed below

Rogan Gosh Spice Ingredients

1 teaspoon cardamom powder

1 teaspoon clove powder
3/4 teaspoon ginger powder
4 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
Cayenne Pepper: 1 teaspoon for very mild, 2 teaspoons for medium, 1 tablespoon for hot-ish

Here’s How
  •  Place spices in a medium-sized bowl and mix well until uniformly blended.i use a wire sieve to sieve the powders and then mix to ensure even distribution,  I’m a bit heavy handed with the chilli powder and cayenne pepper, however, you can always add them in later if you find the mix too bland. You can really turn up the heat as you prefer with this. Store in an air-tight container.
  • Use 1-2 tablespoons per 500g of lamb or beef, depending on your taste.

Lamb Rogan Josh


1 Tblsp coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil

I kg lamb or beef, cut into cubes (I used lamb knuckles)
1-2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1-2 tblsp garlic and ginger paste
Green chilli (optional)

1-2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped (optional)

1 cup coconut cream or milk
400ml tomato puree (blend the skin-removed tomato’s in a liquidizer)
2 cups water
salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
Bay leaves
3 tablespoons homemade Rogan Josh spice or 2 tablespoons spice store bought.  You may adjust to suit your taste.

Here’s How:

  • Sprinkle meat generously with salt and  pepper. Toss well to coat evenly.
  • Heat your choice of oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add meat and brown well on all sides for at least 5 minutes so it gets a nice brown crust – resist the temptation to stir it around.

  • When the meat is brown, removed with a slotted spoon and add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger paste, green chilli and carrot into the pot and cook until the onions begin to soften.

  • Add the rogan josh spice mix and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. You will notice that the spices really come to life so let them revel in it a bit.
  • Then add the pureed tomato, coconut milk and the water. 
  •  Mix well, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Add in the browned meat and allow braise in the coconut milk for 1-2 hours. (you may use an oven proof dish and bake in the oven for the same amount of time)
  • once the cooking time’s up, remove the lid and let the sauce thicken – this takes about 2 minutes or so.
  • You may removed the bay leaves, garnish with fresh coriander and serve with Naan bread or cauliflower rice or mash, cooked spinach or baby marrow / courgette noodles and a crisp salad.


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Prava Singh

A Mom, daughter, wife, sister, aunt and friend experiencing life through an evolutionary body with a revolutionary mind... A recent past former Type 2 insulin dependent and hypertensive walking time-bomb for 13.5 years, I have made positive lifestyle changes that has aided and abetted my health status for my overall betterment. Passionate about all things food, with a proud Indian heritage, I regularly blog my culinary attempts that have worked for me in my endeavours to break the shackles of food addictions and food slavery. Passionate about people too, my decision to share these endeavours is driven by informing others that a lifestyle change through food is indeed possible. I have indeed survived high school and survived life too in the most interesting and thought-provoking ways. Having lost over 50kgs of excess weight in just under a year, I have reclaimed my life and am thoroughly enjoying the journey.

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6 Responses

  1. Prava…love this recipe..definitely putting this on my menu!And very nicely presented :-) Thank you for sharing!

  2. Prava says:

    Thanks Carl :) and I guarantee that it will indeed go down extremely satisfying, especially with winter on her way!

  3. Tam says:

    The lamb was so lekker, Prava. And I would love to eat at Prava’s Kitchen Bistro anytime!

    PS – I am going to give your recipe a go with the spices you gave me.

  4. Prava says:

    hehehehehe Tam I see you’ve got the name already? 😉 Glad you enjoyed. will be making more of the mix soon as we’re depleted now. Hubby used it in a curry yesterday lol!

  5. Danishke says:

    Pravda can we order spices from you?

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