recipe for Rogan Josh comes from India and was commissioned
to compliment the earlier published article entitled Indian
Cooking . . . how did it become so popular?
Rogan Josh is an aromatic lamb dish cooked in moderate heat,
mostly eaten in Kashmir, the extreme north part of India.
There are two different theories about the origin of rogan
josh. As per one theory it originated in Persia and was brought
to Kashmir by Mogul Emperors who made Kashmir their winter
capital. In the Persian language rogan means oil or clarified
butter and josh means heat, boiling or passion. That means
food cooked in intense heat with oil. In the second theory,
it originated from Kashmir and in Kashmiri language rogan
means red and josh means moderate heat, giving its meaning
red meat cooked in moderate heat.
Rogan josh is rarely served outside Kashmir in its authentic
style, in other parts of the country rogan josh is cooked
in a different style, mainly using tomatoes to give it its
red colour instead of Kashmiri mirch (a Kashmiri chili which
is only moderately hot but gives the red colour).
Even in Kashmir there are different cooking styles. Kashmiri
pundits (an upper Hindu caste), eat meat as opposed to other
Hindus in India and they cook rogan josh without onion and
ginger and garlic. They use fennel and asafoetida to give
flavour to it. Kashmiri Muslims put lots of onions and garlic
in their cooking and a local flower called maval, which gives
the bright red colour to it. In the Mogul period, Indians
used maval to give natural colour to many dishes but now it
is indigenous to the state and not available outside Kashmir.
Other states of India use an artificial edible colour. This
recipe is the mixture of both Hindu and Muslim styles of rogan
Ingredients for Rogan Josh
1kg mutton or lamb
1 cup curd
2 big onions (chopped)
Garlic and ginger paste
½ tsp Kashmiri mirch
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp garam masala
2 tsp coriander powder
8 green cardamoms
1 tsp black peppercorns
5 sticks of cinnamon
Salt to taste
2 tbsp white cream
5 tbsp oil
How to make Rogan Josh
meat with loads of fat for cooking rogan josh.
meat into 1 - 2 inch pieces and wash thoroughly. Mix the
meat with the salt and curd and put aside for marinating.
oil in a pan and add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and
peppercorn. When they stop crackling add the onions and
fry until golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste
and fry until the raw smell disappears.
the Kashmiri mirch, turmeric, cumin, ginger powder, garam
masala, coriander powder and asafoetida and fry until it
leaves the oil.
the marinated mutton or lamb with some salt. Cover and cook
on low heat until meat tenders, adding water if necessary.
cream and stir in for a few minutes.
off the heat and garnish with fresh coriander.
this dish with rice, roti or naan as you like. But as rogan
josh has thin gravy, it goes best with rice. Quality of rice
is also a very important factor.
"Just a comment about the quantity of ingredients in this
series of recipes, I would say that most people add in different
amounts according to how they like it. Recipes are either
normally passed on or people learn by experimenting with different
amounts of spices until they get the taste they like, for
example, I know I put different amounts of thngs into curries
than my family and friends do, everyone does tend to work
out how much they like."
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