Saturday, April 9, 2011

Roghan Josh

Roghan Josh, also spelled Rogan josh, is a well known Kashmiri dish.  From Persian, "roghan" means ghee/oil/butter/fat and "josh" means like bubbling hot with excitement...so it is like "hot bubbling fat." What a fatilicious name!


There are a lot of roghan josh recipes on the internet. Most are faux Mughlai/Punjabi restaurant style recipes and contain cream and tomatoes, neither of which are found in Kashmiri Pandit or Waza Roghan Josh recipes. It is actually pretty hard to google up an authentic recipe without some digging and research. For some basic info on Kashmiri Pandit and Wazwan cuisines, see here.


I wanted to share two recipes for Roghan Josh that I acquired after a lot of hunting online. I have tried them both multiple times, and they are both good. One is a Pandit recipe, and the other a Muslim recipe.


The Pandit style recipe I found at the another subcontinent forums from poster Suman. (post #1) (The Another Subcontinent forums has a wealth of anecdotal South Asia food information, tips and recipes. Every once in a while I just sit there and read food threads for a hour.) 


Rogan Josh.


(somehow blogger is not letting me link above anymore so I linked the source here)

1 llb lamb, cut into small pieces
couple tblsp mustard oil or substitute.

4 cloves/laung
1" dalchini/cinnamon
2 black cardamom
couple small bay leaves

1/4 tsp hing
2 tsp saunf/fennel
1/2 tsp sonth/dry ginger powder
salt, chilly powder

4 powdered green cardamon
1/4 cup yogurt, beaten till smooth.

Saffron optional.

In the hot oil put in the whole spices(cloves, cinammon, cardamom, bay leaves) and stir for a few seconds till fragrant. Add the lamb and the hing and fry on fairly high heat until speckled with brown. This should take between 5 to eight minutes. Add the saunf, saunth, chilly powder, and salt and fry for a minute or so. It should be pretty fragrant by now.

Reduce the heat, add the beaten yogurt and powdered green cardamom and keep stirring till it comes to a boil. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook till done. In LA the lamb takes about 30 minutes to cook, so adjust cooking time and the quantity of water.

Saffron can be added when done and simmered for a couple minutes more.

The resulting gravy should have body, should not be watery and is served with rice.

A green vege, stir fried with a tadka of a pinch each of hing and clove powder plus a whack of chilly goes very well with this.



I pretty much followed Suman's recipe to a T, but I used bone-in mutton and cooked for 1 and a half hours till tender, not 30 mins, I used sunflower oil (I don't like the taste of mustard oil), I powdered the saunf/fennel seeds and beat it in with the powdered cardamom, and I did not use saffron. It came out very nicely.


The second recipe was posted here by a Ms Princess W in the India Mike food section (post #55) by a US origin lady married to a Kashmiri Muslim and living in Indian Kashmir. At the time she posted, she was learning Kashmiri Muslim style cooking from her in-laws. I also recommend that you read through that entire thread as she and other posters share more information on Roghan Josh and Kashmiri cuisine.


Roghan Josh


(once again fickle blogger is ignoring my instructions to hyperlink above, so source is linked here)


1 kg lamb, bone in

1/2 to 1 cup Mustard Oil

3 Onions, sliced thin

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1 1/2 cup plain curd, beaten to a liquid consistency

3 black cardamom pods

4 whole cloves

1" stick cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp red chili powder (if you want the red colour & more spice)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 green chilis, minced

1 Tablespoon dried mint leaves

2 teaspoons fennel, ground (can use whole seeds if you prefer)

fresh coriander leaves, chopped


First, boil the lamb in a kettle of water seasoned with salt and one of the black cardamoms. Boil about 10 minutes and remove. Reserve water.

In pressure cooker, fry onions in oil until golden brown and somewhat crisp. Remove and grind the onions with the garlic and ginger to form a paste. Add cloves and minced chilis to the hot oil and fry about 30 seconds. Add lamb to the oil and brown just a little, then add the rest of the seasonings and about 2 cups of the reserved lamb broth. Place the cover on the pressure cooker and let it come to full pressure. After 3 or 4 "whistles", reduce heat and continue to cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cooker cool naturally before opening.

Check the tenderess of the meat. If it comes off the bone easily, it is ready. Add the beaten curd to the pot and stir well. Let the Roghan Josh simmer on very low about 1/2 hour to blend the flavors, then let stand about 1 to 2 hours, or better yet, refrigerate, then heat n serve the next day, topped with the coriander leaves.



Here is my picture of the rendition of Ms Princess W's recipe.








 I used chaampen or mutton chops rather than botees as that is what I had on hand that day. Nice hot fat floating on the top, eh? And check out the red color! I did not pressure cook the lamb but cooked it stove top. Ms Princess W doesn't mention cockscomb here, but I also added paprika instead of more red chile powder to imitate the color of Kashmiri cockscomb flower, which obviously is hard to procure outside of Kashmir. Paprika is a good option instead of extra red chile powder since obviously the heat factor would be uncharacteristically amplified by extra chile. I also omitted the dried mint because I didn't have any. And just like with Suman's recipe, I forwent the traditional mustard oil simply because I am not a huge fan of the taste. It was a nice dish, and with the Kashmiri waza method of adding seasonings to a yakhni/broth and perfuming a dish with fennel, this dish was very distinct from my typical daily tamaatar-pyaaz Pakistani saalans.


I often create my own recipes by adapting and combining recipes from friends, in-laws, books and online, and altering methods and ingredients slightly to suit my taste and cooking style. Here you have two simple and authentic recipes that you can do the same with.

6 comments:

Linhy said...

So where are you from exactly?

erin.michelle said...

Hi! I have been looking for a contact link but can't seem to find it. I hope you don't mind an off topic request.. Would you consider doing a post on how to pull of a dinner party. What dishes you would make, and the schedule for prep? I can do an entire thanksgiving meal by myself but a simple dawat for 6 has me stumped!!

WhiteRice said...

Hi! I have been looking for a contact link but can't seem to find it. I hope you don't mind an off topic request.. Would you consider doing a post on how to pull of a dinner party. What dishes you would make, and the schedule for prep? I can do an entire thanksgiving meal by myself but a simple dawat for 6 has me stumped!!

mikel domeneck said...

I have never tried this, it seems to be amazing, I would love cooking it, thank you so much for sharing with us...

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gautam said...

You have a wonderful site and have devoted much time and thought to setting it up. Thank you. One suggestion, if you do not mind. The colored [Sari?] borders interferes with the typeface or print and make reading the text very difficult. Cherise washes out the black and it is extremely annoying, if not impossible to decipher the text on the left half of your blog. Please do something about your layout; perhaps seek out a competent neutral referee and get some professional advice?

luckyfatima said...

Thanks for the comment, Gautam. Something with this template has changed. I'll have to look into my settings and see what happened. No worries, it's just a very amateur blog and besides a few friends I hardly get three or four visitors per year here on this site...no need for professional intervention. Hopefully I'll be able to fix whatever happened.