There is no dispute about the fact that Kashmir is the birthplace of this rich and spicy Rogan Josh Curry. Every search on this topic on Internet will tell you that the name ‘rogan’ means ‘red’ or ‘fat’ and ‘josh’ is hot, which explains the colour and spiciness of the dish.

But your search will also lead you to a massive confusion when it comes to finding the recipe or Rogan josh. The restaurant version of this recipe will have all the possible ingredients chucked in, like lots of tomatoes AND yogurt, all the South Asian spices that can be thought of and then Garam masala spice mix as well. That’s why all South Asian curries taste almost the same when you eat out in a restaurant.

I got this recipe from a Kashmiri family friend, who also taught me to make Harissa and Pink tea…two traditional Kashmiri recipes. She cooked Rogan josh in just yogurt and told me that the colour of the dish resulted from Ratan Jot, a Kashmiri spice, or Kashmiri red chillies not tomatoes.

Also we need to understand that adding garam masala or all the spices together in a South Asian recipe doesn’t make it authentic. Every spice blend has its own unique flavour and aroma, in this recipe fennel, cinnamon and dried ginger dominate the taste.

The recipe is time consuming but very easy to make as it cooks away slowly on its own while you relax on the couch watching your favourite soap opera. The spice mix can be made in bulk and stored in a jar. The curry can be prepared ahead and frozen.


For Rogan Josh:

1/2 kg lamb, preferably shoulder cut ups
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mustard or vegetable oil

For Spice Mix:

1/2 inch piece dried ginger, Saunth
1 stick cinnamon, daar cheeni
1 teaspoon fennel seed, saunf
1 teaspoon black pepper corns, kaali mirch
2 black cardamoms, badi alaychi
1 teaspoon green cardamom seeds, sabz alaychi
5-6 cloves, laung
2 bay leaves, curry patta
1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder for hot, 2 teaspoons for very hot
Salt to taste

This Is What You Do:

Marinate meat in salt, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of yogurt for several hours or even better overnight.

Toast all the spices on a skillet till aromatic.
Grind all the spices in an electric grinder or dry mill. Mix them into the remaining yogurt to make a masala paste.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed, deep pan. Add onions and fry till golden . Add garlic and the marinated meat. Continue to fry for 10-15 minutes on medium heat till the meat is golden brown on outside.

Add the yogurt-spice-mix, continue to cook till the oil separates from masala.

Add 4 cups of water, turn down the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for one and a half or till the meat is very tender and liquid considerably reduced.

If the curry gets too dry for your taste by the time meat is done, add more water to get the required consistency and simmer a few more minutes.
Serve hot with steamed rice or Naan bread.

Serves 2

10 Replies to “Rogan Josh Curry, Kashmiri Lamb Curry”

  1. Thank you so much, Prabal 😊 Don’t know how I missed your lovely comments! Sorry for very late reply but I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe 😊

  2. Asalamuilakum mam thank you for your all dishes u have shared actually i have made all dish from your links I am student I need tto learn a lot so someiingredients names r difficult to recognize so u can mention in brackets

    1. Waalakum assalam, dear Misra 😊
      That’s very sweet of you! And I’m very happy to know you are passionate about cooking 😊 lve edited this post and added the Urdu names of the ingredients after commas. I will remember to do this in all my new posts so that you can enjoy cooking more easily.
      Thank you so much for trying out my recipes 😊

    1. A million thanks dear Kushi, for your generous appreciation and kind wishes 🙂 Happy 2016 to you and and your loved ones too 🙂

  3. Hello Maria, this dish is one of my favourite, I am going to make it one day soon. Thank you the lovely recipe. You take care

    1. Hi Sally! So good to see you visit the blog 🙂 It would be a pleasure to have a true curry lover like you cook this recipe 🙂
      Thank you love! xx

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