Rogan Josh is arguably the crown jewel of Kashmiri Wazwan. In my humble opinion, the beauty of Wazwan lies in the fact that every lamb dish is made from a different cut of lamb. Traditionally, Wazas(cooks) would ensure that only the correct cut of meat was used and for a Rogan Josh, it is the leg or shoulder chop. That is the same cut of meat I would recommend to you. Why mess with a classic? :)
I've been tempted to write about Rogan Josh for quite a while because it's a dish I'm very passionate about. This platform affords me the privilege to clear up a few things about Rogan Josh that I've seen, heard, and tasted over the years. I would love nothing more than to set the record straight. The main thing has to be that a lot of Indian restaurants in many different parts of the world use tomatoes and onions when they prepare Rogan Josh. However, the traditional recipe does not involve either of them. Hence, this recipe does not include either onions or tomatoes.
As we wrote in our previous post on Seekh Kebabs, Kashmiri Wazwan has two different ways of preparations - the Hindu(Pandit) version and the Muslim version. The only difference is that Pandits use heeng/asafoetida and Muslims use ginger and garlic. I have listed the Pandit version here with Asafoetida. If you would like to know about the ginger and garlic version, do leave a comment below and we'll address it for you.
The recipe I have listed below is for approximately 3 to 4 servings with a preparation time of around 5 to 7 minutes and a cooking time of approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
The key ingredients for this dish are patience and commitment. The rest can be bought online or from your nearest supermarket.
Lamb with the bone (leg and shoulder cut) – 500 grams
Badi elaichi/black cardamom –1
Elaichi/green cardamom – 2
Heeng/Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
Mustard oil – ½ cup
Loong/Cloves – 2
Zeera/Cumin – ¼ tsp
Tej patta/bay leaf – 1
Kashmiri lal mirch/ Kashmiri red chili powder – 1 ½ tsp
Sonth/dry ginger powder – 1 tsp
Saunf powder/fennel powder– ½ tsp (optional)
Salt – 1 tsp
Vaer/ Kashmiri Tikki masala - 1 tbsp
Whisked Dahi/curd – ½ cup
Sugar – ¼ tsp
Heat some mustard oil in a pressure cooker. If you have read our other posts, you should be familiar with the process by now. We temper the mustard oil on high heat to remove its pungency. Once the oil is up to its smoke point, bring the flame down to medium.
Add Heeng/Asafoetida, Badi elaichi/black cardamom, Elaichi/green cardamom, Loong/Cloves, Zeera/Cumin, and Tej patta/bay leaf to the pressure cooker.
After the whole spices smoke up, add your lamb and mix it with the whole spices, and for about 20 minutes on a medium flame till you see the lamb has a good sear on it more towards a lightish brown color. The lamb leg and shoulder has a low amount of fat and the objective here is to render that fat.
Add Kashmiri lal mirch/ Kashmiri red chili powder and mix it in well. Now add in the sugar. The sugar will caramelize and give it the desired red color.
This step is completely optional and depends if you want a thicker gravy and some tang. I personally don't, but if you prefer a thicker gravy add Sonth/dry ginger powder and Saunf powder/fennel powder along with Dahi/curd and mix well. Saunf powder/fennel powder is optional because some people add it to make the gravy thick. The curd will also give the gravy a bit of tang. Make sure the Dahi/curd is whisked properly before adding.
Add salt to it as per your desired taste, add Vaer and cover the pressure cooker. Make sure it is sealed properly. After five whistles, open the lid to check if the meat has cooked to your liking. If not, give it a few more whistles.
Do try and leave your comments and feel free to add anything you like.