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Indian Rogan Josh Recipe: Authentic and Flavorful Guide

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 Rogan Josh

If you’re looking for a warm, hearty dish that bursts with rich flavors, then this Rogan Josh recipe is perfect for you. Rogan Josh is a traditional Indian lamb curry known for its deep red color and aromatic spices. This dish uses ingredients like ghee, cardamom, and fennel powder to create a symphony of taste that will warm your soul.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out, this recipe is straightforward and rewarding. The key to a great Rogan Josh is taking the time to properly develop the flavors by sautéing the spices and meats. Imagine the smell of fragrant spices filling your kitchen as you cook!

So, are you ready to bring some authentic Indian cuisine to your table? Follow along and you’ll be enjoying a delicious plate of Rogan Josh in no time.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Main Ingredients:

  • Lamb or Mutton: About 2 pounds, cut into medium pieces.

    • Substitute: Chicken or beef, though the flavor will change.
  • Oil: 1.5 tablespoons for cooking.

    • Substitute: Ghee or vegetable oil.

  • Onions: 2 large, finely chopped or blended for a smoother sauce.

  • Garlic: 4 cloves, minced.

  • Ginger: 1-inch piece, grated.

  • Tomato Purée: 1 cup.

    • Substitute: Fresh chopped tomatoes blended with a bit of water.
  • Yogurt: 1 cup, plain and unsweetened.

    • Substitute: Coconut milk for a dairy-free option.


  • Cinnamon Stick: 1 small.

  • Green Cardamom Pods: 4-5.

  • Cloves: 3-4.

  • Ground Cumin: 1 teaspoon.

  • Ground Coriander: 2 teaspoons.

  • Ground Turmeric: 1 teaspoon.

  • Kashmiri Red Chili Powder: 2 teaspoons for color and mild heat.

    • Substitute: Paprika mixed with a bit of cayenne pepper.

  • Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon.

  • Salt: To taste.


  • Water or Stock: 2 cups.
    • Substitute: Vegetable broth or chicken broth.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Shallots: Can be used instead of onions for a milder taste.

  • Yogurt Paste: Blended onions and yogurt for a richer texture.

Toppings and Garnishes:

  • Fresh Cilantro: Chopped for garnish.


  1. Heat the Pan: Start by heating 2 tablespoons of ghee or oil in a large pan. Add a few pieces of ratan jot and stir them for about 1-2 minutes until they soak up the ghee. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Cook the Spices: Add cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Then, add finely chopped onions and stir frequently for about 7 minutes until they are golden and browning at the edges.

  3. Add Garlic and Ginger: Stir in the garlic and ginger paste, cooking for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. This helps release their flavors.

  4. Mix the Spices and Tomatoes: Add paprika, chili powder, ground cumin, and coriander. Stir for 30 seconds. Next, add tomato puree and salt. Mix well and cook until everything is well combined.

  5. Cook the Meat: Add the lamb pieces to the pan. Brown the meat on all sides to lock in the flavor. Be sure you don’t simmer the meat in its juices; you need to sear it properly.

  6. Add Stock and Simmer: Pour in the stock and bring it to a gentle boil. Cover the pan and let it cook for 45-50 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Cook until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick.

  7. Final Touches: Adjust the seasoning with more salt if needed. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more water or stock. Keep the dish warm until ready to serve. Enjoy with rice or naan!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Choose the Right Meat: Use lamb with bones for a richer flavor. Bone-in lamb adds depth and richness to the curry.

Spice Balance: Be mindful of the spice levels. Start with less and adjust as needed. Add garam masala towards the end to avoid bitterness.

Cooking Time: Cook the meat until it’s tender. This usually takes about 45 to 50 minutes. Check it periodically to ensure it’s not overcooked.

Stir Often: Stir occasionally to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot. This helps in even cooking and avoids burning.

Yogurt Addition: Add yogurt in parts, stirring well each time. This helps in better blending and prevents curdling.


  • Refrigerator: Store leftover rogan josh in an airtight container in the fridge. It stays fresh for up to 3 days.

  • Freezer: For longer storage, freeze the curry. It can last up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheating Tips:

Use a saucepan to reheat the curry. Add a splash of water if it looks too thick. Heat it on medium until warmed through.

Serving Ideas:

Pair your rogan josh with steamed rice, naan, or roti. A simple cucumber raita on the side can balance the spices nicely.

Pro Tip: Add a pinch of saffron soaked in warm water for an authentic touch and vibrant color. It adds a subtle, luxurious flavor to your curry.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Rogan Josh is a versatile dish, allowing for interesting variations.

For a beef Rogan Josh, substitute lamb with beef. Keep in mind that beef usually needs a longer cooking time to become tender.

Another option is to use chicken. Chicken will cook faster, so reduce the cooking time accordingly.

Vegetarian Rogan Josh is also an option. Replace the meat with hearty vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, and carrots. Cook until the vegetables are tender.

For side dishes, consider serving Rogan Josh with steamed basmati rice or naan bread. These options complement the rich sauce and flavors.

Another great side is raita, a yogurt-based side that helps cool down the spicy heat of the curry.

Consider garnishing with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice for added freshness.

Suggested Variations at a Glance:

VariationMain IngredientEstimated Cooking Time
Beef Rogan JoshBeef60-70 minutes
Chicken Rogan JoshChicken30-40 minutes
Veggie Rogan JoshMixed vegetables25-35 minutes

When presenting your Rogan Josh, try serving it in a large bowl or platter with a side of rice or bread for easy sharing. Enjoy your culinary creation!

Benjamin Happy Muncher

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.