Rogan Josh (Indian lamb stew)

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A roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings for our Easter lunch did not go to waste 2 weeks ago.  I decided to reuse the leftovers to make Bert’s favorite Indian dish, Rogan Josh.  It is a spicy, and succulent slow-cooked lamb curry.  Indulgent, and flavorful, with a spiciness that transforms into a rich and thickened sauce, this lamb curry would be a great dish to entertain with; I know I’ve had rave reviews from guests and have passed on this recipe many times over.  The recipe is taken from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking cookbook.  Madhur Jaffrey is one of the world’s leading authorities on Indian cuisine.  Born in Delhi, she gained distinction as an actress in England and hosted the popular BBC television series on which the book is based. 

This might seem like a long list of ingredients, but believe me when I tell you, all the effort that you put into this gorgeous meal will really be worth it. I served it with a pea pulao.

Rogan Josh

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • Two 1 inch cubes of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups water
  • 10 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 lb boned meat from lamb shoulder or leg cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 10 whole cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
  • 4 teaspoons bright red paprika mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • freshly ground pepper


  1. Put the ginger, garlic and 4 tablespoons water into the container of an electric blender.  Blend well until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot over a medium-high flame.  Brown the meat cubes in several batches and set to one side.  Put the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon into the same hot oil.  Stir once and wait until the cloves swell and the bay leaves begin to take on color.  This just takes a few seconds.  Now put in the onions.  Stir and fry for about 5 minutes or until the onions turn a medium-brown color.  Put in the ginger-garlic paste and stir for 30 seconds.  Then add the coriander, cumin, paprika-cayenne, and salt.  Stir and fry for another 30 seconds.  Add the fried meat cubes and juices.  Stir for 30 seconds.  Add the fried meat cubes and juices.  Stir for 30 seconds.  Now put in 1 tablespoon of the yogurt.  Stir and fry for about 30 seconds or until the yogurt is well blended.  Add the remaining yogurt, a tablespoon at a time, in the same way.  Stir and fry for another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Now add 1 1/4 cups of water.  Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, scraping in all browned spices on the sides and bottom of the pot.  Cover turn heat to low and simmer for about an hour or until the meat is tender.  It can also be baked, covered in a 350 deg F oven for the same length of time or until tender.
  4. Every 20 minutes or so, give it a good stir.  When tender, take off the lid, turn the heat up to medium and boil away some of the liquid.
  5. You should end up with tender meat in a thick, reddish-brown sauce.  All the fat that collects in the pot may be spooned off the top.  Sprinkle the garam masala and black pepper over the meat before you serve and mix them in. Garnish with cilantro.


23 Replies to “Rogan Josh (Indian lamb stew)”

    1. It really is Melissa. Give it a go, I’ve introduced it to my family in England too and they all love it too. I cook more Indian than Goan cooking, so was surprised to hear you had never tried it. I do of course cook Goan as well and a lot of different types of cuisines from around the world. There’s a website on FB that you might enjoy, I can send you the link, it’s called Traditional Goan Foodies. It brings back a lot of memories.


  1. Loretta,
    Your Rogan josh looks so succulent! I love the deep color of the lamb curry. It is simply perfect with the green peas pullav!


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