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  • Rogan Josh

    YIELD: 2 CUPS / 470 ML
    TOOLS: You’ll need a food processor; a large mixing bowl; a whisk; a spice grinder or mortar and pestle; and a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart / 6-L sauté pan
    NOTE: You can easily make this dish with an alternative protein. Another popular version uses beef. Simply use the same cut and quantity as listed in the recipe and cook the beef longer, for 2 hours, until tender.
    VEGANIZE IT! Substitute 24 to 28 ounces / 680 to 790 g of Baked Tofu, seitan, or tempeh for the lamb and coconut or soy yogurt or cashew or coconut cream for the dairy yogurt. Reduce the cooking time to 20 minutes in Step 7, and you may also want to cut back on the water a bit. Start with 1 cup / 240 mL and then work your way up if you need more.

    The Persians introduced this hugely popular dish to Kashmir. Rogan means either “red” or “oil,” while josh means “boiling” or “passionate.” The dish’s red hue is traditionally from deseeded Kashmiri red peppers. Here we use paprika instead. It’s one of the tastiest dishes that descends from Moghul cuisine.

    • 1 large yellow or red onion, roughly chopped
    • 1 (2-inch / 5-cm) piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon /470 mL water, divided (possibly more)
    • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
    • 2 teaspoons red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsmoked paprika
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 2 cups /470 mL plain, unsweetened yogurt (whole milk, lowfat, or nonfat)
    • 2 pounds /910 g lamb (shoulder or leg), boned or boneless cubes
    • 2 teaspoons kalonji seeds (nigella seeds)
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
    • ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds
    • 6 whole cloves
    • ¼ cup /60 mL ghee or vegetable oil
    • 2 (3-inch / 8-cm) sticks cinnamon
    • 3 cassia or bay leaves
    • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
    • ½ cup /120 mL half & half or heavy cream
    • Brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan, for serving
    1. In the bowl of a food processor, grind the onion, ginger, and the 1 tablespoon of water into a smooth paste. Take your time—this may take a few minutes. You’ll likely have to stop and push the ingredients down from the sides and grind again.
    2. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the coriander, red chile powder, paprika, salt, and yogurt. Whisk until well combined.
    3. Carefully add the pieces of lamb to the large mixing bowl and gently stir until all the pieces are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight.
    4. In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the kalonji and cumin seeds, peppercorns, cardamom, and cloves into a powder.
    5. In a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart / 6-L sauté pan over medium–high heat, warm the ghee. Add the cinnamon and cassia leaves and cook for 40 seconds, until the spices are slightly brown and aromatic. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until browned. Add the kalonji spice mixture and cook for 40 seconds.
    6. Slowly, carefully add the lamb pieces to the sauté pan (leaving the marinade behind) and cook, turning once to ensure even browning, for a total of 4 minutes. Add the leftover marinade and the remaining 2 cups / 470 mL of water and bring to a boil.
    7. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 1½ hours. The sauce will start to caramelize on the bottom, which will only add flavor. If, toward the end of the cooking time, you think you’d like to have more gravy in the dish, add another ½ cup /120 mL of water or so, raise the heat to medium–high, and allow the dish to boil for 2 minutes, long enough for the gravy to thicken slightly. Remove from the heat. Slowly fold the half & half into the mixture, cover, and set aside for 10 minutes, until the flavors pull together.
    8. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot with the brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Alta Editions LLC.