If you’ve never tried Roghan Josh, then here’s your chance to taste this Indian dish with a Persian origin. It is popular in the Kashmir region, where the Mughals had a huge influence whilst plying along the spice routes across inner Asia. The dish was so suitable for the cold Kashmiri climate due to its elevation and latitude that in due course, became one of the staples in Kashmiri cuisine.
Although there are many versions of this dish, that can be made with beef, lamb and even chicken, the most popular meat is mutton because it can withstand the slow braising. In addition, the robust spices help mellow out a lot of the gaminess in the meat that many people associate with mutton.
Considering that mutton is such an expensive meat, this dish is a real treat especially during festive seasons. It is best served with flat breads such as chapatti, paratha or roti canai, and thosai. It is also often served with briyani rice or plain rice, which goes well with the thick smooth gravy. I find fresh slices of cucumber helps cleanse the palate between mouthfuls.
- 12 tbs cooking oil
- 2 kg mutton, cut into cubes
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 6 fresh bay leaves
- 20 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 8 medium onions, peeled and diced
- 4 tsp cumin seeds
- 8 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup plain yoghurt
- 500 ml water
- Spice Blend:
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 whole bulb garlic, peeled
- Blend ginger and garlic into a paste.
- Heat oil over medium heat, brown the meat cubes in several batches and set aside.
- In the same hot oil, add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cardamom pods, whole cloves, peppercorns, and coriander seeds. Toss in oil until fragrant.
- Add the onions, and stir until wilted.
- Add ginger-garlic blend and stir.
- Add cumin seeds, paprika, chilli powder, and salt. Stir.
- Add the browned meat cubes and juices. Stir until coated in spices.
- Add yoghurt and stir.
- Add water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Or braise in pressure cooker for 40 minutes.
- When the meat is tender, and simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes to reduce gravy.
- Skim off the oil that has risen to the top.
- Best served with rice or flat bread.