Lamb Rogan Josh is a gorgeous, aromatic dish loaded with seven spices worth stocking your pantry with. This might seem complex but once you measure out your spices you’ll find its addictively delicious and easy enough to make a weekly staple.
This Lamb Rogan Josh stew was a spur of the moment creation as I found myself with twice as much lamb as I needed for another recipe. The Moroccan Tagine I’m working on calls for a four pound bone-in shoulder while I accidentally purchased a four pound bone-less shoulder. Ugh. When life gives you lamb, you reach to your spice cabinet.
It’s certainly not the cheapest cut of meat at your butcher’s counter but lamb is absolutely worth making a few times a year. Lamb lends itself well to bold spice blends and acidic marinades. My favorite is grilled with lots of garlic, lemon, and parsley; but I’d reserve that method for a lamb chop. For this recipe I trimmed most of the fat prior to butchering in to bite size cubes. The fat holds most the distinctive flavor so use your best judgement with it comes time to trimming.
I have a confession to make when it comes to the spices. I didn’t follow any particular Lamb Rogan Josh recipe. I’d love to say this is the most authentic, true to Indian Cooking recipe but alas, I cannot. It was only after I made the dish, had died, then gone to heaven having eaten it, that I tried to find a similar preparation online.
Sometimes authentic is overrated and you just have to go with your gut – or what you have in your cabinet.
Like Italian grandmothers who all have their own tomato sauce recipe, every region and family in India has their own recipe for Rogan Josh. I’ve found that there’s no particular method or combination of ingredients that would qualify as ‘authentic’. The biggest difference with my recipe though is that Rogan Josh typically has a cup or so of yogurt in it. This would be a great addition towards the end of stewing or as a side dish if you’d like to mellow the spices a bit.
… and now I’m thinking about how to turn this whole recipe in to a lamb rogan josh burger with honey yogurt and pickled red onions.
Lamb Rogan Josh
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 lbs lamb shoulder trimmed
- 14 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbs fresh minced ginger
- 1 1/2 tbs fresh minced garlic
- 1 tbs ground cumin
- 1 tbs ground coriander
- 1 tbs tumeric
- 1 tbs paprika
- 1/2 tbs cinnamon
- 1/2 tbs cayenne
- 1/2 tbs ground cardamom
- Trim lamb of most of it’s fat and cube in to one inch chunks.
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a medium dutch oven.
- Add chopped onions, a pinch of salt, and sauté until softened; about 3 minutes. Then add garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute.
- Lower heat to medium and sauté spices with onions for a minute.
- Add the lamb and mix well to coat with spice mixture stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes.
- Briefly deglaze the pot with the juice of half a lemon then stir in crushed tomatoes and cover pot. Lower heat to low and stew for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Tilt lid to the side to allow steam to escape and stew for another 45 minutes. Liquid should thicken and reduce by half.
- Serve garnished with finely chopped parsley and cilantro, a wedge of lemon, and a small side of yogurt.