lamb curry in a bowl
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Authentic Lamb Curry Recipe – Rogan Josh

This meat dish is simple and delicious. In areas like Pakistan, Kashmir and India, this lamb curry dish is called Rogan Josh. Rogan Josh is a signature dish in Kashmiri cuisine.

Its the perfect easy curry to serve at your next family dinner or gathering. With just a few simple ingredients this lamb curry is packed with flavor. I’m serious when I say bursting with flavor; I’m not just talking about the heat since curries tend to be known as being on the spicy side!

I love eating curries on a regular basis! I also appreciate that the ingredients that go into a curry dish are considered beneficial to our overall health.

Health Benefits

spices in a plate needed to make lamb curry

The main spices in this dish have some amazing health benefits, and here is just a little snippet of what these ingredients can do:

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Fennel Seeds

Not only does it freshen your breath, it also boosts your metabolism which can aid in weight loss. Fennel helps with digestive health in reducing heartburn and bloating.

Black Cardamom

Black Cardamom has a powerful antibacterial and antiviral effects if consumed on a regular basis. It boosts your immune system and also is known to improve your respiratory tract. Excellent ingredient to add to your diet this winter to reduce colds, coughing and sore throats.

Cloves

Cloves are high in antioxidants and known for keeping blood sugar levels in check. Cloves help block the growth of bacteria in the mouth which is beneficial to your oral health.

Cumin Seeds

These seeds are known to have antioxidant properties which gives you energy and promotes digestion. Cumin also is high in iron and may improve blood sugar levels and is also known for boosting your memory.

Dried Red Chili Peppers

These peppers are high in antioxidants and also in vitamins which help build up your immunity against infections, illnesses and fight off viruses. In addition to being a natural source for pain relief for headaches and migraines, chili peppers can be used to reduce joint pain as well.

Ground Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the most powerful and effective herbs known on the market these days. It is commonly used to treat skin conditions. However it has so many other health benefits such as preventing the development of type 2 diabetes, help lowering cholesterol and could also prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Ground Ginger

Another powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant superfood, ginger helps prevent nausea, lowers blood sugar levels and improve heart disease. Ginger is also known to help fight harmful bacteria and viruses which could reduce your risk of infections.

Black Peppercorns

By adding black pepper to your meal, you increase the amount of nutrients absorbed into your bloodstream from other foods. Pepper helps support the immune system by fighting off invading bacteria and viruses.

Tips Before Making the Lamb Curry

Tip 1

This step is completely optional! To start this dish or any meat curry or stew type meal, I always start off by adding my meat to a large pot of water and give it a good boil in order to boil out any excess blood. I find by doing this the taste of the meat is much cleaner but this might be all in my head! If these things do not bother you, then you can go ahead and skip this step.

Tip 2

Put all the ingredients for the spice blend into a grinder and grind to make a fine powder. If you don’t have a grinder, you can still use whole spices. The benefit of grinding the spices into a powder is that give you a nice, smooth curry gravy.  Below is a list of spices that need to be blended:        

Spice Blend:

  • Fennel Seeds
  • Black Cardamom
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Cloves
  • Dry Red Chilies
  • Ground Dried Ginger
  • Ground Turmeric

Tip 3

Slow and steady wins the race. For meat curries I prefer to use shanks and shoulder cuts. These cuts of meat are the most flavorful, however they are also tougher. You definitely need to cook shank or shoulder cuts for a much longer amount of time to soften the connective tissue and get the meat fork tender.

This curry is not one you can rush, otherwise your meat will be very chewy. You will need to cook the meat for at least 2 – 2 ½ hours for that melt in your mouth, fall-off-the-bone tenderness. Trust me, it’s so worth it.

lamb curry in a bowl

Try these other curry recipes: Beef and Okra (Bhindhi Gosht), Chicken Korma and Ground Chicken Curry (Keema)

What do you serve with lamb curry?

In my household we love to eat most of our curry dishes with either pita bread or naan bread. For this dish I would recommend you go with a nice naan so you can mop up your bowl clean.

If you would prefer to keep your hands out of your food and use utensils, or need a gluten free option, I would suggest traditional basmati rice.

If you are on a Keto diet you can always eat this curry over some cauliflower rice.

Whenever I have a meat curry, I love to have a side of fresh cut up vegetables. I cut some cucumbers into thick slices and some tomatoes. No need for any dressing for this salad as the curry has enough flavor and heat.

A dollop of plain yogurt would also be lovely to serve on the side to give you a little coolness if you like this rogan josh curry to be on the spicier side.

Should I use boneless or bone-in cuts of lamb?

I prefer to use bone-in lamb shanks or shoulder cuts for stews in lamb curries as it adds extra flavor from the marrow. If you don’t like having the bone in, you can always remove the bones out of the curry once fully cooked.

If you don’t have cuts with bone-in, I would still recommend the shoulder or shank areas as they tend to be more flavorful.

How long should I cook the lamb to get it very tender?

As mentioned above in my tips section, Lamb requires time. About 2 – 2 ½ hours should be enough time to get the meat nice and tender.

You can also cook the meat in the pressure cooker at a reduced time. However, I prefer making this without a pressure cooker as I am a big fan of slow cooking to help get the flavors into the meat.

lamb curry in a serving bowl

Can I cook this curry ahead of time?

Yes, you can cook this dish ahead of time. Just like most stews, its flavor gets better with time.

How can I store leftovers?

Allow the leftovers to cool before placing them in an airtight container. It can last in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze my leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze the leftovers. Once well cooled, place in an airtight container. It can last for up to 4 months in the freezer.

To thaw it, place the frozen curry in the fridge to thaw overnight. When ready to eat reheat it on the stove top and serve.

Does this lamb curry use coconut milk?

This lamb curry recipe is made without coconut milk. I prefer to use traditional plain yogurt.

lamb curry in a serving bowl on a white counter beside a dish cloth and hot peppers

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook time: 2 – 2 ½ hrs

Ingredients:

1 lbs lamb shank or shoulder cut

Spice Blend:

2 tsp fennel seeds

3 black cardamom seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

3 cloves

3-4 dried red chillies

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground turmeric

5-8 black pepper corns

Other Ingredients:

4 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp garam masala

1 onion (ground into a paste – about ½ cup)

½ cup plain yogurt

Salt to taste

1 ½ cups of water or as required

Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish

Directions:

1. Cut the meat into 2” chunks, wash and boil as per Tip 1

2. Put all the ingredients for the spice blend into a grinder and grind to make a fine powder; set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a big enough pot, add the lamb and stir-fry till it looks well seared and all the water has evaporated. Continue to fry the meat until it looks golden brown and well fried.

4. Add the onion paste and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.

5. Add in the spice blend into the yogurt and add it to the meat along with some salt to taste. Stir-fry for 5-7 minutes till the yogurt blends well and begins to dry.

6. Add water and cook covered for 2 – 2 ½ hours. Check for tenderness and cook until the meat is completely done. Note: check on the curry a few times and add an extra ½ cup of water should the water evaporate and the curry gets too dry.

7. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve over basmati rice or with naan.

Yield: 4 servings

Authentic Lamb Curry Recipe - Rogan Josh

lamb curry in a bowl

Lamb meat cooked into a curry with flavorful spices

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs lamb shank or shoulder cut
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 black cardamom seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 5-8 black pepper corns
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 onion (ground into a paste – about ½ cup)
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cups of water or as required
  • Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cut the meat into 2” chunks, wash and boil as per Tip 1
  2. Put all the ingredients for the spice blend into a grinder and grind to make a fine powder; set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a big enough pot, add the lamb and stir-fry till it looks well seared and all the water has evaporated. Continue to fry the meat until it looks golden brown and well fried.
  4. Add the onion paste and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Add the spice blend into the yogurt and add it to the meat along with some salt to taste. Stir-fry for 5-7 minutes till the yogurt blends well and begins to dry.
  6. Add water and cook covered for 2 – 2 ½ hours. Check for tenderness and cook until the meat is completely done. Note: add an extra ½ cup of water should the water evaporate part way through cooking and the curry gets too dry.
  7. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve over basmati rice or with naan.

a close up and top view of a bowl of lamb curry. This is a Pinterest pin.
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