Rogan Josh is a beautiful red-colored, complex-flavored curry dish with Persian origins that’s a staple in Kashmiri cuisine.
I first made this dish after Mike and I ordered it at our favorite Indian restaurant. One of my favorite things about it is that because there’s quite a bit of paprika in it, it reminds me of Hungarian Goulash, which my mom used to make all the time when I was a kid. Because of this, even though I never tasted Rogan Josh until I was an adult, its taste always reminds me of my childhood.
Our favorite way to eat this dish is with basmati rice and Salad Shirazi, which is just a salad made of diced cucumber, tomato, onion, and parsley dressed with olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar, and seasoned with salt. I like to add pomegranate arils for sweet/tart flavor, and you can switch it up by using different aromatics like fresh mint, chives, scallion, etc.
It makes a beautiful meal with a little exotic flair! I love trying curries from all over the world; what’s your favorite kind of curry?
- 2 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
- 1½ to 2 lbs boneless beef or lamb, trimmed of fat and cubed (I like to use a beef sirloin roast for this)
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 to 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 8 pods cardamom, crushed and outer pods removed
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 whole cloves
- 4 teaspoons paprika (I use sweet paprika)
- 1½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon each coriander and cumin
- ½ teaspoon each cinnamon and black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 1 cup plain yogurt, plus more for serving if desired
- 1 cup beef stock or water
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Sliced red onion, for garnish
- Salad Shirazi, for serving (see Note)
- Prepared basmati rice, for serving
- Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat in a 5-quart pot. When the oil starts to ripple, sear the meat on all sides, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until the onion starts to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, paprika, salt, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, and cayenne and fry until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Use a wooden spoon to push the beef and onions to one side of the pot. Add 2 tablespoons of yogurt to the empty area, stirring continuously until it blends in; continue this way until all the yogurt is added.
- Add just enough beef stock or water to cover everything (about 1 cup), bring the mixture up to a boil, and then put a lid on it, turn it down to a simmer, and let it cook until the meat is tender and the curry is thickened, about an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the cloves and bay leaves, and taste and season with additional salt and pepper.
- Garnish with cilantro and red onion, and serve with Salad Shirazi and prepared basmati rice.
Update (January 8, 2017): I made this dish again and snapped a few pictures, so I decided to update the photos in this post. As a point of comparison to show how much my photography has evolved, I kept one of my original photos (below).