Rogan josh

Atul Kocchar's lamb curry is perfect for a big crowd. Make it go further with a few accompaniments such as saffron rice or Indian bread
By Atul Kochhar
Rogan josh
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 2 hour marinating
  • Effort: easy


For the spice mix

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2.5 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 blade mace
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 whole star anise

For the marinade

  • 150 g yogurt
  • 3-4 strands saffron
  • pinches garam masala
  • 50 g grated green papaya, (optional)

For the curry

  • 1 kg boneless, lean leg of lamb, diced to 1 inch
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 6 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cm ginger, finely grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • ½ tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala

To serve

  • coriander leaves, (optional)
  • fl. oz. fresh ginger, shredded
  • saffron rice, (optional)
  • Indian bread, (optional)


1. For the spice mix:Heat all the spices in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for around 2 minutes until they smell very aromatic.

2. Transfer to a mortar and pound to a rough powder.

3. For the marinade: Whisk the yogurt to a smooth consitency. Add the saffron, a pinch of the spice mix and half the ginger and garlic. Stir in the lamb until thoroughly coated and leave to marinade for 2 hours.

4. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy bottom pan. Add remaining whole spice mix and stir until the spices start to crackle.

5. Toss in the onions and a teaspoon of salt, stir and cook gently on a medium heat until golden brown. Be careful not to overcook.

6. Stir in the rest of the ginger and garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.

7. Add the marinated lamb, stir well and cook for 25 minutes stirring often. The meat will tend to get stuck at the bottom, so make sure you scrap the bottom of the pan as you stir. This will add to the caramelised flavour of the dish. If it sticks too much you can add a splash of water.

8. After 25 minutes, stir in the tomato puree and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.

9. Add the red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and cook for a further 5 minutes.

10. Just before serving, stir in the teaspoon of garam masala.

11. Serve in a bowl garnished with coriander leaves or shredded ginger accompanied by saffron rice or Indian bread.

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