Monday 18 February 2008

Lamb Rogan Josh (Red Lamb Stew)

I've cooked at Eduardo's flat a few times, but recently he got a new kitchen fitted, and finally has a half decent gas stove and had been trying to get me to come around and cook for a while. As it was a new-ish kitchen, I couldn't think of anything better than letting it have that cooked-in smell of doing a good curry.

The last time I cooked at Ed's place, his girlfriend reckoned she had a reaction to the coconut milk in the Thai curry I cooked, so I decided that this time I would cook an Indian using yoghurt instead. I had wanted to cook something with Lamb, and after flicking through the Madhur Jaffery book, I settled on doing a Lamb Rogan Josh, as it seemed nice and simple, and I wouldn't have to carry too many ingredients with me (knowing that Ed was unlikely to have most of the necessary spices for even the simplest curry). Also, Lamb Rogan Josh is one of those dishes that I would regularly order in a restaurant, so I really wanted to have a go at doing it myself.

To be honest, I think I made it a little hot, so the recipe I'm writing is how I would do it if I made it the same again. This was partly because I was cooking less due to Katia being ill and not wanting to eat any, and so I didn't buy as much Lamb as I would have done if everyone was hungry. Also, it really could have done with a vegetable dish to go with it, but I forgot that I had considerably better cooking facilities, so concentrated on the main dish and forget to get together a vegetable dish to go with it. Due to the hour long simmering time, there is plenty of time to get something else together while waiting for the lamb to become tender.

Recipe for Lamb Rogan Josh (serves 2-3)

  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 8 Cloves of Garlic
  • 5cm Piece of Ginger (roughly chopped)
  • 500g Lamb Shoulder Cubes
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 5cm Cinnamon Stick
  • 10 Peppercorns
  • 10 Cloves
  • 8 Green Cardamoms (Broken)
  • 2 Onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 3 Teaspoons Paprika
  • Half Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 5 Tablespoons Natural Yoghurt
  • 200ml Water
  • Half Teaspoon Garam Masala

Put the Garlic, Ginger and a few tablespoons of water into a blender, and blend to a smooth paste. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan and then lightly brown the Lamb in batches, and remove to a bowl.

Drop in the Bay Leaves, Cinnamon Stick, Cardamom Pods, Peppercorns and Cloves into the pan and stir for about 30 seconds, then add the Onion and fry until lightly browned for about 5 minutes. Add the Garlic and Ginger Paste and stir and fry for about 30 seconds before adding the Ground Coriander, Cumin, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper and Salt. Stir these in well. The mixture will probably be fairly dry at this point, but then add the Lamb and juices back into the pan, and it should start to moisten up again.

Next start adding the Yoghurt, a tablespoon at a time, stirring it into the mixture and ensure that it's fully combined before adding the next tablespoon. Cook for a further 4 minutes, then add in the water, stir and bring to the boil, then reduce the meat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for an hour, or until the Lamb is tender, and the sauce has reduced to a nice Gravy. Finally stir in the Garam Masala.

Serve with Rice and ideally a nice vegetable dish.
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