Kashmiri Rogan Josh


Rogan josh or roghan josh or roghan ghosht, is an aromatic curried meat dish of Kashmiri origin. It is made with red meat, traditionally lamb or goat. It is coloured and flavoured primarily by alkanet flower or root and Kashmiri chilies. It is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri cuisine.

Rogan josh is a staple of Kashmiri cuisine and is one of the main dishes of the Kashmiri multicourse meal (the wazwan). The dish was originally brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, whose cuisine was, in turn, influenced by Persian cuisine. The unrelenting summer heat of the Indian plains took the Mughals frequently to Kashmir, which has a cooler climate because of its elevation and latitude.

While the traditional preparation uses whole dried chilies that are de-seeded, soaked in water, and ground to a paste, non-traditional shortcuts use either Kashmiri chili powder – source: Wikipedia

I was inspired to try this dish after watching Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s film Shikara (a 2020 film) where the protagonist is shown cooking and then announcing to her husband the Rogan Josh is ready! The film is based on the love story of a Kashmiri Pandit couple at the peak of insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir during the 1990s and the subsequent exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir Valley

A fairly simple recipe, without onions, garlic and a minimum of spices!

Ingredients

  • 1 kg. Mutton
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ½ bunch coriander leaves
  • 2” pc ginger, chopped
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder or to taste
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1” pc. Cinnamon
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 peppercorns
  • Pinch of nutmeg powder
  • ½ tsp. mace
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. saffron
  • 2 tsp. hot milk
  • 4 tsp. ghee

Clean and cut mutton into large to medium pieces.  Beat yogurt and mix with coriander leaves, ginger, chilli powder and asafoetida.  Marinate the mutton with the yogurt mixture for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, grind all the ingredients from cumin to mace to a smooth paste by adding a little water.  Heat crush and soak saffron in milk.  Heat ghee and add the mutton with the marinade.  Cook on moderate heat till all the water dries up. Will take 15 to 20 minutes. Cook further stirring constantly till ghee separates.  Add the paste, saffron and salt just enough water to cook the meat.  Cook for 30 minutes or till done.

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