The Best Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh Recipe

This simple Kashmiri lamb rogan josh recipe takes the takeaway favourite rogan josh and elevates it to a whole new level. It will show you how to make a gorgeous, authentic Kashmiri rogan josh and suggest a few delicious sides as well.

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Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a curry? At some point in time our exploration of India yielded an interest in their beautiful, diverse cuisine. Fortunately, soon after, an influx of Indian immigrants brought with them a whole host of recipes for us to try. And we did. We tried them all. The Indian takeaway is now the most beloved kind of takeaway in our country. We’ve gone absolutely mad for crispy onion bhajis, creamy kormas, spicy vindaloos and pretty much everything about their delicious cuisine.

More than simply trying them, we embraced them as our own. Our very own national dish, the beautiful chicken tikka masala, is basically an English version of their delicious murgh makhani, a dish we know as butter chicken. That our very own national dish is all but a complete import is said to speak volumes of our own culinary culture. It is said to highlight our willingness to embrace new cultures and new approaches to the world. It could also potentially be said to suggest something about our own feelings toward our own cuisine.

However you interpret it, it seems a given that curries are very much here to stay. So no matter what kind you like, there’s always going to be something on the menu to suit.

Ornate bowl of striking red Kashmiri lamb curry.

Rogan Josh

When it came to the rogan josh, as a child, I always thought of it as something of a generic option. My eyes were always immediately drawn to the spicy and the exotic. But even out of the more approachable options, the rogan josh always struck me as being a bit average. How wrong I was!

Unfortunately, my experiences with rogan josh were primarily from supermarkets. Pre-made packet curries that all tasted identical. As such, I never really ordered them from restaurants. So I never had the chance to see just how wonderful they can be when they’re done properly.

I am currently in the process of exploring India’s regional cuisines. India’s cuisine is a mishmash of influences from all manner of different countries. Specifically, in the Northeast, there is the Persian-influenced Mughal cuisine. They are often very indulgent dishes. The are frequently fragrant and creamy and often contain nuts and dried fruits. If we use my own recipes as a guide, Mughal cuisine includes things like the wonderful, creamy chicken korma and Thailand’s rich, beautiful chicken massaman.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when I saw the rogan josh on the list of Mughal curries. How could the bland, acidic tomato-based curry I remember ever have originated from the same place as so many of my very favourite dishes?

The answer, of course, is that the rogan josh I knew was not the rogan josh intended by its kashmiri creators. The real rogan josh is a rich, flavoursome dish made with ghee and very clever spicing. Done properly, a rogan josh is a far cry from the horrible bolognese I remember. It is instead a meaty, complex dish with reams and reams of flavour.

Rogan Josh Recipe
Rogan Josh Recipe

About the recipe

I am very proud of the recipe I am posting today. As a result, I look forward to trying even more of the dishes I have so far overlooked.

This dish definitely has a lot in common with the other Mughal dishes I have cooked. It just wasn’t so apparent in the past! It’s rich and meaty, salty and very comforting. It’s also quite tame, from a spicing perspective, although that really depends on how much chilli you put in!

The rogan josh we buy from supermarkets is very heavy on tomato, whereas the real thing contains none at all. They do it to instil the curry’s characteristic redness. A redness, in fact, that should come from the liberal use of spices like paprika and cayenne pepper. A practice that helps to pack in more and more flavour.

In this version we’re going to do exactly that. I have looked a lot at the spices used in Kashmiri cuisine and I’ve used them to bring a lot of depth to this dish. Some dishes are all about the spice, but in my eyes, in this dish they serve to highlight the rich, meaty flavour of the lamb. I’m not sure if they would traditionally use stock when cooking a Kashmiri curry, but I have. It just brings more and more of that wonderful depth and substance.

As a final note, some versions really do call for tomato and others call for yogurt. I have used neither here. I don’t think either are necessary. In small quantities, however, neither would be out of place in the dish, so if you fancy them, by all means go ahead. And if you’re looking for something to serve it with, this dish would go wonderfully with either my Indian spiced fried rice or with my delicious Indian flatbreads. Or, if you’re anything like me, both!

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

Passanda Sauce Recipe – An Authentic Leftover Chicken Curry – The sexiest, creamiest, butteriest, chickeniest curry I’ve ever made and an absolute personal favourite.

Goan Lamb Curry – Another of Goa’s beautiful curries. This time a delicious vindaloo style lamb dish!

The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe – The best Indian flatbreads you’ve ever seen. Seriously.

The above are affiliate links for which I earn a commission per purchase.

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Rogan josh recipe.

The Best Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh Recipe

This simple Kashmiri lamb rogan josh recipe takes the takeaway favourite rogan josh and elevates it to a whole new level.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2


  • 400 g Lamb Shoulder
  • 1 tbsp Ghee butter, lamb fat or vegetable oil would all also do
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 5 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 lrg Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Mace
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste or 1 square inch of fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Fresh Chillies optional
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 400 ml Lamb Stock
  • Fresh Coriander optional
  • Lime Juice optional
  • Salt


Set aside your whole spices

  • Mix together your star anise, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds and 5 cardammom pods, then set aside in a small container.

Make your spice mix

  • Mix together your 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper and set aside in another small container.

Make your curry paste

  • In a blender or pestle and mortar, blend or smash together your fresh ginger and garlic. Set aside in a small bowl.

Prepare your meat

  • Chop your lamb shoulder into bitesize pieces and season with salt.
  • In a very hot pan with some of your ghee, sear the edges of the meat all over and set aside.

Start to cook

  • Dice an onion as finely as you can and fry in ghee or animal fat on a low-medium temperature for 6 – 8 minutes, seasoning with salt.
  • After 8 minutes, make a little space in the pan for your whole spices and add them in. Allow them to make direct contact with the hot pan for 30 seconds or so, before mixing them in with the onions for a further minute and a half.
  • Do the same as above, but this time with the spice mix you made earlier. First adding it to a relatively clear part of the pan for 30 seconds or so and then mixing it in with the onions and allowing another minute and a half.
  • Now add the paste you made earlier. Mix it in with the onions and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Move everything from the pan to a blender and combine thoroughly, then switch back to the pan.
  • Add the meat back in and stir together. Optionally, add the fresh chillies as well.
  • Add the stock and a bay leaf and allow it to reduce slowly over the course of an hour or two. Once the sauce is at the desired consistency and the meat is sufficiently tender, you're ready to serve!
  • Plate up and garnish with coriander and lime juice. Or with nothing at all!
  • Serve with rice or naan.
Keyword Curry, kashmiri, kashmiri curry, Lamb, Lamb Curry, rogan josh

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe or have any comments or queries, please do let us know in the comments section below! And don’t forget to like and share!

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