Rogan Josh – The Kashmiri Version

SANDEEP PANDIT

Friday May 10

 

Rogan Josh has Persian origins, Kashmiri roots and many adaptations (let’s just say, many chefs have their own variations of this dish), but at the core of it all is the tradition of cooking in Dum(The ancient method of pressure cooking) to cook this dish.

Whenever I serve this dish to a non-Kashmiri friend, they’re usually surprised (Jaw dropping surprise) to know that I’ve not used any onion based spice paste in this dish.

Rogan Josh- The Kashmiri Version

Ingredients

  • Lamb/ Mutton- 750 g to 1 kg ‘Large’ pieces, about 75 to 80 grams each piece (Leg is essential for best results)
  • Rogan Josh in Kashmiri cuisine is a two stage process. Shallow Frying Meat with Spices and Final Cooking in Dum.
  • For the Smoked Mustard, place mustard oil into a wok and place over high heat. Heat the oil until it begins to smoke and smoke the oil for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • For the Garam Masala, place the ingredients into a medium heavy based frypan over a low heat. Stir frequently, to ensure spices toast evenly and don’t burn. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
  • For the Rogan Josh, cut lamb into 4cm pieces, leaving a portion on the bone.
  • Place a pressure cooker over a low heat or set an electric pressure cooker to low. Add the Smoked Mustard Oil and when hot, add the cumin, fenugreek, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and stir for 1 minute until fragrant.

Method:

  • 1.5 teaspoon of Zeera (Cumin Seeds)
  • 2 pods of Elaichi (Green Cardamon Pods) crushed
  • 1 pod of Badi Elaichi (Black Cardamon Pod) crushed
  • 1/2 stick Dalchini (Cinnamon Sticks) crushed
  • 2 Tej Patta (Dried Bay Leaves) whole

Other notes: Use a heavy bottomed pressure Cooker for pressure cooking (5- 7 Liters size)

Method:

Rogan Josh in Kashmiri cuisine is a two stage process. Shallow Frying Meat with Spices and Final Cooking in Dum.

Stage 1

  • For the Smoked Mustard, place mustard oil into a wok and place over high heat. Heat the oil until it begins to smoke and smoke the oil for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • For the Garam Masala, place the ingredients into a medium heavy based frypan over a low heat. Stir frequently, to ensure spices toast evenly and don’t burn. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
  • For the Rogan Josh, cut lamb into 4cm pieces, leaving a portion on the bone.
  • Place a pressure cooker over a low heat or set an electric pressure cooker to low. Add the Smoked Mustard Oil and when hot, add the cumin, fenugreek, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and stir for 1 minute until fragrant.
Rogan Josh - Shallow Fry

Frying is an important step of the entire process, and perhaps the longest step. It will test your patience and the results here will determine the end dish. As the meat is shallow frying, add salt (about 3/4 teaspoon), 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (The rest of 3/4 teaspoon is for later), and ½ teaspoon Hing (Asafetida). The salt helps draw out the moisture from the meat and seasons it and the Hing adds additional flavor. Keep the flame medium, the frying process will lead to a lot of moisture getting drawn out of the meat and will seem to fill up the pressure cooker, you’ll have to ensure that all this moisture evaporates and the meat starts to get brown and ooze oil.

Garam Masala Rogan Josh - Meat Browning

When the meat has browned (look at the pic above), looks seared, the moisture has evaporated, oil is visible on the meat, bring the flame to low and:

  • Add Kashmiri Chilli powder (I do not recommend any other Chilli Powder, as most are too hot to be used in this quantity) and mix it with the contents in the cooker.
  • Add Fennel Powder and Mix
  • Add ¼ Hing/Asafetida and Mix
Rogan Josh - Spices

Turn on the heat again and on Gentle heat roast these spices with the meat. (Tip- The heat must be low to gently bring up the temperature of the spice Mix. Do not roast for more than a minute or two and never on high heat). Ensure that all meat gets evenly coated with the spices.

  • Add the Dahi/Yogurt into the cooker and mix well
Rogan Josh - Curd

Turn up the heat for 2-3 minutes and allow the spice mix to roast again and the moisture to evaporate. Turn down the heat and allow the spice mix to turn vibrant red. (Tip- The point where this roasted spice mix oozes oil and has turned a deep red is the perfect way of proceeding).

Add Water to the cooker and make sure that the level of water is never more than the level of meat (in short, down drown the meat in buckets of water)

Rogan Josh - Almost Ready to serve

Stage 2- The Dum

Bring the contents of the pressure cooker to boil. Put the lid on the pressure cooker, bring up the heat of the stove to high and cook until you have 3 steam whistles. Reduce the flame and Cook for another whistle on this low/ medium flame. DO NOT undercook Mutton/ Lamb, as it’ll be chewy. Turn off the heat and allow the cooker to cool gradually. Once the pressure cooker has cooled down, open the lid, gently bring the dish to boil again and add the rest of the Garam Masala.

Rogan Josh - Almost ready to serve

This dish is best eaten with steamed rice or tehr (Turmeric and mustard oil flavored Rice) and Dahi/yogurt.

Rogan Josh - Ready to serve

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