Rogan Josh

4 Feb

Rogan Josh

God that photo is awful. I got flustered taking photos of my food in front of guests because, lets be honest, blogger or not, it’s the mark of a bit of a tosser.

Anyway. I absolutely love Indian food but most of the time find takeaways far too oily. They always leave me with a feeling of having shovelled a lot of Very Bad Things into my face and having to undo the top of my jeans. It seems like a bit of a scary thing to cook yourself, but I can promise you it isn’t. And it tastes so much better than something lukewarm out of a foil container.

This is basically a recipe from Anjum’s New Indian, which I bought donkeys years ago but – more fool me – rarely cook from. I didn’t have a load of the ingredients in the cupboard so just sort of… improvised. The list of spices may seem long but the depth of flavour they add is fab.

You need:

  • 7 whole black peppercorns
  • 7 green cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • Around half an inch of a cinnamon stick
  • A bit of mace (you can buy this anywhere – it’s the outer shell of nutmeg)
  • ½ teaspoon or so of black onion seeds
  • 1 large onion, sliced into half rounds
  • 20g-ish of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 800g lamb, cut into large chunks
  • Can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried coriander
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons of chilli powder, depending how hot you like it
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • 1½ – 2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
  • 2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach

Before you start cooking make a paste of the garlic and the ginger in a food processor of blender – chuck them together with a little splash of water and whaz up. Because I’m very, very nice and helpful I’m going to tell you the easiest way to peel ginger: USE A TEASPOON. Seriously. Just scrape the edge over the skin and it just comes away. You’ll never do it any other way.

Heat up some rapeseed or vegetable oil in a large pan over a low to medium heat and throw in your whole spices (the ones listed before your onion). After a couple of minutes you’ll hear the onion seeds starting to pop. Remove the cinnamon stick and add your onion. Give it a stir and make sure the heat is low enough that they don’t start to crisp up and burn, you’ll need to keep stirring so they don’t stick to the pan.

After five or ten minutes the onions will be nice and golden. Put the lamb in and stir everything together until the meat has browned all over. Turn the heat down and add the garlic and ginger, letting it cook for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes and the rest of your spices, along with a tiny bit of just-boiled water, just enough to loosen it up. Pop the lid on and let it cook on a low heat for around 45 minutes/an hour, or until the lamb is falling apart and the sauce has reduced to a very thick gravy. Stir in the yoghurt and mix the spinach through until it has wilted.

We ate this with lots of (shop bought) naan bread and saffron rice. If you’re feeling benevolent you may want to pick the cloves out before serving.

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One Response to “Rogan Josh”

  1. Food Urchin February 4, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    That trick with ginger and a teaspoon works really well doesn’t it.

    Also, even my kids take the piss out of me for taking pictures of food. They are 6.

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