Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rogan Josh

I love Indian food and when it is done well the flavours can be rich and complex There are so many different styles of Indian food, it upsets me to see them all lumped in to a generic curry. In true Indian food there is no such thing as curry powder, there are different mixtures of spices, but really if you use the whole spices or grind them fresh the flavours are so much better.

Rogon Josh
There are 3 ingredients which are in almost every Indian dish, garlic, ginger and chili pepper.  I was taught by a friends wife, who owned an Indian Restaurant, that the easiest way to deal with these was to process a large batch and then keep them in the fridge and just spoon them out. This is a great idea if you cook Indian food every day (or own a restaurant).  But this year I got another suggestion from a local cook book author that you can freeze small quantities and pull them out and use from frozen.  I added my own twist which is freeze in an ice cube tray.

You take equal amounts of ginger and garlic, (I process a whole head of garlic at a time) Put them into a small food processor add jalapeno pepper to taste, to one head of garlic I add two, you can add more or less depending how hot you like your food.  Process until almost a paste and then use fresh or freeze.

Frozen ginger garlic and jalapeno

Here is my recipe which is adapted from the great Indian cook book author Madhur Jaffrey.

2lbs of boneless lamb cut in to cubes (I used some leg steaks)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1'' piece of cinnamon stick (super store sells bags of cininamon sticks that look like bark in the indian               food section that are great.)
5 whole cardamon pods
1 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
1" piece of fresh ginger grated
1/2 jalapeno finely chopped
or 1 ice cube of (ginger, garlic jalapeno puree)
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
1 tablespoon of sweet red paprika (this is mostly for colour to replicate the red Kashmir chili)
1 cup of crushed tomatoes

Firstly brown the lamb in the hot oil in a frying pan (in batches so that the pan is not overcrowded)  and then transfer to a pot.
browning lamb (with bones for flavour)
Add the onion to the oil that the lamb was browned in and cook until turning brown add the ginger, garlic, jalapeno and all the spices.  Stir for about a minute until they are mixed and starting to give off wonderful aromas.

wish you could smell this
Add the tomatoes and paprika then stir everything together

Pour the sauce on to the lamb making sure to get all the good stuff off the bottom.
Simmer for about an hour until the lamb is very tender, you might have to add a little water if it gets too dry.

Serve with rice, yoghurt and some chutney

Finished dish what a beautiful rich sauce

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