Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Efficient" Indian Cooking: Lamb Rogan Josh

Now this is one of those names that I just don't get, and I'm sure...or not... it has some meaning to some Brit named Josh Rogan, but I'm too lazy to google it right now, so if anyone can (or cares to) enlighten, please do. In any event, this is a recipe I got out of Food and Wine Magazine, and it's another example of how to get max complexity and flavor out of something that requires very little effort. I've read several other recipes for this classic dish online, and most call for much more toasting of spices and melding and mixing and other culinary gymnastics that if I can bypass, I will. I'm not lazy, just efficient! Also this was an article called Easy Indian that took complex Indian dishes and remade them for laz....er, efficient cooks like myself. And I have to say that this is an absolutely fantastic version...even though I've never had it before, but I can't imagine that it could get much better than this. Although I changed their browning instructions in the recipe below from what they called for because their advice to brown the pieces for "10-12 minutes" was, well, fucked up. I judge a lot of dishes I make by asking if they're "restaurant worthy", meaning would I be happy if I was served this out someplace. This one answers that with an emphatic "Hell yes!" with its rich, creamy, spicy sauce, slightly sweet onion, and tender lamb chunks. And enxt time I won't forget to pick up the IPA on the way home!
Okay, I just looked it up on the ever (ahem) "reliable" wikipedia. They said: "Rogan josh is an aromatic curry dish popular in India. Rogan means clarified butter in Persian, while Josh means hot or passionate. Rogan Josh thus means meat cooked in clarified butter at intense heat. Rogan Josh was brought to India by the Moghuls. The unrelenting heat of the Indian plains took the Moghuls frequently to Kashmir, which is where the first Indian adoption of Rogan Josh occurred."
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Lamb Rogan Josh
Recipe by Vikram Sunderam

from F&W: “Chef Way Vikram Sunderam relies on plenty of spices, like cardamom, cloves and cumin, to flavor this succulent lamb stew (the name translates roughly into “red lamb”).
Easy Way: Use Madras curry powder, a spice blend, in place of the individual spices.”

active time: 35 min
total time: 1 hr 45 min
servings: 4 to 6

1/4 cup canola oil
2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt
2 onions, thinly sliced (3 cups)
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
One 14-ounce can tomato puree
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 cups water
1 teaspoon garam masala
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Basmati rice and warm naan, for serving

1. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Season the lamb with salt and cook (in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the lamb, because you know lambs hate crowds-bb) over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is browned, about 5 minutes per batch; using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

2. Add the onions to the casserole and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, 4 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, curry, turmeric, cayenne and bay leaves and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato, yogurt and water; bring to a boil. Season with salt.

3. Return the lamb and any juices to the casserole. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the lamb is very tender, 1 hour. Stir in the garam masala; cook for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and naan.
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one year ago today @ E.D.T:
Hog Island is Oyster Heaven!


Unknown said...

Queued up for a weekend dinner--your recipe sounds delicious.

Too bad I can't make it right now - it would make the -20 weather more tolerable.

bb said...

k....minus-freaking-20?? how is life above the arctic circle? You need this warm, yummy curry more than you can imagine! Enjoy...let me know how it turns out.

gaga said...

Yum, that looks so good. So much yummy sauce to get sopped up by some naan!

Unknown said...

made this past weekend, experimenting with Indian cooking, and keeping my eyes out for 'easy' recipes.

this was absolutely fantastic, at least 10x better than the chicken curry recipe i've been working on 'mastering'

thank you so much for sharing, delicious food, easy prep, i recommend highly.