Rogan Josh is a spicy curry dish traditionally from the Kashmir region of India, usually consisting of lamb cooked in a gravy of onions, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, yogurt, and a chile that is similar in flavor to paprika. With lamb being quite expensive here, I substituted boneless skinless chicken thighs but you could even make this vegetarian by using squash, potatoes, and cauliflower (cook only 45 minutes). My usual brand of curry paste (Pataks) doesn't have their Rogan Josh paste available in Canada, so finding an alternative was really difficult. A few years ago I found one tucked away on the shelves of a tiny IGA Marketplace in Pender Harbour, BC. When we moved to the Fraser Valley I didn't think I'd find it again but there it was, in another IGA Marketplace in Langley.
Minara's makes a fantastic Rogan Josh paste. You could, if you wanted, make your own but I don't really want to bother. Considering that it is dairy, nut, gluten free AND non gmo, this makes it even better. It also didn't have soy, as far as I could tell. If you can't find Rogan Josh paste, you could substitute another medium curry paste.
This curry is fantastic. Spicy but not so much so that you can't enjoy it, and with large meaty chunks to stir into rice, it's one of my favorite dinners. Make a pot to enjoy for dinner, and then have the leftovers for lunch the next day. They re-heat very well-in fact, you could even freeze them.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
1 3/4 lbs lamb leg steaks or boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium onion, chopped
1 fresh red chile, seeded and minced
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
small bunch of cilantro, stalks chopped and leaves set aside
1 tbsp butter
4 bay leaves
salt and pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
one 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
2-3 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup rogan josh curry paste
2 handfuls of red lentils
In a large, deep frypan melt the butter and about 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the onion, chile, ginger, bay leaves and cilantro stalks. Cook, stirring, until the onions are cooked through and browned just a little. Add the lamb or chicken in batches, stirring and cooking until browned. When all the lamb or chicken is browned, add any chicken that you had to put aside back to the pan, along with the balsamic vinegar and cook another 2 minutes. Then stir in the tomatoes, curry paste, lentils, and about 2 cups of chicken broth.
Bring mixture to a boil and then turn the heat down to low, cover, and let simmer for about an hour. Check it periodically during that time to make sure that it's not burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan, and if you think it needs more liquid you can add some. I don't like my curry too soupy so for me, two cups was enough chicken broth but you can add more. Fish out the bay leaves when you're ready to serve. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the curry with rice, topped with a spoonful of yogurt, a little mango chutney if you wish, sprinkles of fresh chopped cilantro leaves, and naan bread.