Oh, lamb. Delectable lamb. Tender, melt-in-your-mouth lamb. Can you tell we love lamb? Rogan Josh lamb is crispified in nutty ghee, then bathed and simmered in earthy, sweet, piquant spices. This would work with stewing beef too.
- 6 saffron threads
- 1 tbsp (30 ml) roughly chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp (30 ml) roughly chopped fresh ginger
- 2 1/2 lbs (1.1 kg) lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
- 1 cup (250 ml) ghee or vegetable oil
- 6 peppercorns
- 4 cloves
- 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp (5 ml) ground fennel
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) sliced Spanish onions
- 2 tsp (10 ml) garam masala
- 1 tsp (5 ml) red chili powder
- 1 cup (250 ml) plain yogurt (not low-fat), whisked
- 1 tsp (5 ml) granulated sugar
- long green and red serrano or bird’s eye chili, thinly sliced, for garnish
- fresh sprigs of cilantro, for garnish
- Heat 1/2 cup (125 ml) of water until hot bot not boiling, and pour into a small bowl or mug with the saffron and let steep. Place the ginger, garlic, and water in a blender, coffee grinder set aside for spices, or a large mortar and pestle, and process until you have a smooth paste. Set aside the saffron water and the ginger and garlic.
- Season the lamb with salt and freshly ground pepper. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, then add the ghee (or oil). When melted and hot, add the lamb, and cook until seared and dark brown on all sides, in batches if necessary. Crispy bits will appear on the edges of the lamb. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes for each batch. Set aside. Do not empty the pot of the ghee.
- Place the pot over low heat. Cook the peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, and fennel until fragrant. Add the onions and the ginger and garlic paste, and simmer, stirring often (to avoid burning), for 5 to 10 minutes or until reddish sediment begins to appear.
- Add the garam masala and chili powder, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the yogurt, sugar, and the reserved saffron water. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the meat is tender and there is very little sauce left. Add water if necessary.
- Garnish with chilies and cilantro, and serve with rice.