Mutton Rogan Josh | Fiery Red Lamb Curry with Yogurt and Indian Spices

Mutton Rogan Josh | Fiery Red Lamb Curry with Yogurt and Indian Spices

Lamb Rogan Josh

It’s that time of the year again when red curries are all the rage – nothing better to warm the senses when the temps take a deep dive out there. And guess what, ‘Rogan Josh‘ literally translates to deep-red-fiery-curry (at least according to one of the known translations of this curry from lore)! The ingredient list is pretty simple in this version of the recipe, and you’ll see that it is quite simple to put together too. As always we’re going for taste over authenticity and that works just perfect for me. There’s really just two key steps to make the perfect curry – you need to cook a lot of onions until they turn golden brown, after which you brown the meat until the juices flow before the curry begins to come together.

sliced onions Browning the meat for Rogan Josh curry

The good part is that there’s a lot of idle time when you’re making this curry – so you’ll either have no dishes to do after you’re done or you’ll have super fancy side to go with this super awesome curry (which is why I almost always make naan with this one!). While it’s hard to beat what meat does to this dish, vegetarians will find the Kashmiri-style Dum Aloo recipe a good match to this one. Both sauces are very similar, and are perfect when you’re looking to make something special for the holiday season. So… all said and done, just don’t pass up on this one – you’ll thank me later!

Mutton Rogan Josh

Based on Chef Harpal’s recipe

Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes | Serves: 6


  1. 2 lbs lamb, mixed medium-size pieces with bone-in (can substitute with goat meat)
  2. 4 tbsp oil/ ghee
  3. 3 – 4 green or black cardamons
  4. 2 – 3 dried bay leaves, torn in halves
  5. 3-4 medium onions, thinly sliced (approx. 3 cups yield)
  6. 2 Tbsp red chili powder, adjust to taste
  7. 1 tsp ground ginger and garlic paste (substitute with dry ground ginger and garlic)
  8. 1/2 tsp ground fennel powder
  9. 1/2 cup plain yogurt, beaten
  10. 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped, for garnish
  11. salt to taste


Lamb Rogan Josh - recipe with step by step pictures

  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan.
  2. Add the cardamons and bay leaves. Saute for a few seconds until aroma rises.
  3. Add the sliced onions, along with some salt to help cook them faster.
  4. Saute the onions on medium heat, until golden brown, for about 15 or 20 minutes.
  5. Add the meat pieces to the browned onions, in a single layer to allow maximum contact with the bottom of the pan.
  6. Brown the meat by cooking on med-high, flipping the pieces every few minutes, until it is no longer pink and juices begin to flow.
  7. Add 3 cups water or just enough to fully submerge the meat, and some more salt if needed to season the water.
  8. Cook on medium heat, with lid on, for 25 – 30 minutes until the meat is almost fully done.
  9. Note: Reduce the heat to a simmer for the next 2 steps.
  10. Dissolve the red chili powder, ginger-garlic paste or dry powder and fennel power in 1/2 cup water and add to the meat.
  11. Add the beaten yogurt, along with some more water, 1/2 – 1 cup to bring curry to desired consistency.
  12. Cook on medium heat, with lid on, for another 10-20 minutes or until the meat is tender.
  13. The curry is done when the fat/oil has separated from the mixture and forms a thin layer of deep red color on the top.

Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve hot with naan or steamed basmati rice!

Mutton / Lamb Rogan Josh


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