As autumn establishes itself, what could be nicer on a chilly evening that a generous plate of nicely spiced Indian food? We’re both very fond of Roghan Josh, although not what passes for it in many local restaurants, which appears to be an Indian/Italian fusion made with copious amounts of tomato sauce.
This recipe uses no tomato whatsoever, nor onions for that matter, and produces a silky smooth sauce and tender meat with a quite wonderful flavour. Recipe from Pushpesh Pant’s “India Cookbook”, constant stirring courtesy of the Jamie Oliver Home Cooker.
It’s pretty straightforward. Into the pan goes 150g butter (I know that’s a lot), with 4 cloves, 3cm cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp asafoetida, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp chilli powder, 4 green cardamom pods, a bay leaf, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, salt, and a 5cm length of ginger root, grated. Cook at 130C for around 10 minutes to cook the spices, then add the cubed meat from a trimmed and boned shoulder of lamb, and 250ml of yoghurt. Raise the heat to 175C and cook uncovered until the moisture is almost driven off. The original recipe suggests 10 minutes, but it took me around 25 minutes. If not using a self-stirring device, you need to stir this pretty frequently to prevent it catching.
Add a couple of tablespoons of water, cover, and cook at 130C for 10 minutes. At the end of that time, add a little more water, and repeat. Do this 3 times, for 30 minutes in total. The meat should turn reddish-brown in colour. Then add around 200ml of water and continue to cook, covered, for 30 to 45 minutes until the meat is tender. Taste and adjust the salt. Finally add 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp brown sugar, and a good pinch of saffron that’s been soaked in water. Finish at 130C covered for a further 10 minutes or so.
I know. They never look much, curries, do they? At least not unless presented in a beautiful table setting. But the taste is out of this world!