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Authentic Lamb Rogan Josh

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Authentic Lamb Rogan Josh

Lamb rogan josh

Authentic Lamb rogan josh served with a coriander raita


My love for the flavour of lamb rogan josh started when I first moved to the UK and  used to order it often when I went out for a curry.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, however that I learned that the traditional Indian way of making the recipe is quite a lot different to what you find in most curry houses in the UK.

This is a recipe for  authentic lamb rogan josh that was taught to me by a  Twitter friend from the Punjab area of India.  Lamb rogan josh is believed to have originated near there in India’s Kashmir region.

Rogan Josh is famous for its dark red colour. Here in the UK this is accomplished by using a mix of paprika and red chilli powder but in Kashmir the red colouring comes from a difficult to find herb called cockscomb. Well that and a lot of red chilli powder too.

The red colour achieved using cockscomb is a very deep red. I often throw in a tablespoon or two of beetroot powder which can be found at Indian markets to achieve a more authentic colouring.  The beetroot powder will not change the flavour of the curry but will give it a very deep red colour.

So here it is – this authentic lamb rogan josh  is easy to make and it’s a great curry for the whole family. You might also like to read my restaurant style lamb rogan josh recipe.  If so, click here!

Why not also give my other lamb curries a go:

Railway Curry
Lamb Curry
Keralan Lamb Curry
Stir Fried Lamb
Coconut Lamb
Pre Cooked Lamb

Yield: 4-6

How To Make an Authentic Indian Lamb Rogan Josh

How To Make an Authentic Indian Lamb Rogan Josh
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons ghee, clarified butter or vegetable oil
  • Fresh curry leaves (if you can find them) or frozen.
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 8 black or 16 green cardamon pods
  • 10m whole black pepper corns
  • 1 two inch long cinnamon stick
  • 1 Piece mace
  • 2 large onions
  • 14 cloves of garlic smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 two nice piece of ginger - finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Kilo (2 pounds) shoulder of lamb cut into 1 inch size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon roasted and ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon roasted and ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons good quality paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garam masala
  • 5 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh chopped coriander


  1. Melt the ghee or oil in a large sauce pan and add the curry leaves. When they begin to give off their wonderful scent, add all of the whole spices (cloves, peppercorns, mace, cinnamon stick, and cardamon pods. Fry for about 30 seconds and very fragrant.
  2. Add the onions and fry until by slightly browned and then throw in the garlic and ginger.
  3. Cook until softened and then remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Now add the meat. You may need to cook the meat in batches. Ensure that you fry the meat and not just simmer it in the meat juices.
  5. Once the meat is all cooked through, add the other cooked ingredients up to the chilli powered and then cover with water.
  6. Cook over medium heat until the meat is tender - about one to one and a half hours.
  7. Salt, pepper and garam masala to taste. I add about a teaspoon of garam masala.
  8. Stir in the yogurt one tablespoon at a time stirring constantly to ensure the yogurt becomes smooth and not lumpy.
  9. Serves with white rice, lime wedges and coriander.

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Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

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Dan Toombs

Monday 27th of July 2020

Thank you very much for your kind comments. Dan


Friday 10th of May 2019

I’m sorry, but there is no way this is authentic if it contains curry leaves. Curry leaves are mostly used in South Indian cooking and this dish is from North India! Curry leaves would give a very different flavour.

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 29th of May 2019

Hi Laura

It's authentic enough. I use curry leaves in a lot of recipes as I love them. You can of course leave them out.

Thanks, Dan

Nick Day

Sunday 21st of January 2018

Lamb Rogan Josh is one of my favourite meals when I get chance to visit an Indian restaurant but didn't know how to make it - your recipe sounds great but 14 cloves of garlic sounds quite a you really mean 14?

I live on an island off the West coast of Scotland so sourcing some spices will have to be done on-line and probably in bulk - I know that spices can be kept in airtight jars for a while but do they keep longer in plastic bags and stored in a freezer?

Dan Toombs

Monday 22nd of January 2018

Hi Nick

That's right, 14 cloves garlic. When garlic simmers, it gets much milder. So it is no where near as strong as raw garlic. Purchase your spices whole and they will last much longer. Then roast and grind them. No need to freeze. You can keep them in a cupboard.

Thanks, Dan

Sim Broughton

Tuesday 23rd of February 2016

You leave the whole spices in? You just eat around them?

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 24th of February 2016

Hi Sim

It's up to you really. Many people like to leave them in and actually like biting into whole spices such as cloves and peppercorns. If you don't, count them in and then count them out. Hope this helps.



Saturday 5th of April 2014

Spot on Dan. Great Josh. My lads tuckd in big time. Thanks.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 15th of April 2014

Great to hear Jerry!

Thanks Dan

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