Lamb Roghan Josh
75 Min

Lamb Roghan Josh

Roghan Josh is one of the more celebrated dishes of the artful cuisine from the northern province of Kashmiri on the border of Pakistan – often served during a ‘Wazwan’ (an elaborate wedding ceremony) when lots of rich stews and roasts are served simultaneously. The use of dried coxcomb flowers can add a lovely pink hue to the stew. The papaya tenderizes the meat and saffron adds a haunting scent. The stew is aromatic, slightly hot and spicy – if wanting milder flavors, cut back on chili powder and warm spices at the end. It was a preparation my mother would prepare only on special occasions and our entire family of five would share 2 shanks (unlike here in the west where we eat way too much meat!). The vegetables in and around it absorb the flavors of the meat and spices and taste just as good.
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Cook Time

75 Minutes



Step 1
Marinate the lamb leg in papaya, yogurt, saffron, and salt. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
Step 2
Using a rolling pin, crush the cardamom, fennel, and fenugreek seeds until they are no longer whole and in bits and pieces.
Step 3
Heat the ghee and add the whole spices. Within 2 to 3 seconds add the onions and cook for 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat or until the onions are brown and lightly caramelized.
Step 4
Add the marinated lamb and garlic and continue cooking on medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes until the lamb pieces have cooked a little and released liquid.
Step 5
Add the cumin, black pepper, and deghi mirch and lower the heat on the lamb, cover the pot and simmer for another 10 to 12 minutes or until the ghee begins to separate off the sides of the lamb.
Step 6
Add the ginger purée with the yogurt and coconut milk. Keeping the heat on medium, bring the curry to a gentle simmer then lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer the curry for another 10 to 15 minutes. If the mixture appears dry, add 1/2 to 1 cup water. Ghee will rise to the top and when the lamb is tender, turn the heat off.
Step 7
Add the coxcomb powder, cinnamon, mace, and cloves and gently stir in. Taste the lamb for salt – if needed, add more.
Step 8
Let the curry rest for 20 to 30 minutes before eating it.
1 1/2 pounds lamb leg, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons grated papaya
Generous pinch of saffron
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup ghee
1 teaspoon cardamom, whole
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3 cups minced white onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Deghi mirch
1/3 cup ginger purée
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 tablespoon coxcomb powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Notes & Variations

  • Papaya works as a natural meat tenderizer.
  • Coxcomb flower powder is optional, it is mainly for the color but feel free to just leave it out.
  • To make a richer version, replace the coconut milk with heavy cream. The curry is even more delicious the next day.
75 Min

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