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Rogan josh

Rogan josh is an aromatic curry dish. Rogan means clarified butter in Persian, while Josh means hot or passionate. Rogan Josh thus means meat cooked in clarified butter at intense heat.

According to Lizzie Collingham's book Curry: A tale of cooks & conquerors, Rogan Josh was brought to India by the Moghuls. The unrelenting heat of the Indian plains took the Moghuls frequently to Kashmir, which is where the first Indian adoption of Rogan Josh occurred. Evidence of this is the typical absence of onion and garlic in the Kashmiri versions of the recipe as made by Kashmiri Brahmins, who had no qualms about eating meat, but were averse to using these spices in the kitchen.

Recipes vary widely across different locations and traditions, but all include lamb, onions, oil or ghee (clarified butter), and a mixture of spices. These may include paprika for its red colour, aniseed, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, and many others. Many variations have ginger, garlic, and yoghurt, and some use tomatoes.

The following recipe for Kashmiri Rogan Josh comes from Mrs. Balbir Singh's famous cookbook, called simply Mrs. Balbir Singh's Indian Cookery, first dated 1961 and published by Mills and Boon.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs (680g) mutton

2/3 pint (230g) yogurt

1.5 salt

3/5 pint (360g) water

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

1/2 oz shredded ginger

3 ounces pure ghee

3/4 teaspoonful of dried ginger (sonth)

A small grain of asofoetida (hing)

1.5 teaspoonful of red pepper

1/2 teaspoonful of Kashmiri garam masala (blend of black cumin, brown cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, mace and nutmeg)
Preparation: Mix ghee, yogurt and meat together. Add crushed asafoetida, salt and dried ginger. Cook while stirring until liquid dries. Add a little water and continue to cook until dry again. After 2-3 times, add the red chilies and repeat cooking until dry and adding water until meat is tender. This process should take about 60 to 70 minutes of repeatedly drying out the stew until meat become fork tender.
Next add Kasmiri garam masala, shredded ginger and chopped coriander. If possible, use a bake pan with charcoal under it and on top as well. Otherwise heat in oven at 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit for another 30 minutes.
Serve with simple rice or chapati.

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