Saturday 23 March 2013

Peeling Almonds for Lamb Rogan Josh (a Recipe)

I am not really one for posting recipes.  Especially not for Indian food as that's really best left to the experts.  However, an Indian friend tried out my recipe for Lamb Rogan Josh recently and said that it 'rocked'.   And then it was only when I was making this dish myself tonight and peeling my own almonds to go in it (no Waitrose Finely Chopped Blanched Almonds here!) that I thought I would take a picture or two and then perhaps post my recipe.  It is rather good after all.

The finished product.  The sauce is flecked with finely chopped almonds.

Here goes:


Serves 4.
10 minutes to prepare
One hour to cook or a bit more.


One onion, peeled and grated (I finely chop or puree in a blender for best results)
50g ghee or 4 tbsps oil
6 green cardamoms
4 large cardamoms (I didn't have any in so used 8 green ones instead)
6 cloves
2 bayleaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 inch root ginger, peeled and crushed or grated
3 cloves crushed garlic
450g/1lb lamb (mutton) cut into cubes (neck fillet works a treat)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp paprika (not the smoked variety!)
1 tsp ground coriander
150 ml natural yoghurt (dahi)
1 tsp salt
25g chopped, blanched almonds (or whole, peeled and then chopped yourself)
1 tbsp poppyseeds, ground (you can omit his)
350ml water
1 pinch saffron


1.     Fry the garlic and ginger in the ghee or oil until lightly browned.
2.     Stir fry the cardamoms, cloves, bayleaf and cinnamon for 1 minute.  Add the onion and further fry until browned.
3.     Add the meat and fry until browned and the juiced sealed in.
4.     Sprinkle on, one at a time, the cumin, chilli, paprika and coriander powder.  Fry the mixture for two minutes.
5.     Add the yogurt and salt; cover and cook for 5-7 minutes until dry and the oil separates. 
6.     Stir in the almonds and poppyseeds if using.  Fry for 1-2 minutes and then add the water.  Cover and cook for 40-50 minutes gently simmering until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened (we don’t like it too dry but you can simmer until it is drier).
7.     Sprinkle with saffron, cover and gently cook for another 10 minutes, taking care not to burn the meat if you prefer it dry.  Stir a few times to mix the saffron.
8.     Serve with pilau, plain basmati or naan.


Making a point about peeling my own almonds here (soak for a few hours first)...

....then finely chop in your blender/chopper

This is the ready peeled garlic that I bought on Pali Market! (why no ready peeled almonds?)

The Rogan Josh simmering away nicely....

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