Rogan Josh/ Lamb in red gravy (Kahmiri Pandit style)…Colour me Red!!!

Rogan Josh (Lamb in red gravy)-Kashmiri Pandit style…specifying which style as there are innumerable versions of this dish: Kashmiri Pandit, Wazwaan, Pakistani, Persian, North Indian and even British! J…every style of cooking has varying ingredients and ways of cooking…this is my version, adapted over the last of couple of years and finally settled on with a combination of the recipes from Sarla Razdan’s book Kashmiri Cuisine and Anshie Dhar’s blog Spiceroots.

Rogan Josh (Lamb in red gravy)-Kashmiri Pandit style


  • Lamb/ Mutton (Goat meat), on the bone, preferably from the leg, 500 gms (or boneless 750 gms)
  • Hing/Asafoetida, ¼ tsp
  • Cloves, 3-4
  • Black cardamom, 1, crushed
  • Cinnamon, 1” piece
  • Plain Yogurt/Dahi, ¼ cup
  • Kashmiri Red Chili Powder, 2 tsp (this is what gives the curry its red colour)
  • Sonth/Dry Ginger powder, ¾ tsp
  • Saunf/Fennel powder, 1 ½ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Green Cardamom, 2, crushed
  • Cumin powder, 1 tsp
  • Mustard Oil, ¼ cup (or use ghee…if any of these two are not an option for you, use any flavor less oil of your choice)
  • Water, 2-3 tablespoons + 1 cup + more boiling water if needed


Kashmiri Rogan Josh is typically made with Lamb meat but that is tough  to source here so I substitute with Mutton i.e. goat meat. Ideally should be made with pieces on the bone as meat on the bone adds flavor to the curry but if boneless is what you prefer, please go ahead and use that.

Wash and clean the meat. Squeeze out the water completely and then pat dry the mutton pieces with paper towels. (there are people who say one should never wash the meat but just wipe it with a soft wet cloth but I have always seen everyone at home washing and cleaning the meat and hence so do I…go with what you think best, just make sure  that the meat is dry before you start cooking)

Whisk the yogurt well and ensure it is at room temperature.

Heat oil in a wide heavy bottom pan. (if using mustard oil, please do smoke and then cool the oil first; if using ghee or any other oil , please don’t let it smoke).

Add asafoetida, cloves, black cardamom and cinnamon. Let the spices sizzle and flavour the oil for about 10-15 seconds. Increase the heat to high and add in the meat. We need to let the meat brown on all sides – don’t stir around too much, let it brown on one side for 2-3 minutes before flipping it over to brown on the other side.

Once the meat is nice and brown on all sides, lower the heat and add the yogurt. Mix and stir well till the yogurt almost evaporates.

Add the Kashmiri chili powder and stir so that the chili powder coats the meat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to prevent the chilies from burning (all this, still at low flame)

Once the oil starts to separate, add dry ginger powder and fennel seed powder. Stir well and add a cup of water.

Increase the heat and let the water come to a boil. Once it boils, add salt and lower the heat again.

Cover and cook on low flame till the meat is tender and you can see a layer of oil separated from the gravy.Cooking time will depend on the quality of the meat – for the meat that we get here, takes about an hour for meat on the bone and about half an hour for boneless meat.

Do remember to stir occasionally to ensure the spices don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. And when you open the cover to give a stir, add some hot boiling water if you think it is getting too dry.

Add the crushed green cardamoms and cumin powder, mix well. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

If you can, let it rest for a couple of hours before serving

Serve with steamed rice.


  1. I didn't use ratanjot, as it is not a must ingredient for Rogan Josh. It is used only to five a bright red color to the Rogan Josh but has nothing to do with any flavor. Moreover, it is carcinogenic – would strongly suggest that you avoid using it.


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