IF YOU have never tried Roghan Josh, here is your chance to taste this Indian dish with a Persian origin.
It is most popular in the Kashmir region, where the Mughals had had a huge influence when they plied along the spice routes across inner Asia.
The dish was so suitable for the cold Kashmiri climate due to its elevation and latitude, that it has become one of the staples in Kashmiri cuisine.
The ingredients to prepare Mutton Roghan Josh include mutton, cinnamon sticks, fresh bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, onions, cumin seeds, paprika, chilli powder and yoghurt. — Photos: ART CHEN/The Star
Although there are many versions of this dish that can be made with beef, lamb and even chicken, the most popular meat is mutton because it can withstand slow braising.
In addition, the robust spices help mellow out the gaminess in the meat that many people associate with mutton.
Considering that mutton is an expensive meat, this dish is a real treat, especially during festive season.
It is best enjoyed with flat breads such as chapati, paratha or roti canai, and thosai.
2. Heat oil over medium heat, brown the meat cubes in several batches and set aside.Mutton Roghan JoshPhoto by ART CHEN/ The Star
It is also often served with briyani rice or plain rice, which goes well with the thick, smooth gravy.
I find fresh slices of cucumber helps cleanse the palate between mouthfuls.
Mutton Roghan JoshIngredients:12 tbs cooking oil
2 kg mutton, cut into cubes
4 cinnamon sticks
6 fresh bay leaves
20 cardamom pods
1 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp peppercorns
2 tsp coriander seeds
8 medium onions, peeled and diced
4 tsp cumin seeds
8 tsp paprika
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp salt
2/3 cup plain yoghurt
500 ml water
Spice blend:2 inches (5cm) fresh ginger, peeled
1 whole bulb garlic, peeled
1. Blend ginger and garlic into a paste.
2. Heat oil over medium heat, brown the meat cubes in several batches and set aside.
3. In the same hot oil, add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cardamom pods, whole cloves, peppercorns and coriander seeds. Toss in oil until fragrant.
4. Add the onions and stir until wilted.
5. Add ginger-garlic blend and stir.
Peel and dice eight medium onions.
6. Add cumin seeds, paprika, chilli powder and salt. Stir.
7. Add the browned meat cubes and juices. Stir until coated in spices.
8. Add yoghurt and stir.
9. Add water and bring to a boil.Cover and simmer over low heat for two hours, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.Or braise in a pressure cooker for 40 minutes.
10. When the meat is tender, simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes to reduce gravy.
11. Skim off the oil that has risen to the top.
12. Best enjoyed with rice or flat bread.