Mutton rogan josh, the celebratory dish from the valley of Kashmir, is one quintessential recipe that you must have in your repertoire! And the good news is, I have the best ever recipe of mutton rogan josh for you today!
If you frequently order mutton rogan josh from your favorite restaurant, then it’s high time that you master this dish yourself and prepare it at the comfort of your own home. This will not only save a lot of money, it will also offer you a much better version of your favorite dish than any takeaway!
And chances are you will fall in love with your own culinary skill! The classic mutton rogan josh is immensely popular among all meat lovers for good reasons! The vibrant red color ignites our appetite like nothing else!
The unique flavors of mutton rogan josh, which comes from the spices that are very unique to this dish, set it apart from any other mutton curries. You will know in detail below and I also have a step by step video recipe for ya!
What is Mutton Rogan Josh
Mutton rogan josh is a classic mutton recipe which you will find in almost every fine-dining Indian restaurant. Classic rogan josh is either made with goat or lamb meat. You will also find chicken rogan josh on restaurants’ menu these days but that’s not the traditional one and I feel that the rich flavor profile of rogan josh suits more to the red meat than chicken.
Mutton rogan josh gravy has a vibrant red color which is the distinct characteristic of this dish. If you can get hold of Kashmiri whole dry red chilli, then nothing like it! Soak them in hot water for 30 minutes or 1 hour until they are soft.
Then drain most of the water and grind it to make a smooth chilli paste with minimal water. Your Kashmiri chilli paste is ready. If you are using this, then please skip the Kashimiri chilli powder mentioned in my recipe below.
Since I didn’t have whole dry Kashmiri red chillies at hand, I used store-bought Kashmiri red chilli powder. Kashmiri chilli powder is added primarily for that fantastic red color of the gravy and not for heat.
Origin of mutton rogan josh and Serving suggestions
Mutton rogan josh has its origin in Kashmir and is still very popular within Kashmiri cuisine. Thanks to its mind-blowing flavors and vibrantly attractive red color, it has become widely popular among meat-lovers everywhere. You can read more here on the history and origin of mutton rogan josh!
Mutton rogan josh is not a spicy preparation. In fact it is more on the milder/sweeter side thanks to the second important spice without which a rogan josh will never become an authentic rogan josh! And that is fennel powder which has a sweet flavor & a unique undertone.
The combination of Kashmiri chilli powder and fennel powder is mind-blowing and that’s what makes this mutton rogan josh a very special recipe which is best enjoyed with plain white basmati rice!
Skip any pulao or biryani while savoring mutton rogan josh as the flavors of both will conflict with each other. The luscious gravy will taste best with fluffy grains of white Basmati rice!
Ingredients of Mutton Rogan Josh
Mutton: You can use goat meat or lamb meat, both will work great for this rich recipe. You can use boneless cubes or bone-in curry cut similar to what we use in any typical Indian mutton curry.
Yogurt/curd: Thick curd is essential to marinate your mutton. It will soften the mutton and also help the flavors penetrate the dark meat when marinated for hours.
Mustard oil: To get the authentic taste of rogan josh, I recommend using mustard oil. Only if it is too pungent for you, you can substitute it with vegetable oil like sunflower or canola.
Whole spices: You will need the bunch of whole spices which are very typical of any Indian curry recipe. These quintessential spices are bay leaves, whole black peppercorn, black cardamom, green Cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
Onion: The base of this mutton curry is onion. But you will also find other variations of mutton rogan josh which are made completely onion-free.
Ginger and garlic paste: The must-have aromatics for any flavorful meat recipe. These not only add flavors but also aids in digestion.
Kashmiri red chili powder: This is one of the two star ingredients of mutton rogan josh which imparts the vibrant red color to the gravy which is the most distinct characteristic of this classic dish.
Fennel powder: The second star ingredient of the day is fennel powder. It has a sweet undertone and a very unique flavor. Without fennel powder, your mutton rogan josh is incomplete.
Dry ginger powder: Half a teaspoon of dry ginger powder is all you need to add that depth of flavor and balance out all the remaining spices. Do not skip it.
Salt: Round up everything with the right amount of seasoning!
How to make mutton rogan josh
Other than the ingredients, you will need a little bit of patience to cook this delicacy as the mutton will be slow-cooked in spices and hence will take little more than an hour or so.
You may opt for pressure cooking but I won’t advise that. Slow cooking ensures flavors are penetrated deep into the meat giving it the freakin-good taste! Try it!
Step 1: Take the mutton pieces in a large bowl and add salt, one & half teaspoons of Kashmiri red chilli powder & yogurt/curd to it. Mix everything thoroughly so that each mutton piece is evenly coated with yogurt & spices and let it marinade for a couple of hours.
Step 2: Heat a large wok big enough to hold mutton and gravy and add the mustard oil. Once the oil is hot, temper it with bay leaves, peppercorn, black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Fry them until fragrant, for about a minute.
Step 3: Next add the sliced onion and sauté until the onion turns golden brown, about 15 minutes on medium-high heat. Keep stirring the onion to avoid sticking.
Step 4: Next add the ginger and garlic paste and cook them for a couple of minutes until the raw smell is gone and pastes are mixed through with the onions.
Step 5: Once the onion is nicely browned, add the marinated mutton pieces and stir them well to mix with onion mixture. Sauté the mutton on medium-high flame for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mutton pieces are browned nicely on all sides. If you see too much water is releasing, crank up the heat and continue stir frying.
Step 6: While the mutton is frying, mix Kashmiri red chili powder in half a cup of water thoroughly and make sure there is no lump. Set aside until needed.
Step 7: Once all the mutton pieces are nicely browned, pour hot water over the mutton. Amount of water should be such that the mutton pieces are 90 percent covered as it will help cook the mutton.
Step 8: Bring the water to boil. Then cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes to let the mutton cook. Stir occasionally to avoid any sticking.
Step 9: After about 30 minutes, pour the Kashmiri chilli powder & water mixture over the mutton. Also add fennel powder & ginger powder and mix well. Cover again and cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the meat is tender and has an almost fall-off-the-bone kind of texture (See notes).
Step 10: Once the mutton is fully cooked through, check and adjust for seasoning. If the gravy is too thick, add little water and bring to a boil. If it is too thin, boil off some excess.
Step 11: Your mutton rogan josh is ready to devour! Serve it with plain white rice and enjoy!
Other delicious Indian mutton recipes from Flavor Quotient
- Goat or lamb – 1 kg, curry cut
- Salt – 2 tsp
- Yogurt/curd – ½ cup
- Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1 & ½ tsp
- Mustard oil – ½ cup
- Bay leaves – 2
- Black peppercorn – ½ tsp
- Black cardamom – 2
- Cardamom – 5 to 7
- Cloves – 6 to 8
- Cinnamon sticks – 2-inch stick
- Onion – 4, large, thinly sliced
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Hot water – 3 cups
- Kashmiri red chili powder – 2 tbsp
- Fennel powder – 2 tsp
- Dry ginger powder – ½ tsp
- Take the mutton pieces in a large bowl and add salt, Kashmiri red chilli powder & yogurt/curd to it. Mix everything thoroughly so that each mutton piece is evenly coated with yogurt and let it marinade for a couple of hours.
- Heat a large wok and add the mustard oil. Once the oil is hot, temper it with bay leaves, peppercorn, black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Fry them until fragrant, for about a minute.
- Add the sliced onion and sauté until the onion turns golden brown, about 15 minutes on medium-high heat. Keep stirring the onion to avoid sticking.
- Next add the ginger and garlic paste and cook them for a couple of minutes until the raw smell is gone.
- Now add the marinated mutton pieces and stir them well to mix with onion mixture. Sauté the mutton on medium-high flame for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mutton pieces are browned nicely on all sides and oil starts to release.
- Once all the mutton pieces are nicely browned, pour hot water over the mutton, cover the kadai and let the mutton cook for 30 to 40 minutes on low heat until the meat is tender.
- While the mutton is simmering, whisk Kashmiri red chili powder in water. Set it aside.
- After about 30 minutes, pour the Kashmiri chilli powder & water mixture over the mutton. Also add fennel powder & ginger powder and mix well. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes until mutton is cooked through and has an almost fall-off-the-bone kind of texture.
- Once the mutton is fully cooked through, check and adjust for seasoning. If the gravy is too thick, add little water and bring to a boil. If it is too thin, boil off some excess.
- Your mutton rogan josh is ready! Serve it with plain white rice. Enjoy!