This is my slow cooked lamb rogan josh, served with naan and saffron rice.
Like most of my recipes, it is not 100% authentic, but it was delicious and fragrant. I cooked it for about 6 hours, over low heat, until the meat was falling apart. The house was filled with the most amazing aroma of freshly ground spices and garlic.
I often avoid making curry paste from scratch. When hubby and I were in Thailand several years ago, I saw the local Thai people buying their curry paste pre-made from the markets, and so I feel I can justify buying pre-made paste most of the time. That said, nothing in a bottle will come close to a freshly made curry paste. So, when I have the time, it is great to make curry from scratch. We had taken a day off work after a weekend away, and I used the opportunity to spend the day in the kitchen.
I think a lot of traditional, slow-cooked and highly-flavoured cuisine is cooked that way to disguise poor cuts of meat. For this reason, I used a cut of lamb which included fat and bone. Both the fat and bone add flavour during the cooking process, and I skimmed out the fat and picked out the bone as the meat cooked.
I seared the lamb quickly, putting it into a pot of simmering tomato and stock around 1pm. I would normally marinate the meat, or at least sear it in the curry paste.
But this time, I decided to just get the meat into the pot as quickly as possible, so that it could simmer for 6 hours.
While the meat was cooking, I prepared the chilli paste.
I dry-fried coriander, fennel and cumin seeds and crushed them in my mortar and pestle with some pepper. I added paprika, cayenne pepper, as well as fresh chilli, garlic and ginger.
I added the chilli paste into the pot mid-afternoon, with some extra tomatoes, and cooked the lamb for another 4 hours.
While the meal was cooking, I quickly pulled together some microwave poppadoms and raita – the ubiquitous starter for any Indian meal. (Although, I will admit that I had my poppadoms while I was doing the ironing!)
I just get natural or Greek yoghurt, mix in fresh mint, garlic and lemon. Microwave poppadoms don’t need any oil, so it ends up being a fairly healthy starter.
Just before serving, I added some natural yoghurt to the meat, which gave the tomato sauce some richness and tempered the heat. We love our chilli, so I actually ended up adding some extra chilli flakes at the end. Rogan josh is supposed to be mild, but we like hot food too much to worry about that!
I served the rogan josh in a stoneware ramekin, topped with yoghurt and coriander, with naan and saffron rice. The saffron was a gift from my sister-in-law about 6 months ago. I rarely think to use it, so it was nice to pull it out today.
We had a lazy evening to end our 4-day holiday, and enjoyed our Indian feast on the couch with a David Attenborough DVD and a bottle of crisp white wine. Yum!
We chose a Deakin Estate semillion savignon blanc 2012 to accompany the rogan josh. We would normally pick a red wine to go with a tomato and red meat dinner, but this was nice and cooling contrast to the a spicy curry.