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Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh refers to a lamb based dish native to the state of Kashmir in India. It is characterized by a pleasant aroma coming from the spices and flavorings included in it.

History and Etymology

The connotation Rogan Josh comes from the Persian words Rogan which stands for oil and Josh which stands for hot. There is another theory about the name Rogan Josh that Rogan denotes color and josh, passion, red or hot. So the ultimate meaning turns out as a meat dish in red color. It was introduced to India precisely in Kashmir by the Mughals.

Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation

Rogan Josh recipe makes use of large chunks of lamb, spices including- cumin, fennel, cinnamon, sonth, cardamom, cloves and anise, seasonings including red chili powder and salt, oil and yoghurt. A pressure cooker or a pan can be used to make the dish. When using a pressure cooker, a little oil is heated to which the spices cardamom, fennel, cloves and anise are added and roasted. To this red chili powder, salt and yoghurt are added and allowed to cook for a while. Thereafter the lamb chunks washed and drained are added and allowed to cook for 30-40 minutes until done. Once done, the Rogan Josh is transferred to a bowl ready to be served.

The red color in the dish is highly important and to achieve the color a special variety of chili pepper from Kashmir is incorporated. Another spice known as dried alkanet or Ratan Jot is also incorporated in the traditional Rogan Josh recipe.

Serving and Eating

Rogan Josh can be served with a garnish of chopped coriander with plain rice or rice dishes such as pulao and biryani.

Popular Rogan Josh recipe Variations

Rogan Josh recipe can be prepared with variations in meat to include goat meat or beef. Clarified butter or ghee can be used in place of oil. Vegetables such as onions, spring onions, garlic and tomatoes can be included although the authentic recipe of the Kashmiri Pandits refrains from the use of the ingredients. Dried nuts such as almonds can be included to add richness to the texture of the dish. The Kashmiri pundits sometimes also add hing or asafoetida in the recipe.

Rogan Josh recipe is adapted in vegetarian versions as well. In the vegan or the vegetarian versions coliban potatoes, asparagus, turnips, parsnips, cauliflowers, tofu, paneer and mushrooms can be used in place of the meat.

Health and Nutrition Facts

Rogan Josh is highly calorific as it contains fat coming from meat, yoghurt and fat from oil or ghee. However the calories from meat can be cut down by using thinner cuts instead of thicker cuts in the Rogan Josh recipe. Alternate vegetarian versions using low calorie alternates can make the dish healthier.

Miscellaneous Facts

Lately Rogan Josh has gained enough popularity in countries such as Britain and Singapore as well.


Rogan Josh is served to treat guests over meals which is a practice in Kashmir since long time.