A taste of paradise

Mutton rogan josh is a scrumptious delicacy from the Kashmiri cuisine, distinguished by its thick, aromatic, flavourful red sauce and tender meat. Here is how to make it at home.


By Foodie

Mutton rogan josh is a scrumptious delicacy from the Kashmiri cuisine, distinguished by its thick, aromatic, flavourful red sauce and tender meat. Most people attribute this dish to the Kashmiri region, but few say that it was actually introduced to the Kashmiri people by the Moghuls.

Rogan name translates to clarified butter or oil in Persian, referring to the way the meat and spices are cooked while josh means fiery or hot referring to the dish’s deep red colour. This is a wonderful type of lamb curry which is slowly cooked with a selection of fragrant spices, the most important being the ‘Kashmiri peppers’ as it gives a distinct red colour to the dish while keeping it milder compared to other Indian curries.

History states that this dish originated from Persia and was popularized by the Mughals in India. Despite its intense and vibrant red hue, this dish is not a fiery curry and remains a common and popular dish in northern India and a popular menu item at most Indian restaurants.

This dish traditionally consists of lamb or goat meat which has been slow cooked in an amalgamation of yogurt and a mix of many flavourful spices. Due to the popularity of this dish and rarity of Kashmiri chillies, there are many versions where saffron, tomatoes and other types of chillies or paprika is used to achieve the rogan josh red colour. Despite including a lot of spices, the dish is not really hot compared to others.

Mutton rogan josh is best paired with basmati rice or freshly baked naan. Rogan josh is a creamy, rich, spicy, aromatic meat dish that has its origin in Mughal cuisine, one of the largest Muslim influences in India. The authentic Kashmiri rogan josh curry is prepared with lamb or mutton shoulder, cooked to a tender, succulent texture in a gorgeously rich sauce packed with flavours.

Traditionally the dish is prepared in ghee, with the spices fried in fat to stimulate flavours and infuse the fat with the essence before adding other ingredients. Yogurt, the base for the sauce, gives a lovely tang together with the tomato while almonds add texture, flavour and also thickens the sauce. The mild heat from the chillies and pepper compliments the dish.

All in all, this dish has reminiscent flavours that we are to die for. For this glorious stupendous delicacy, guilty pleasure, serve rogan josh with any flat Indian bread like chapatti, paratha, naan—the perfect choices for mopping up the rich gravy.


The modern Kashmiri cuisine was traced back to the 15th-century invasion of India by Timur, and the migration of 1700 skilled woodcarvers, weavers, architects, calligraphers and cooks from Samarkand to the valley of Kashmir.

The descendants of these cooks, the Wazas, are the master chefs of Kashmir. Wazwan is considered to be the ultimate formal banquet in Kashmiri comprising a 36-course meal, out of which between 15 to 30 are meat preparations cooked overnight by the master chefs and his assistants.

Traditionally the guests coming to the banquets are seated in groups of four sharing a large metal plate called the Trami. The trami is filled with heaps of rice, quartered with four seekh kebabs and contains pieces of methi korma, tabak maaz, safed murg and zafrani murgh and first few courses.

Prep Time  :15 min

Cook Time  :45 min

Total Time  :1 hr



  • 500 gram lamb
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala Powder

For Tempering

  • 5 tbsp Ghee / Clarified Butter
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • 3 cm Cinnamon / Pattai
  • 2 Black Cardamom crushed
  • 4 Green Cardamom crushed
  • ½ tsp Asafoetida / Hing / Kaya posi

For Masala Paste

  • 1 cup Curd / Plain Yogurt
  • 3 tbsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Green Cardamom Powder 4 pods
  • ½ tsp Black Cardamom Powder 2 pods
  • 1 tbsp Fennel Seed Powder / Saunf / Sombu
  • 1 tbsp Dry Ginger Powder / Chukku Podi
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper Powder


  • Powder the whole spices/ garam masala (Cinnamon, cloves, green cardamom & Cumin Seeds) together excluding the black cardamom and bay leaf & set aside.
  • In another small bowl, add the Kashmiri Chilli powder, fennel seed powder and ginger powder with 1/4 cup of water and mix together.
  • In a heavy bottom pot, heat the ghee & oil on medium high then add the black cardamom & bay leaf to the oil.
  • Then add the sliced shallots and fry them on medium-low heat until they start caramelizing and turning golden brown. (This takes a good 8-10 minutes so be patient, but don’t turn up the heat)
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute or two.
  • Then add in the mutton (goat meat)/ lamb cubes and turn up the heat, browning the meat well.
  • Once the meat is browned on all sides, add the Kashmiri chilli spices we mixed with water and fry it for 2-3 mins.
  • Stir in the whisked yogurt, a pinch of saffron (optional) and salt to taste. Cover and let the curry simmer on medium for 15 mins until the oil starts separating from the curry.
  • Once you see the oil start separating, add half of the powdered garam masala (whole spices) and add a cup of water to loosen the curry.
  • You can now transfer the curry to a pressure cooker(aka Instant pot) and cook on high for 8-10 mins then naturally release the pressure. Or you can lower the heat, cover the pot and allow the curry to simmer for 45mins-60 mins until the meat gets tender.
  • Check to see if the meat is tender (if you’re cooking bone-in the meat should be falling off the bone) & season with salt if needed. When it’s melt-in-the mouth tender stir in the remaining garam masala powder and turn off the heat.
  • Garnish with a handful of chopped cilantro and serve with fragrant basmati rice or Naan.


Calories: 715kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 881mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Vitamin C: 68.3mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 5.8mg