This Beef Rogan Josh was the second authentic curry I have ever made and I really thought it could never live up to my first, my butter chicken, but it really did. Some people even prefer the rogan josh. I’ve made both for a lot of people now and it seems that those with the greatest capacity for heat prefer the rogan josh. The words “Rogan Josh” literally mean “oil hot” and this is a pretty accurate description of this dish as you start off with a generous amount of vegetable oil or ghee in a pot and fry whole spices in it. This spicy, flavoured oil permeates the rest of the ingredients though there is a lot more heat to come too. Mainly in the two tablespoons of Kashmiri chilli powder. Though the Kashmiri chillies are mild, this is a huge amount of chilli powder by anyone’s standards. If you cannot find Kashmiri chillies or the powder do not replace it with regular chilli powder! I did that the first time I tried this curry and it was like Hell, and by that I mean it was literally like the fiery lakes of Hell were all in my mouth and Satan himself was like “Jeez-Louise, that looks hot!” A good substitute for this would be maybe a quarter regular chilli powder and three quarters sweet paprika but you can always buy it online.
This Beef Rogan Josh is surprisingly easy and with no marinades or grilling it’s definitely a lot easier than the butter chicken. It is basically a little frying and stewing with a lot of spices. If making ahead, follow the recipe below until it has simmered for the hour, then remove from the heat and leave it until you are almost ready to serve. Then heat it up and add the cream, yogurt and Garam Masala, stir it up, add the fresh coriander and serve!
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
- 6 crushed cardamom
- 5 cm cinnamon
- 3 Kashmiri chillies, cut into pieces
- 2 red onions, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 cm piece of ginger, minced
- 2 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- A quarter tsp ground mace
- 1 tsp ground toasted fennel seeds
- 4 tbsp tomato purée
- 750 g shin beef in 3 cm pieces
- 300 ml water
- 1 tsp salt
- 125 g natural yogurt
- 50 ml cream
- 1 medium bunch of chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- Heat your oil of ghee in a heavy based pan and add the whole spices, frying for 1 minute.
- Add the onions, frying for 10 minutes until soft.
- Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 1 minute before adding the ground spices (Garam Masala, turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder, coriander, cumin, mace, fennel seeds) but save 1 tsp of the Garam Masala to be added later. Fry the spices for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato purée and mix to combine.
- Add the beef and stir to make sure it is all coated in the spicy onion mixture.
- Add the water and salt and bring to a simmer. Clamp the lid on and reduce the heat to low and allow to gently simmer for 1 hour.
- Add the yogurt, cream and remaining tsp of Garam Masala and mix in.
- Scatter the fresh coriander over the curry and serve.