NAME Rogan Josh
History and facts about the dish
Rogan josh is an aromatic curry dish popular in India. Rogan means clarified butter or fat in Persian, while Josh means hot or passionate. Rogan Josh thus means meat cooked in clarified butter at intense heat.
Rogan Josh was brought to India by the Moguls. The unrelenting heat of the Indian plains took the Moguls frequently to Kashmir, which is where the first Indian adoption of Rogan Josh occurred. The literal translation for the name of this dish from Kashmir is ‘red lamb’. I have used the same recipe for the curry sauce and replaced the lamb with yellow tail. The colour comes from the Kashmiri dry red chilies used in it. The name may sound fiery but the dish’s heat is medium. Tomatoes form the base of the sauce. An authentic Rogan josh will be made with lamb and may, at its most elaborate, contain dozens of spices but I have used Yellow tail as it is a firm meaty fish complimented well by the spices used in this recipe. The Kashmiri and Punjabi versions do differ (the Kashmiri does not traditionally contain onions or garlic) but they are both highly spiced and share a deep red colour derived from the liberal use of dried red Kashmiri chilies. I also have added paprika to the dish for flavour and colour. The curry house Rogan is also red but the colour comes from red peppers and tomatoes rather than Kashmiri chillies. It is usually medium hot.
Preparation time: 45min
Cooking time: 1 ½ hours
Ready in: 2 hours
Recipe yields: 6 large portions
1.5 kg diced Yellowtail or Tuna
100ml Ghee (clarified butter)
1 tbls paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1tbls ground Aniseed powder
1 tbls ground coriander
3 bay leaves
10 Cloves of garlic
1 chopped onions
2 tsp ground cumin seeds
10 Cardamom shelled and ground
1 tsp ground cinnamon
40g chopped ginger
1tbls Kashmiri chili powder
750ml Pasata or chopped tin tomato
3 Seeded and diced fresh tomato added just before serving
50g tomato puree
1 Bunch freshly chopped coriander to garnish at the end
50g mango chutney
Chef’s tip: The best way to stop the fish from breaking apart in the curry is to make the sauce separately. Coat the fish in a good masala then roast it in the oven till cooked. Once the fish is cooked then add it to the curry sauce and simmer it for a few minutes to allow the flavours to infuse before serving. Do not stir the curry vigorously or the fish will break into small pieces.
Heat the ghee in a deep pan and add the whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns). Fry till they turn slightly darker in color.
Now add the chopped onion and fry until it turns light golden.
Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for a minute.
Add the powdered spices (coriander, aniseed, cumin, turmeric, paprika, Kashmiri chili and Garam masala and fry till the oil separates from the masala. When it reaches this stage add the chopped tomato or tomato Pasata, Mango chutney and simmer for 30min. After 30min add the yoghurt to the sauce and simmer till the curry sauce starts to thicken. Once the sauce has thickened, add the raw fish to the sauce and allow it to cook for a further 15 minutes on a low heat without stirring to avoid the fish breaking apart when cooked.
Season the curry with salt to taste check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Fold the cream slowly into the curry towards the end to avoid breaking up the fish then just before serving add the diced tomato fold through heat for a minute and the curry is ready to serve.
Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve with pilaf rice