Having bumped into a guy from Green Saffron (an Indian food company based in Midleton in the People’s Republik of Cark) a couple of months ago in Fallon and Byrne, I’ve been completely smitten by their Rogan Josh spice blend.

The idea is simple:

  • Step 1: buy a sachet of premixed spices and some other humble ingredients
  • Step 2: follow the recipe on the sachet
  • Step 3: Find yourself in tastebud nirvana.

What you need for your Rogan Josh: the ingredients

Assuming you can get your hands on the sachet of Rogan Josh spice blend, you’ll need the following:

  • A sachet of Green Saffron Rogan Josh spice blend (40g sachet contains salt, black pepper, coriander, tumeric, whole fennel, cinnamon, green cardamon, rattan jyoth, cloves, chilli flakes, asafoetida)
  • 500g of white onions (that’s roughly 4-5 smallish ones – the size of a tennis ball), sliced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • A big fat finger of ginger (check out this tip for how to peel ginger), sliced and chopped
  • 1kg of lamb chunks – for stewing (cheap enough and available in most butchers and supermarkets)
  • Tin of peeled/chopped tomatoes (yes, the Roma brand will do just fine)
  • Tub of natural yoghurt (unsweetened)
  • Table spoon of sugar
  • 60 grams of butter (if you’re going to be fancy pants, then use ghee or clarified butter. If you’re a health nut, use a few decent glugs of olive oil)
  • 50 ml stock (Lamb or Chicken)
  • Basmati Rice
  • Between 2-3 hours of your time (it’s really really worth it, trust me)

How to cook the Lamb Rogan Josh: the recipe


  1. Melt the butter (or clarified butter, fancypants) in a large saucepan on a medium heat.
  2. Add the spices.
  3. Once they start to crackle and pop add the sliced onions and fry for about 5 minutes until they’re translucent
  4. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to fry for a couple of minutes
  5. Add the lamb and stir to make sure it all browns for about 10 minutes
  6. Add the yoghurt, tin of tomatoes and sugar and give it a good stir. Leave simmering for 30 minutes with the lid on
  7. Add the stock and put on a low heat for 90 minutes with the lid off.
  8. Serve it up with Basmati Rice

Matching with wine?

The flavours of this curry are warming and rich rather than being overly hot. For this you’ll need a fairly robust, rich wine to match up.

For whiteys, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc would do just fine.

For red-heads, I’d look to some of the Lebanese wines currently on the shelves – Château Kefraya, Château Ksara or Hochar (from Château Musar fame, but cheaper). They all have a rich, slightly savoury edge which will match the Rogan Josh’s warm flavours. Otherwise, try an Argentinian Malbec. Normally great with steak, cheap as chips, available almost everywhere and pretty consistent too.

Rated 5/5 on Oct 6 2009
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