Rogan Josh: An Indian Lamb Dish

Rogan Josh - Indian Lamb Dish Recipe

The Spruce 

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
723 Calories
53g Fat
11g Carbs
50g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 723
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 53g 68%
Saturated Fat 18g 92%
Cholesterol 187mg 62%
Sodium 456mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 50g
Vitamin C 14mg 69%
Calcium 118mg 9%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 951mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The lovely color of rogan josh (sometimes spelled roghan josh or roghan ghosht) comes from the Kashmiri dry red chiles used to prepare it. When you read the recipe, it may seem like you will end up with a fiery dish, but do not fear—the chiles add fantastic flavor to the Indian curry without making it too spicy.

Whole spices along with ground and fresh spices are what add layer upon layer of flavor to this Indian curry. Marinating the lamb in yogurt helps to tenderize the meat, and a touch of cream at the end gives the dish a little richness.

Serve with plain boiled rice or pulao and a vegetable side dish like okra or cauliflower.


  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds lamb, cubed

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

  • 1/4 cup vegetable, canola, or sunflower cooking oil

  • 1 (2-inch) stick cinnamon

  • 5 to 6 cardamom pods

  • 8 to 10 whole cloves

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste

  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste

  • 3 to 4 Kashmiri dry red chiles, coarsely ground

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

  • 2 cups beef, or lamb stock

  • 1 cup water

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 5 teaspoons light cream, or half-and-half

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Rogan Josh - Indian Lamb Dish Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. In a bowl, mix the lamb and yogurt and set aside. This will tenderize the lamb.

    Lamb marinating in yogurt
     The Spruce
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep pan and add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Fry till they turn slightly darker in color.

    spices frying in a pot
    The Spruce 
  4. Add the onions and fry until they turn lightly golden.

    onions and spices frying in a pot
    The Spruce
  5. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a minute.

    Spices and onions frying in a pot
     The Spruce
  6. Add the chiles, garam masala, coriander, cumin, and turmeric and fry until the oil separates from the masala.

    Spices frying in a pot
     The Spruce
  7. Add the meat and yogurt mix to the masala and fry well.

    Lamb added to pot with spices
     The Spruce
  8. Add the beef stock, water, and salt, to taste.

    Curry in a pot
    The Spruce
  9. Simmer until the gravy is reduced. Stir often. The gravy should be thick when done.

    Rogan josh cooking in a pot
     The Spruce
  10. Whisk the cream until smooth. Stir it into the curry.

    Cream poured on top of curry
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  11. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

    Rogan josh in a pot garnished with cilantro
     The Spruce

How to Store

Leftover rogan josh should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Curries tend to taste even better the next day.

What does rogan josh taste like?

Rogan josh has a savory, meaty, spiced flavor. Recipes vary greatly based on the cook, so the exact flavors can differ. The balance of dried chiles and a mix of spices gives the curry layers of flavor without making it too spicy.

How spicy is rogan josh curry?

While rogan josh does contain chiles, they are dried Kashmiri chiles, which are a mild type of pepper. The chiles add flavor and color rather than intense heat. You can adjust the chiles to your taste and spice tolerance.

Does rogan josh contain tomato?

Recipes for the Indian curry rogan josh vary depending on the cook's preference for spices and other ingredients. Some recipes for rogan josh contain tomato puree or tomatoes while others do not. The color primarily comes from the Kashmiri chiles.