Rogan josh

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This article is about the dish. For the racehorse, see Rogan Josh (horse). For the comic book, see Rogan Gosh (comics).
Rogan Josh
Rogan josh02.jpg
Place of origin
Indian Subcontinent
Region or state
Jammu & Kashmir
Main ingredients
Lamb, alkanet root
Cookbook:Rogan Josh  Rogan Josh

Rogan josh (or roghan josh) pronounced /rouɣændʒuːʃ/ in Persian, is an aromatic lamb dish of Persian origin, which is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri cuisine. Roughan (روغن) means "clarified butter"[1] or "fat" in Persian, while juš (جوش) (alternatively romanised josh), gives the figurative meaning of "intensity" or "passion"[2] and ultimately derives from the verb jušidan (جوشيدن) meaning "to heat or boil". Rogan josh thus means cooked in oil at intense heat. Another interpretation of the name rogan josh is derived from the word rogan meaning "red color" (the same Indo-European root that is the source of the French "rouge" and the Spanish "rojo") and josh meaning passion or heat.

Rogan josh was brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, whose cuisine was in turn influenced by Persian cuisine. The unrelenting summer heat of the Indian plains took the Mughals frequently to Kashmir, which has a cooler climate because of its altitude.[1]

Ingredients and cultural geography[edit]

Rogan josh (or roghan josh) is a staple of Kashmiri cuisine: originally it was brought to Kashmir by the Mughals. It is one of the main dishes of the Kashmiri multi-course meal (the "Wazwan"). It consists of braised Lamb chunks cooked with a gravy based on browned onions or shallots, yogurt, garlic, ginger and aromatic spices (cloves, bay leaves, cardamom and cinnamon). Its characteristic brilliant red color traditionally comes from liberal amounts of dried Kashmiri chilies that have been de-seeded to reduce their heat: these chilies (whose flavor approximates that of paprika) are considerably milder than the typical dried cayenne chilies of Indian cuisine. The recipe's spiciness is one of fragrance rather than heat, and the traditional dish is mild enough to be appreciated by Western palates that may not have been conditioned to tolerate the heat of chilies. In addition, dried flowers or root of Alkanna tinctoria are used in some variants of the recipe to impart a crimson color. Saffron is also part of some traditional recipes.

There are significant differences in preparation between the Hindu and Muslim traditions in Kashmir: Muslims use praan, a local shallot tasting of garlic, and leaves of maval, the Cockscomb flower, for coloring (and to tone down some of the spiciness); Hindus use none of those(Kashmiri Brahmin avoid onion and garlic[1]), but add yogurt for "a cooling effect".[2]

While the dish is from Jammu & Kashmir, it is a staple in British curry houses, whose menu is partly Bangladeshi cuisine, and is an example of dishes from the Subcontinent that got "co-opted" once they left the area (dosa as prepared in Glasgow is cited as a prime example).[3]


While the traditional preparation uses whole dried chilies that are de-seeded, soaked in water, and ground to a paste, non-traditional short cuts use either Kashmiri chili powder (available in Indian stores) or a mixture of paprika (predominantly) and cayenne pepper, adjusted to taste. (Madhur Jaffrey's recipe[4] calls for a 4:1 ratio of paprika to cayenne). An updated version served in Sanjeev Kapoor's restaurants uses white and black cardamom, anise, and bay leaves.[5]

In India, rogan josh is often made with goat instead of Mutton, since genuine lamb is less widely available than goat meat. There is a variety with beef as well, brisket being preferred.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Collingham, Lizzie (2006-02-06). Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford UP. p. 34. ISBN 9780199883813. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Panjabi, Camellia (1995). The Great Curries of India. Simon & Schuster. p. 54. ISBN 9780684803838. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Monroe, Jo (2005). Star of India: The Spicy Adventures of Curry. John Wiley & Sons. p. 131. ISBN 9780470091883. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Recipe Source: Rogan Josh - Madhur Jaffrey
  5. ^ Kapoor, Sanjeev (2011). How to Cook Indian: More Than 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Kitchen. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. p. 39. ISBN 9781613121351. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Owen, Sri (1994). The Rice Book: The Definitive Book on Rice, with Hundreds of Exotic Recipes from Around the World. St. Martin's Press. p. 275. ISBN 9780312303396. Retrieved 8 August 2013.