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Hearty Lamb Curry (Roghan Josh)

Photo: Oxmoor House
Hands-on time 1 hr, 5 mins
Total time 10 hrs, 5 mins
Yield Serves 6 (serving size: 2/3 cup curry and 1/2 cup rice)
There must be a thousand ways to make this hearty dish from Kashmir--a region of the northwestern Indian subcontinent. Marinate the lamb in yogurt to tenderize it, and add flavor with saffron since the dish is really about aroma. I also add tomato paste, which is not traditional but thickens like fresh pureed Kashmiri chiles would.


  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons garam masala, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups hot cooked basmati or jasmine rice

Nutrition Information

  • calories 200
  • fat 8.3 g
  • satfat 2.3 g
  • monofat 3.6 g
  • polyfat 1.3 g
  • protein 25.7 g
  • carbohydrate 5.2 g
  • fiber 1.3 g
  • cholesterol 74 mg
  • iron 3.2 mg
  • sodium 496 mg
  • calcium 36 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine garlic and ginger on a cutting board. Sprinkle with salt, and mash to a paste by dragging and pressing broad side of knife over mixture several times. Combine garlic mixture, yogurt, and 2 teaspoons garam masala in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add lamb; seal and marinate in refrigerator 8 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.

  2. Add 1 1/2 cups water to bag; seal and shake to rinse lamb. Remove lamb from bag with a slotted spoon, reserving marinade in bag. Pat lamb dry with paper towels.

  3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of lamb; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove lamb and juices from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining half of lamb.

  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Return lamb and juices to pan. Add paprika, ground red pepper, and saffron; cook 15 seconds. Add reserved marinade and tomato paste, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour or until lamb is tender. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon garam masala, cilantro, and black pepper. Serve over rice.

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