Sunday, April 21, 2013


Kashimiri cuisine has evolved over hundreds of years.  Over the years the cuisine has been influenced by its rulers and migrant workers from Persia, Afghanistan, Central Asia, North India and others. The influence of Mughals is especially evident on the meat dishes and pulao. Spices and condiments play a key role in Kashmiri cuisine. Kashmir being  situated on the ancient 'Silk Route', the spices traders from all over the world passed through this valley and stayed here as visitors and thus use of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, saffron etc are abundant in Kashmiri cuisine. Staple diet in Kashmir is rice along with chicken, meat and fish. Vegetables like lotus root, turnips, spinach are also  a specialty of this region.
Kashmiri cuisine is broadly divided into Pandit style and Muslim style preparations. The Kashmiri Pandit style cooking involves loads of spices, where as the Muslim style cooking includes onion, garlic and shallots in their preparations. In Kashmiri Pandit kitchen one can find use of Hing (asafoetida) instead of onion and garlic.

Today I made Roganjosh, a classic meat dish from Kashmir. This dish has its origin from Persia. In Persian Rogan means oil and Josh means heat or passion. Thus "Roganjosh" is meat cooked in oil at high intense heat. A second explanation of the name Roganjosh is Rogan means red, this may explain the bright red color of the dish. Roganjosh is mostly made with lamb. I used goat meat. Beef can also be used in place of lamb or goat meat.

For last few months I was looking for an authentic Roganjosh, following Kashmiri Pandit cuisine. My search ended at Anshie's blog Spiceroots. I followed her recipe and made a delicious bowl of Roganjosh. Here is the original recipe link, Roganjosh by Spiceroots.

I did make the Kashmiri garam masala at home and used whole dry Kashmiri red chilies to bring the bright red color in the Roganjosh. Here is how I did it.

Things needed to make Roganjosh:

  • Goat meat (with bone): 2 lb (1 kg)
  • Yogurt: 1/2 cup
  • Cloves: 4-5
  • Green cardamom: 3-4
  • Cinnamon stick: 1
  • Kashmiri red chili: 3-4 tbsp
  • Dry ginger powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel powder: 5 tsp
  • Kashmiri garam masala: 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Mustard oil: 1/4 cup

For Kashmiri Garam Masala:
  • Shah jeera/ black cumin: 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf: 1 small
  • Green cardamom: 1/2 tsp
  • Black peppercorn: 1 tsp
  • Cloves: 1/8 tsp
  • Fennel: 1/4 tsp
  • Mace: 1/8 tsp
  • Cinnamon: 1/2 stick
  • Nutmeg: a pinch

Steps of making Roganjosh:

1. For the Kashmiri garam masala dry roast all the ingredients, cool down and ground to powder. Store in an air tight container.

2. For the Kashmiri red chili powder I dry roast the whole Kashmiri red chilies and ground them to powder.

3. Clean and wash the goat meat pieces. Pat dry with kitchen towel. Beat yogurt with little water, keep aside.

4. In a heavy bottom large pan heat mustard oil. When the oil is smoking hot reduce heat to medium and add cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Cook for 1 min. Add the meat pieces. Cook the meat till it takes brown color.

5. Add the beaten yogurt, keep cooking till the yogurt dries up. Keep stirring.

6. Mix the ground kashmiri red chili powder with 1/4 cup of water. Add the red chili to the meat, mix well to coat all the pieces with the red chili powder.

7. Cook till oil separates, add all other spices, mix well.

8. Add 1.5 cups of hot water and let the water boil. Add salt, mix.

9. Cover the pan and cook till the meat is well done. Make sure there is enough water to cook the meat. Stir in between. Serve hot with rice or roti.

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  1. This looks like one seriously inviting plate!! Loved the colours.

  2. Oh that Nalli is calling me :)

    1. Anshie, that's the first thing my daughter looks for in a mutton curry. :)

  3. This really looks so awesome and inviting! U didn't use Ratan Jot, did u? Isn't that must in Rogan Josh, particularly for the fiery red color?

    1. Thank you. No I didn't use ratanjot, as it is not a must ingredient for roganjosh. It only gives a bright red color to the roganjosh, it has nothing to do with any flavor. The use of ratanjot has become common after the restaurants started using them to make it more attractive. The recipe I have followed is from someone who is a Kashmiri herself, it is a recipe the way they cook at their home. I can't get anything better than this, so don't worry about ratanjot, make a bowlful for you.