Love Rogan Josh? Take a look at my easy lamb rogan josh recipe to recreate this takeaway favourite at home. Slimming World friendly version included!
Curry lovers will adore my Lamb Bhuna
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Rogan Josh has got to be one of my all-time favourite curries… It used to be my order whenever we ordered Indian takeout.
Picture tender pieces of lamb slowly cooked with aromatic spices in a rich sauce made with onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes… SO YUMMY!
My lamb rogan recipe is a healthier and EASIER take on this popular curry so that you can recreate it at home with the minimum of fuss.
What is Rogan Josh?
Also known as Roghan Josh or Rogan Ghosht, this beautifully aromatic curry from the Kashmiri region in India is usually made with lamb or mutton.
Some maintain that the name stands for “red lamb”, or “fiery lamb” but this curry is not particularly spicy. I would say it is pretty mild to medium hot, although you can dial up the heat if you like!
A healthier curry
Another reason I love Lamb Rogan is that it is a fairly dry curry with a tomato based sauce that’s generally lower in calories than some creamier dishes like Korma.
You can even enjoy this lamb dish while on weight loss plans like Slimming World or Weight Watchers with very minor changes. It is definitely one of my favourite “diet” recipes 😉
What’s in Lamb Rogan Josh?
Take a look at the list of ingredients and note my swaps for a slimming version! You will need a heavy casserole dish with a lid for this recipe.
- For a more authentic version use ghee (clarified butter). Alternatively you can use oil or a low calorie spray such as Fry Light for a slimmed down curry
- Diced lamb such as neck, or shoulder with any visible pieces of fat removed. Use lean lamb leg steaks for a Slimming World Rogan Josh
- Onions and garlic
- Freshly grated ginger
- Garam Masala, turmeric, chilli powder, paprika, cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaves and a cinnamon stick… Yes, a fairly long list of spices but believe me, I have tried to minimise how many you will need!
- Tomato paste (purée) and chopped tinned tomatoes – leave out the tinned tomatoes or replace with fresh if you like
- Chicken stock or water
- Full fat natural yoghurt – use 0% fat natural yoghurt for a slimming version
- Coriander (cilantro) to garnish
- Fresh tomatoes to serve (optional)
How to make Rogan Josh
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!
COOK THE ONIONS Heat the oil or ghee (or mist your casserole with cooking spray) and gently cook the onions over low heat until softened but not coloured. If you are making a slimming version you might need to add a splash of stock so the onions don’t stick.
STIR IN THE SPICES, salt, bay leaf, minced garlic and grated ginger. Cook briefly until their wonderful aroma is released.
ADD THE LAMB and stir to coat in the spices. In most traditional Rogan curries the meat is first browned over high heat but I wanted to make this recipe as easy as possible!
ADD THE TOMATO PURÉE, chopped tomatoes if using, and stock. Stir to combine and bring to a rolling simmer. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and gently cook for 60-90 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the lamb is perfectly tender.
STIR IN THE YOGHURT until it blends into the sauce. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf (and the cardamom pods if you are able to find them). Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
TOP TIP: the yoghurt might separate, especially if it is no fat. Room temperature yoghurt is less likely to split so take it out of the fridge before starting this recipe.
GARNISH with chopped coriander and sliced tomatoes. Delicious!
What to serve with Rogan Josh
This curry is frequently served with sliced fresh tomatoes in Indian restaurants so feel free to add some if you like!
Pair with golden or plain basmati rice with some extra yoghurt and naan or my easy yogurt flatbreads on the side to mop up the delicious sauce.
I like to add a little kachumber which is a sort of Indian salsa made with onion, tomatoes, cucumber, coriander leaves, chilli and lime juice. It brings a wonderful freshness that cuts through the rich sauce – highly recommended!
A glass of ice-cold beer or chilled white wine with some acidity like a dry Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc are excellent pairings with this aromatic lamb curry.
Tips and FAQs
CAN I MAKE THIS RECIPE IN MY INSTANT POT? This curry cooks so well in pressure cooker. Take a look at the recipe card for a full set of instructions.
CAN I MAKE THIS RECIPE IN MY SLOW COOKER? You will need to do some of the prep in the casserole dish and then transfer everything to a crockpot. Check if you have a slow cooker that allows for the inner pot to be used on the hob – less washing up this way!
I AM NOT A FAN OF LAMB, WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD? Though lamb is traditional you can replace it with chicken thighs or even beef or pork if you prefer.
HOW LONG DOES THIS CURRY KEEP? As with most curries, it keeps well for up to three days in the fridge with the flavour of the sauce becoming even better!
CAN I FREEZE ROGAN JOSH? This curry is suitable for freezing but I would advise you leave out the yoghurt if you are planning to store in the freezer. Cool the curry completely, portion into suitable containers and freeze. Use within three months, heating until piping hot before adding the yoghurt and serving.
SLIMMING VERSION Follow my instructions to make the ‘skinny’ version. The most important thing is to use the leanest lamb leg steaks and remove all the fat. One portion is around 500 calories *without sides, 16 WeightWatchers SmartPoints and Free on Slimming World.
Please note I am not affiliated in any way with Slimming World or Weight Watchers. These weight loss plans are often updated in line with latest nutritional guidance and may change so for accurate information it is best to join as a member.
Easy Lamb Rogan Josh
- 2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil or low calorie spray for slimming version
- 2 large onions , finely diced
- 900 g (2 Pounds) diced lamb visible fat removed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp mild chilli powder
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 5 cardamom pods , lightly crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (purée)
- 400 g (14oz) tinned tomatoes replace with fresh diced tomatoes if preferred
- 500 ml (2 cups) hot chicken stock or water Use 250ml/1 cup in slow cooker & instant pot
- 5 tbsp natural yoghurt 0% fat for a slimming version
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) to garnish
- Salt and pepper to season
- Pinch chilli flakes optional
- 3 fresh tomatoes , sliced to serve (optional)
- 1 small red onion
- ½ cucumber , seeds removed
- 4 vine tomatoes , seeded and finely diced
- 1 red chilli , seeded and finely diced
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
- 1 lime , juice only
- Salt and pepper to season
- Heat the ghee or oil in a large lidded casserole dish (or mist with olive oil spray). Gently cook the onions over low heat until softened but not coloured, 5-7 minutes. If you are making a slimming version you might need to add a splash of stock so the onions don’t stick.
- Stir in the salt, spices, cardamom pods, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, minced garlic and grated ginger. Cook for 2 minutes until aromatic.
- Add the lamb and stir to coat in the spices. Stir in the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes.
- Add the stock or water and bring to a rolling simmer. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and gently cook for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the lamb is perfectly tender.
- Stir in the yoghurt until it blends into the sauce. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf (and the cardamom pods if you are able to find them).
- Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Add a pinch of dried chillies for a bit of gentle heat.
- Add the sliced fresh tomatoes and garnish with plenty of chopped coriander.
- Mix all the ingredients for the kachumber together in a small bowl.
- Serve the rogan josh with rice, the kachumber, some extra yoghurt and naan or flatbread on the side to mop up the delicious sauce.
Instant Pot Method
- Select Saute/Less and heat the ghee or oil. Cook the onions for 5 minutes until softned, stirring.
- Add salt, spices, cardamom pods, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, minced garlic and grated ginger. Cook for 2 minutes until aromatic. Stir the tomato paste in.
- Add the lamb and 250ml (1 cup) of stock and stir well to combine.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, do not stir.
- Cover the pot, set vent to sealing and cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 20 minutes.
- When cooking is done allow the pressure to release naturally. Stir to combine and if the sauce is a little on the watery side you can reduce it on Saute/high. Check the seasoning and serve.
Slow Cooker Method
- Heat the ghee or oil in a large lidded casserole dish or directly in the inner pot of your slow cooker IF IT ALLOWS FOR SEARING. Gently cook the onions over low heat until softened but not coloured, 5-7 minutes. If you are making a slimming version you might need to add a splash of stock so the onions don’t stick.
- Stir in the salt, spices, cardamom pods, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, minced garlic and grated ginger. Cook for 2 minutes until aromatic. Add the lamb and stir to coat in the spices.
- Stir in the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes. Add 250ml (1 cup) of hot stock and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer.
- Transfer to your slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6.
- Open the lid and stir the curry. If it still a little watery then continue to cook on high with the lid off for a little longer.
- Check the seasoning and serve.
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