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Lamb Rogan Josh

Chef Way Vikram Sunderam relies on plenty of spices, like cardamom, cloves and cumin, to flavor this succulent lamb stew (the name translates roughly into "red lamb").

Easy Way Use Madras curry powder, a spice blend, in place of the individual spices.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 to 6

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  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced (3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • One 14-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Basmati rice and warm naan, for serving


  1. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Season the lamb with salt and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is browned, about 12 minutes; using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the onions to the casserole and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, 4 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, curry, turmeric, cayenne and bay leaves and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato, yogurt and water; bring to a boil. Season with salt.
  3. Return the lamb and any juices to the casserole. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the lamb is very tender, 1 hour. Stir in the garam masala; cook for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and naan.

Suggested Pairing

A Sicilian Nerello Mascalese or juicy Sicilian red blend.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published October 2008

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