Monday, 21 October 2013
Great Nosh, Rogan Josh!
I think lamb, tomatoes and coriander are a great mixture wherever you put them together, but in a curry they are sublime. I didn't always feel that way though and I was put off rogan josh for a long time because off the vats of it they used to serve up of it when I was at university. Huge cauldrons of brick red slop being sloshed onto overcooked rice was enough to put even the hardened curry "How hot is this exactly?" aficionado off for life. And then there was the smell... Normally on 'Curry Tuesday' I would grab a sandwich and leave for somewhere far more pleasant, even if it was outside and it was cold. The more I think of it now, the more I think this concoction can only have come from dubious origins as curry really shouldn't smell that way. It should be enticing, complex, heady. This wasn't.
However, this rogan josh smelt great as it was bubbling away for an hour or so. I went outside to do a couple of jobs and when I returned to the house was bursting with exotic smells. And a scattering of coriander to finish brought the colours and flavours to life.
This recipe is a hybrid of my knowledge of making curry, what a rogan josh is, and what I had in the fridge and cupboard. I tempered the heat a little as Lola and Finn are not fond of anything too spicy, and any of the offending heat was all but extinguished with generous dollops of cream after I had served those who like it spicy. Though when I say spicy, this was never going to be 'blow your head off' territory for I have ever believed that sweating and eating go together. Eating should be a pleasure, not a feat of endurance.
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad
20g ghee or unsalted butter
400g cubed lamb leg
1tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder (or more to taste)
2cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 - 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
225g - 275g onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 can of tinned tomatoes, chopped or whole
150ml lamb stock (I made it with a stock cube)
salt and pepper
50 - 90ml double cream (or to taste)
coriander leaves for garnish
Melt the butter/ghee is a suitable pot/casserole, etc.
Fry the lamb so that it gets a good colour. Remove to a plate.
Turn the heat down low and add the spices, garlic and ginger and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Be sure not to let the garlic burn.
Increase the heat and add the lamb back to the pan with any juices. Cook the lamb for a further 3 or 4 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any residue. Then add the sliced onions and cook for five minutes or so until they are soft and becoming translucent.
Add the coriander stalks, puree, the tinned tomatoes, mix well and cook for two or three minutes then add the lamb stock and season. Bring the pot up to the boil, cover and simmer for about an hour, checking every now and then that the mixture isn't catching.
After an hour or so, taste for seasoning. Add the cream and taste again. If there is too much sauce or the sauce is runny, boil the mixture, uncovered, for a few minutes until the mixture is of the desired consistency. Taste again and season if necessary.
Gotta have Tiger with a curry!
Serve over rice with a scattering of coriander leaves.