Rogan josh

Rogan josh is a spicy meat and  tomato curry, tempered with a small amount of cream. You can make it the night before (or more), and some of us argue the flavours improve after a night in the fridge.

Rogan josh: a rich, spicy Indian meat and tomato curry

Rogan josh: a rich, spicy Indian meat and tomato curry

Rogan josh

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate (fiddly)
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  • 1 kilogram of steak
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 inch of grated/chopped ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large or 2 small onions
  • 400 gram tin of tomatoes (or 4-6 fresh ones)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • salt (up to a teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1/2 cup of cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander leaves


  1. Brown the meat in a large heatproof dish, then transfer it to a bowl and set aside
  2. Turn the heat down, and fry the spices (cumin, coriander, chilli, turmeric) and the ginger and garlic for a few minutes.
  3. Put the meat back in, with any juices, and fry for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the onions, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
  5. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, water, and the salt.
  6. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for about an hour. Check it regularly and add more water if you need to.
  7. Stir in the cream and add the garam masala.
  8. Top with the coriander leaves and serve.


What type of steak? We can usually get decent rump or topside steak for a good price, but any steak will do. Lamb would be great (and was what the original recipe listed), but we save our lamb nights for an old fashioned roast.

To cook the meat for an hour: I’ll usually just transfer the mixture into the thermal cooker for a couple of hours (a thermal cooker is like a well-insulated slow cooker without a plug). It means I get the meat to that melt-in-your-mouth stage without having to stand over a hot stove.

You can leave out the cream. We often do.You’ll just end up with a richer, more tomatoey curry than otherwise.

Source: Adapted from Classic Indian Cuisine (1995). Edited by Rosemary Moon. Tiger Books:  Twickenham.

Rogan josh: a rich, spicy Indian meat and tomato curry

Rogan josh: a rich, spicy Indian meat and tomato curry

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