SERVES 6 to 8

Rogan Josh is a curry dish from Kashmir, a region tucked among the borders of India, Pakistan, and China, all of which can be tasted in its fragrant blend of spices. I’d never eaten Rogan Josh before I bought the seasoning based solely on its enticing aroma, and now I’m not sure how I lived without it. Different cooks embellish their spice blends in different ways; this recipe is the one I devised in my kitchen in Austin, Texas. The resulting curry is rich and creamy, with plenty of depth but not too much heat.



• 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
• 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 4 teaspoons ground cumin
• 4 teaspoons ground coriander
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper


• 2 pounds lamb (stew meat, shoulder, or leg), cut into 1-inch cubes
• salt and black pepper, to taste
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil
• 2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
• 1 cup coconut milk
• 1 1/4 cups water

If you prefer, use 2-3 tablespoons of a commercial Rogan Josh spice blend. I recommend either Penzeys or Savory Spice Shop.


1. In a small bowl, combine all the Rogan Josh spices and mix with a fork. In a large bowl, sprinkle the meat generously with salt and pepper, tossing with your hands to coat.

2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat, then add the lamb in batches and sear on all sides. Here’s a tip from me to you: Respect the contact. Put the meat in there and let it be for at least 5 minutes, so it gets a nice brown crust. Resist the temptation to stir it. Give it some private time, and it will reward you for your generosity. Do that with people and get the same result. Neat!)

3. When the meat is brown, add the chopped onions and cook until the onions begin to soften and show brown spots.

4. Add the Rogan Josh spice blend to the pan and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. The spices really come to life in the fat, so let them revel in it.

5. Pour the coconut milk and water into the pot. Mix well, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, allowing the meat to braise in the coconut milk for 1-2 hours.

6. When time’s up, remove the lid and let the sauce thicken a bit, about 2–3 minutes.