I have decided to dedicate the rest of January to a few Indian food recipes that my husband and I like to make. Why? Because it's cold and rainy here, and Indian food, with its spices and heat, warm you up like no other food. It's comfort food at its best.
My husband does most of the Indian food cooking in our household. There's no real reason except that he likes it, although I just can't keep myself away from the kitchen, even when it is my night off! So I usually help prep and cook the rice. We've found that Indian food isn't difficult to cook, but it can be time consuming, and the ingredient lists are often daunting. Rogan Josh is a pretty simple recipe to start with, and if you can get some good local lamb, all the better! A friend from India mentioned that he sometimes puts beets into his Rogan Josh, but we haven't tried that yet...feel free to play around with the root vegetables you add, though. We typically stick to potatoes and carrots, but peas would be great added at the very end too.
**We get our Rogan Josh seasoning from Penzey's Spices, but you can also find it at Indian grocery stores, online, or if you're lucky at your local grocery store. If you can't find it, you could always make your own--just Google it!
Lamb Rogan Josh
Adapted from Penzey's Spices
Makes 4 servings
2 Tbl vegetable oil
1 lb lamb stew meat, trimmed of excess fat
1 large white onion, minced
2 Tbl Rogan Josh seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup plain whole yogurt
2 medium waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), washed and cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
Heat the oil in a large saute pan or dutch oven with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and brown. Remove the lamb to a bowl. Add the onion and cook, stirring often until browned lightly. Add the Rogan Josh and salt and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the meat and juices back into the pot along with the water and yogurt. Stir gently until mixed thoroughly. Cover and cook 1-2 hours over low heat. (We usually cook it for about an hour, but the longer you cook it, the more tender the meat will be.)
Add the potatoes in the last 45 minutes of cooking. Add the carrots in the last 20 minutes of cooking. (If there doesn't seem to be enough sauce to cover the potatoes and carrots, add more water, 1/4 cup at a time until there is enough sauce to adequately cover the meat and vegetables.) Once it has simmered for the amount of time you'd like, uncover and raise the heat to reduce the sauce until it is as thick as you'd like it.
Serve with basmati rice and raita. (Recipes coming soon!)
**This can be made a day ahead and reheated. It can also be frozen easily--just leave out the potatoes. When you are ready to eat it, defrost it, boil the potatoes in water until almost tender, and then add them to the Rogan Josh while you are reheating it on the stove.