Lamb Rogan Josh with Turmeric Rice and Cucumber Raita

One of my all time favourite Indian curries, fragrant and spicy, Rogan Josh is always best slow cooked so that all the spices can infuse and the flavours can intensify.  You can do this one in a slow cooker for approximately 6 hours but I tend to use stove top for about 2-3 hours.  Want a little WOW factor?  The addition of a little turmeric to the steamed rice and an individual bowl of raita will certainly create one!

Prep time:  30 minutes                     Cooking time:  21/2-3 hours                      $$ Medium Budget

Serves 4

800gm diced lamb shoulder

2 tsp of ground cardamom

2 tsp of ground cumin

2 tsp of ground coriander

20gm of butter

2 tbs of vegetable oil

2 brown onions peeled, halved and thinly sliced

5cm piece of ginger, grated

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 heaped tsp of sweet paprika

1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper

1/2 cup of beef stock

400gm tin of diced tomatoes

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 bay leaves

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup of greek yoghurt

1 cup of coriander leaves

Extra coriander leaves for garnish

For the Rice:

2 cups of Basmati rice

3 cups of water

A good pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp of Turmeric

For the Raita:

1 lebanese cucumber, halved and deseeded and very finely diced

1 cup of greek natural yoghurt

A squeeze of lemon

1 tbs of finely chopped mint

Sea salt and cracked pepper

1 tsp of cumin seeds

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Flatbreads or pappadums to serve

In a large bowl combine the lamb, cardamom, cumin and coriander  with 1 tbs of olive oil and toss well to coat.

Heat a large, heavy based saucepan or casserole and add the butter and oil.  When melted add the lamb and cook in batches until brown and caramelised.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan (add a little more oil if necessary) lightly fry the onion until soft.  Add the ginger and garlic and fry until aromatic before adding the paprika and cayenne pepper.  Pop the lamb back in the pot  and add the stock, tomatoes, lemon juice, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks.   Add the yoghurt, 1 tablespoon at a time, stir well to combine and allow the mixture to come to a simmer before placing a lid on, reducing the heat and cooking for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  The mixture may look a little grainy but that will disappear as the yoghurt continues to cook.

While the lamb is cooking (after about 11/2 hours) place the rice, water, turmeric and salt in saucepan and stir to combine.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and pop a lid on.  Allow it to simmer for 12 minutes (don’t lift the lid!).  After 12 minutes turn the heat off and allow the rice to stand for approximately 7 minutes (don’t lift the lid!).  Now you can lift the lid and fluff the rice with a fork…….it should be perfect!

To make the raita, combine the cucumber, yoghurt, lemon juice, mint and salt & pepper in a small bowl.  Mix well and spoon (if you so desire) into small ramekins.  Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with cumin seeds.

Add the coriander leaves to the Rogan Josh and stir until wilted.  Spoon the rice into a lightly greased ramekin and invert onto 4 plates.  Spoon the curry around the rice and serve with the raita and flatbreads.  Sprinkle with the remaining coriander leaves.