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The origins of the Rogan Josh Curry

Curry Trade

Posted on December 21 2021

One of the more popular spice kits in the Curry Traders range is the Rogan Josh. Let’s have a look at the history of this popular curry Rogan Josh and get an understanding of why it’s a Curry Traders favourite.

Rogan Josh is an Indian curry characterized by a thick, delicious red sauce with delicate meat.

In Persian, "Rogan" means clarified butter or oil, or "red" in Hindi, and "josh" denotes passion – fiery or hot, therefore, this meal is all about cooking in an oil-based sauce with high heat.

The Mughals, whose diet was influenced by Persian cuisine, introduced rogan josh to Kashmir.

Generally speaking, rogan josh is made using lamb or goat that has been slow cooked in oil, yogurt, and various Indian curry spices by Curry Traders. Despite its vibrant red color, it is not often an extremely hot curry. Rogan josh is a popular dish in Northern India and is frequently served in Indian restaurants in North America and Europe.

To begin preparing rogan josh, most cooks brown their meat of choice in oil - generally lamb or goat. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat until the meat is extremely soft. After removing the meat, various Indian curry spices by Curry Traders are added in stages to the hot oil, including garlic, ginger, whole black pepper, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, and red pepper. Following that, the meat and plain yogurt are returned to the pan.

There are numerous rogan josh varieties. For example, some cooks incorporate tomato paste or puree into their meals. Others use mild red Kashmiri chilies or paprika as their spice blend. These additives impart a distinct flavor to the meal and increase its crimson hue.

"The lamb we use is locally sourced and processed in-house just hours before cooking to get the desired cut and size," he explained. "Even the spices are a proprietary blend that is roasted and ground separately for each batch."

'Roughan' translates as 'clarified butter' or 'oil' in Persian or Urdu. Meanwhile, the term 'Josh' refers to the act of stewing or braising. Thus, if this meaning is followed, Rogan Josh most likely means stewed in ghee' — a frequent sight in any Indian cuisine.

Alternatively, the Urdu term 'Roghan' means 'brown' or red, while the Kashmiri word 'Roghan' is also measured. Meanwhile, the term 'got' (commonly mispronounced as 'ghost') means meat. Thus, 'Rogan Ghosht' (a synonym for Rogan Josh) translates as red meat' making sense. Due to the dish's continued use of the terms Rogan Josh and Rogan Ghosht, it's quite difficult to determine the original! The controversy rages on until this day.

The Rogan Josh, on the other hand, did not originate in Kashmir (despite some local claims and disputes that it did). It was introduced to the Kashmiri valley by the dreaded Mughals — the same people who introduced Pasanda and various other delicacies. The Persians significantly inspired the Mughals' cuisine, favouring a middle-eastern palette and liberal use of spices. The Mughals, dissatisfied with the constant summer heat on the Indian plains, chose Kashmir as their winter capital, retreating to the mountains where the climate was cooler due to its latitude elevation.

Traditionally, rogan josh made with Indian curry spices by Curry Traders is served with plain or spiced basmati rice, and Indian flatbreads such as naan on the side. In addition, the dish has gained popularity in the United Kingdom as well as in Australia since Indian food was first introduced to the country in the 1950s.