Rogan Josh has Persian origins, Kashmiri roots, and many adaptations (let’s just say, many chefs have their own variations of this dish), but at the core of it all is the tradition of cooking in Dum(The ancient method of pressure cooking) to cook this dish.
Whenever I serve this dish to a non-Kashmiri friend, they’re usually surprised (Jaw dropping surprise) to know that I’ve not used any onion based spice paste in this dish.
Other notes: Use a heavy-bottomed pressure Cooker for pressure cooking (5- 7 Liters size)
Rogan Josh in Kashmiri cuisine is a two-stage process. Shallow Frying Meat with Spices and Final Cooking in Dum.
Frying is an important step of the entire process, and perhaps the longest step. It will test your patience and the results here will determine the end dish. As the meat is shallow frying, add salt (about 3/4 teaspoon), 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (The rest of 3/4 teaspoon is for later), and ½ teaspoon Hing (Asafetida). The salt helps draw out the moisture from the meat and seasons it and the Hing adds additional flavor. Keep the flame medium, the frying process will lead to a lot of moisture getting drawn out of the meat and will seem to fill up the pressure cooker, you’ll have to ensure that all this moisture evaporates and the meat starts to get brown and ooze oil.
When the meat has browned (look at the pic above), looks seared, the moisture has evaporated, oil is visible on the meat, bring the flame to low and:
Turn on the heat again and on Gentle heat roast these spices with the meat. (Tip- The heat must be low to gently bring up the temperature of the spice Mix. Do not roast for more than a minute or two and never on high heat). Ensure that all meat gets evenly coated with the spices.
Turn up the heat for 2-3 minutes and allow the spice mix to roast again and the moisture to evaporate. Turn down the heat and allow the spice mix to turn vibrant red. (Tip- The point where this roasted spice mix oozes oil and has turned a deep red is the perfect way of proceeding).
Add Water to the cooker and make sure that the level of water is never more than the level of meat (in short, down drown the meat in buckets of water)
Bring the contents of the pressure cooker to boil. Put the lid on the pressure cooker, bring up the heat of the stove to high and cook until you have 3 steam whistles. Reduce the flame and Cook for another whistle on this low/ medium flame. DO NOT undercook Mutton/ Lamb, as it’ll be chewy. Turn off the heat and allow the cooker to cool gradually. Once the pressure cooker has cooled down, open the lid, gently bring the dish to boil again and add the rest of the Garam Masala.
This dish is best eaten with steamed rice or tehr (Turmeric and mustard oil flavored Rice) and Dahi/yogurt.
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