Roughan (????) means “clarified butter” or “fat” in Persian while juš (???) (alternatively romanized josh), gives the figurative meaning of “intensity” or “passion” and ultimately derives from the verb jušidan (??????) meaning “to heat”. Rogan josh thus means cooked in oil at intense heat.
Rogan josh was brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, whose cuisine was in turn influenced by Persian cuisine.Traditional Kashmiri Rogan Josh has a thin sauce layered with a slick of oil on the top. The dish gets its color from a rare spice called Ratanjot and Kashmiri red chili powder. Rajanjot is not easily available so its better to use Kashmiri red chilli powder.
Rogan Josh has been adapted to be made in various ways around the country, but the traditional recipe is made in two ways. One rendition is without the use of onion or garlic. This is the way it used to be cooked by the Kashmirs Pandits.
The other version of Rogan Josh which I have attempted uses onion and garlic along with the same spices. Yogurt is added to add a slight tang and texture to the sauce. There are no tomatoes added to the traditional dish; not even to enhance color.
Amazingly prepared with paneer balls and an extensive use of spices, this vegetarian version of Rogan Josh is equally alluring. It has a fabulous aroma and is rich in taste and exotic in flavor.
Recipe for the Rogan Josh
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5-6 black peppercorns
2 black cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 piece mace
2 onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
1 Kashmir’s uniqueness lies not just in its beauty, but also in its food. Absolutely rich in taste and exotic in flavor, piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
Water, as needed
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tbsp. kashmiri red chili powder
2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
salt as per taste
Boiling water, as needed
Handful chopped fresh cilantro
Recipe for Paneer balls-
2 cups grated paneer
1 boiled potato
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
1/2 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
salt as per taste
Oil for deep frying.
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the black peppercorns, black and green cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, and mace, and fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spices are sizzling and fragrant. Add the chopped onion, and fry for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring regularly, or until golden brown. Add the garlic cloves and ginger. Stir in the ground coriander, cumin, red chili powder, fennel seeds, garam masala, yogurt, and salt, to taste. Cover the pan with a lid, and then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Now let it cool. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to the sauce stir well and blend the gravy in a food processor.
For the paneer balls.
Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients properly and make small balls of it. Keep it in the refrigerator for half an hour so that it becomes firm. Remove the paneer balls from the fridge and roll them in Maida and deep fry them. Keep it aside and add paneer balls in the gravy just before serving it.Stir in the chopped fresh cilantro just before serving.