Mutton Rogan Josh (healthier option)

Traditionally Mutton Rogan Josh, a delicacy from Kashmir, is made by cooking lamb in clarified butter or ghee. Of Persian origin, rogan means oil and josh means passion, just as it does in Hindi. The intense red colour of the curry comes from a herb called ratan jot or alkanet. I don’t use it in my recipe, however. Also, I have used a mix of vegetable oil and ghee instead of just ghee, which I find too rich. I use mutton or goat meat instead of lamb. This is leaner, has more minerals and less cholesterol. I use whole fennel seeds instead of the powder as I love the taste better. I also use a pinch of turmeric, something I use for all meat dishes because of its antiseptic quality.

Ingredients

Mutton (goat meat) 1/2 kg

Onion 1 large, sliced

Ginger 1” piece

Garlic 5 cloves

Bay leaf 1

Garam masala 2 tsps

Red chilli powder 3 tsps

Fennel seeds 1 tbsp

Ginger powder 1 tbsp

Turmeric 1/4 tsp

Yoghurt 1/2 cup, whisked

Saffron a few strands

Vegetable oil 1 tbsp

Ghee 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves for garnish

Method

Add the oil and ghee to the pressure cooker and add the onions. Cook on low heat till the onions turn golden brown and caramelise. This will take 10-15 minutes. Do not hurry this process. Stir often.

Make a paste of the red chilli powder, fennel seeds and ginger powder with a little water.

Crush the ginger and garlic in a pestle to make a rough paste.

When the onions are done, increase the heat and add the ginger-garlic paste as well as the bay leaf. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add the mutton pieces and fry for a few minutes. Add the chilli paste and mix well. Add the turmeric powder.

Add the saffron to the whisked yoghurt and add to the mutton. Add salt and mix well.

Cook till the oil begins to leave the sides of the pressure cooker.

Add 1 tsp of garam masala powder. You can either make it yourself from the whole spices or buy it from any Indian store.

Add about 1/2 cup water and close the lid. Cook on high heat for six whistles. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Switch off the heat and let the steam release gradually.

Open the pressure cooker, add 1 tsp of garam masala and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

By now the mutton should be tender and almost falling off the bone. Test with a fork and if needed, cook a few minutes longer.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice or roti or naan.

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