bowl with rice topped with indian lamb stew with an herb garnish; white and blue striped cloth under bowl; cinnamon stick and fresh green herb in background

Lamb Rogan Josh

Contributor: Emily Paster

Lamb Rogan Josh is a fragrant lamb curry, known for its red hue. It originally hails from northern India, specifically the region of Kashmir.

  • Author: Emily Paster
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Marinade Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Indian


Units Scale
  • 1 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 2 lbs. lamb stew meat OR boneless lamb shoulder or leg cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. ghee or neutral vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Basmati rice, for serving


  1. To marinate the lamb, combine the yogurt, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place the lamb in a glass or ceramic baking dish and add the yogurt mixture. Toss the pieces of lamb until they are coated in the marinade. Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
  2. To make the stew, melt the ghee or vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-heat. When the fat is hot, about 2 minutes, add the onions and stir to combine. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Sauté the onion until golden brown and softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. While the onions are browning, whisk together the paprika, cumin, coriander, cloves, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper to make a spice mix. Once the onions are browned and softened, add the spice mix and sauté an additional minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the lamb with the marinade to the onion mixture and stir to combine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and stir them into the stew. Brown the lamb on both sides and simmer until the marinade has thickened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and stir to combine. (The liquid should mostly cover the meat. If it does not, add a splash of water.)
  6. Raise the heat to high and bring the stew to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low or low, partially cover the pot, and simmer the stew until the lamb is fork-tender, about 1 hour. If the stew begins to look dry, add water as necessary.
  7. When the lamb is tender, add the garam masala and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if necessary. Discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.*
  8. Garnish the stew with the chopped cilantro and serve over steamed rice.


*Lamb may be prepared up to one day in advance. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until needed. Reheat on the stove, adding water if the stew is too thick.