Some time ago I found a portion of a lamb leg on sale at the grocer, and since lamb is so expensive around here I couldn’t help but pounce on the opportunity. That is, until I got home and thought, “now what?” I consulted Twitter, asked friends, tweeted Jamie Oliver, and finally settled on this recipe. Am I ever glad I did. Meltingly tender, spicy deliciousness filled the staff room the other day as I finished some for lunch, and every person who entered eyed my plate hopefully. This is, by far, one of the best curries I’ve ever tasted.
Lamb Rogan Josh
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Photo copyright Karen Humphrey, used with permission
1 ¾ lb lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 fresh red chile, seeded and minced
Inch long piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Small bunch of cilantro, stalks chopped and leaves picked off and reserved
1 tbsp butter
4 bay leaves
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
14 oz diced tomatoes
3 ½ cups chicken broth (optional, you can use water)
½ cup rogan josh paste
2 handfuls of red lentils
Garnish: plain greek yogurt
Using a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add about a tbsp or two of olive oil. Saute your onion, ginger, cilantro stalks, and red chile until the onions are translucent and softened. Add the lamb, stirring. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook and stir until they are just browned, then add the balsamic vinegar. Cook 2 more minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock (or water), lentils, and curry paste. Stir. Bring to a boil and then turn down to about medium low and put a lid on it, leaving it a bit askew so some steam can escape. Simmer for an hour, stopping by to stir and check on it now and then. By then the meat should be tender and you can add a little more salt and pepper if you think it’s required. Remember, the flavor will develop even more over time so if you think it’s not so spicy right away, the next day it will be a little more so.
Serve with a dollop of yogurt on top if you wish. We loved it just the way it is, over steamed rice with a little naan bread.