Rogan Josh is an aromatic curried meat dish of Persian or Kashmiri origin which forms a part of the Wazwan ~ a meal consisting of 36 different courses. The dishes that make up those many courses can vary from family to family, but over many years, Rogan Josh has remained one of the permanent components of this 36 course meal. The dish is made with red meat, traditionally lamb. It’s primarily flavored by the alkanet flower or root and Kashmiri chilies.

Rogan Josh is thought to have originated in Iran (formerly Persia). Brought to Kashmir by Muslim Mughals who spent summers in Kashmir while escaping the heat in the India plains. The seasoning is the blend of spices used to flavor this dish. The flavor profile is derived from a combination of warm spices such as cardamom, ginger, paprika, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin and coriander.  It’s really easy to make and an amazing addition to your spice cabinet.  I have used this spice on lamb, beef and chicken.  AND even tossed it into basmati rice and stuffed into squash – amazing!  Using it for lamb is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri cuisine.  If you don’t have time to make it yourself, Penzy’s has a really good version.  A 1/2 cup jar is $8.95 and a 3/4 cup bag is $11.29.  You can order online :

Homemade Rogan Josh

  • 1 tsp cardamom, ground
  • 1 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 4 T paprika
  • 1-1/2 T chili powder
  • 1 -1/2 T cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 -1/2 T toasted coriander
  • !-1/3  T salt
  • 1-1/2  tsp cayenne

Mix ingredients and store in an airtight glass jar.  Will keep for up to one year.  Use with rice dishes, as a rub on meats, in sauces with lemon zest, fresh herbs and turmeric.