The original Rogan Josh, from Kashmir in Northern India is cooked with ghee (clarified butter) and double cream. I’ve adapted my recipe to be lighter and healthier using
coconut oil and natural yogurt instead. Also, while it’s usually made with lamb, which can take a while to cook, I’ve used chicken so you can serve up a satisfying Indian style curry in record time. We all know the saying, variety is the spice of life? Well I say spices are the variety of life and it’s great to build your collection. Once you get confident in using them you can experiment and make your own curry signature dish. Also, there are some great companies out there who can supply spices ready mixed to make life easier. Spice Pots in East Lothian has a great selection if you fancy something a little bit special now and again.
4 boneless chicken thighs or two chicken breasts (organic or free range if possible) cut into 11⁄2 inch cubes
2 tbsp organic coconut oil
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground chilli
1 inch cube root ginger peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed (a hand-held garlic press is a great investment) 2 white onions peeled and roughly chopped
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
4 fl oz warm water
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 tsps garam masala
1 tsp full-fat butter
1 sliced birds-eye / Scotch bonnet chilli (optional)
Heat a wok or a frying pan on medium. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil along with the chicken and brown all over. Remove the browned chicken with a slotted spoon, keep aside and turn the heat down low under the pan. Add the other tbsp. of coconut oil along with the onions. Fry gently until they turn translucent but not brown. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder. Fry gently for another min making sure the spices don’t burn. Add the garlic and ginger and fry again for another min, then add the tomatoes, tomato puree, water, salt and chicken. At this stage if you want more ‘heat’ slice open a red or green birds-eye chilli keeping the seeds inside (or a Scotch bonnet if you really want to
go for it!) and add it to the pan to let it cook along with the liquid. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 15 mins letting the liquid thicken and evaporate. Once the chicken is cooked through add your yogurt and stir in. Finally in a separate saucepan gently heat the butter and fry the garam masala. Add some liquid from the main pan to the garam masala to combine it and pour it back into the main dish, stir to combine. Serve with brown rice or bulgar wheat.
Tip – if you plan to have a curry later in the week but don’t have time to prepare it all at once you can make your sauce in advance using everything but the chicken, yogurt and garam masala. When it comes to curry night simply fry your chicken in the coconut oil as instructed then when it’s browned add your homemade Rogan Josh sauce, yogurt and fried garam masala. Delicious!