Nov 30, 2016

Chicken Rogan Josh

Chicken Rogan Josh kashmiri recipe curry easy authentic indian

In Persian, Rogan means fat or ghee and Josh means intense or boiling. Rogan Josh made with mutton is a traditional dish of Kashmir and was introduced by the Persian speaking Mughals. This recipe uses chicken in place of mutton for a delicious red curry. Although lavishly spiced this dish is more aromatic in flavor than fiery hot. The chicken is seared until golden brown then braised until tender in the rich and velvety sauce. Perfect for a chilly Fall or Winter day served with rice and a few piquant chutneys.

Chicken Rogan Josh kashmiri recipe curry easy authentic indian

As is the traditional Kashmiri manner the chicken is first browned in salted ghee and oil then set aside. Browning the chicken in salted oil gives it a bit of a savory crust as well as leaving delicious drippings for making the sauce. The sauce is then made with layer upon layer of flavors. The Kashmiri mirch, fennel, dry ginger, cassia, cloves, black and green cardamoms are all authentic flavors of Kashmiri cuisine. Tempering the yogurt gives the sauce that velvety texture. Finally, the sauce and chicken are combined to slowly simmer to meld the flavors. The sauce is quite soupy as it is served with rice like most Kashmiri dishes. (If you'd prefer a thicker gravy then grind the onions to a smooth paste before frying.) Kashmiris probably wouldn't use the cassia leaves but I find their delicate fragrance enhances the flavors so I put them in. Enjoy!

1kg/2lbs chicken, skinless and cut into 8 pieces with bone in
2 TBS cooking oil
2 TBS ghee/clarified butter
3 onions, sliced thinly into half moons (or ground into paste for thick gravy)
2 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
2 TBS ginger/adrak paste
2 cassia leaves/tej patta (optional)
2 inch piece of cassia bark/dalchini (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
2 C water or stock
1 TBS dried mint (optional for garnish)
Grind for masala:
3 black cardamoms/kali elaichi
5 green cardamoms/elaichi,
6 cloves/laung
10 black peppercorns/kali mirch
2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
2 tsp coriander seeds/dhania
Mix until smooth for sauce:
1 cup full fat yogurt/dahi
1/2 tsp flour/maida (this will keep the yogurt from splitting)
1 TBS Kashmiri mirch (or 1&1/2 tsp paprika plus 1&1/2 tsp cayenne)
2 tsp ground fennel/saunf
1 tsp dry ginger/soonth
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi

Here's what to do:
1) Heat cooking oil or ghee with 1 teaspoonful salt in kadhai or deep heavy bottomed skillet for 7 minutes. While oil is heating mix yogurt together with spices and flour as listed for sauce until smooth and set aside. Grind spices listed for masala and set aside.

2) Fry chicken pieces in hot oil and ghee for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Set fried chicken pieces aside on a plate.

3) In same pan fry sliced (or ground) onions until beginning to brown. Add garlic paste, ginger paste, cassia leaves, cassia bark and spices ground for masala. Fry for about 2 minutes or until raw smell is gone from garlic.

4)  Remove pan from heat and add yogurt mixed with flour and spices to fried onion mixture. Stir well and return pan to heat. Bring mixture to a simmer. (This tempers the yogurt to give it a smooth texture.) Allow mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. If mixture begins to scorch or stick reduce heat, add 1/4 cup water and stir well.


5) After 5 minutes return the fried chicken pieces to the pan with the onion, yogurt, and spice mixture. Stir well. Add 2 cups water or stock to the spice and chicken mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover pan and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through and oil separates from the sauce. Salt to taste and garnish with dried mint if desired.

Helpful Hints:
I do find that sometimes chicken can get a bit dry when cooked this way. To prevent that I usually soak the skinless chicken in a brine solution of 3 tablespoons salt to one liter/four cups water for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. Before fryimg rinse the chicken pieces well  and dispose of the brine solution. This really makes for tender, juicy chicken!


  1. The British curry house staple! I'm surprised yours doesn't have tomatoes in it, the Bangla version must be completely different. xxx

    1. Hi Vix,
      This is how the Kashmiris do their traditional Rogan Josh- No Tomatoes!
      Punjabis do a great version of Rogan Josh too, they use tomatoes though. I've noticed good quality Kashmiri mirch is hard to find- tomatoes would give that brilliant red color you get with real Kashmiri mirch.

  2. The colour in this dish is spectacular, and I can practically smell it cooking!

    1. Hi Goody,
      Thank you! It's that Kashmiri mirch! That's what gives that rich red hue (and rich flavor) to Kashmiri dishes.

  3. Fantastically colorful delicious dish. Those leg pieces look formidable.

    I have heard the word Rogan used with Raang (colour) in Hindi. Both the words put together "Raang Rogan" means white wash of walls and polish of the woodwork.


  4. Hi Apple,
    Thank you!
    We do have some formidably large and healthy chickens here in Nepal.

    My understanding is that rogan means to varnish or lacquer in Hindi, it might come from Persian/Urdu as oils/fats are used to polish woods and as a base in paints.

  5. To The List, now I'm adding an expedition to the Yoders' farm on Goose Lane to purchase some fine Amish chickens worthy of this dish. (Hopefully, the kindern will have been persuaded/paid to do the plucking...)

    1. Hi Beth,
      Hope you enjoy the recipe! They don't have a plucking machine? Oh wait, they're Amish. Never mind.
      No need to pluck chickens for Indian dishes as only skinless chicken is used!

  6. This looks so tasty, really great pictures! I will definitely try this out and probably put this on my favourite list, thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Travelwithbird,
      Thank you for stopping by, hope you enjoy the recipe!

  7. I'm pretty certain that I could smell this cooking as I was reading the recipe!! Yum. Grind the onions to make a thicker gravy. Oh my word. I have gone most of my life without knowing that! Thank you, Bibi.

    1. Hi Connie,
      Thank you for stopping by! I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I've been following your blog for quite a while but every time I've tried to post a comment the internet goes kaput.

      Grinding the onions to make thick gravies is a Punjabi technique I learned. It really works but it does take a bit longer to brown the onions when they're ground.


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