Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rogan josh recipe

I've decided that I want to make lots of Indian food, however I only have the time and space to do this on the weekend, so I think that for a little while Saturdays and Sundays will be reserved for Indian food.  Given that, I'm going to blog the rogan josh recipe I did last Saturday.

Beef rogan josh, from a Madhur Jaffery book, adapted by me.  Serves 2.

2 inch piece of root ginger
7 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive/groundnut/rapeseed oil (we use rapeseed oil)
10 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves (or more if your bay leaves are really old as they'll have lost their flavour)
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick.
Half a pound of stewing beef
2 or 3 onions, depending on how much you like onions
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander (or use about a tablespoon of whole coriander seeds, but crush them in a pestle and mortar)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1.5 tablespoons paprika - NOT the smoked variety, because that is rank
2 teaspoons of tomato puree (or a good dollop squeezed from the tube)
300ml water
The recipe also calls for a bit of salt for seasoning, but I never add salt to my meals.  You may want to.

If you don't like your food too spicy reduce the amount of cayenne pepper and paprika.

Method and commentary on how I cook it.
1. The recipe directs you to bland the garlic and ginger in a food processor, with 4 tablespoons of water, to get a smooth paste.  I can never be arsed doing this as it seems like a hassle to get out the blender and then it's another thing for my boyfriend to wash up.  So I just chop the ginger and garlic up into small pieces.  You could also crush the garlic, but if you do that, don't do it just yet.  If your ginger is all woody, throw it out and use some better, fresher ginger.
2. Put the oil into a non stick pan and turn the heat up medium high.  The recipe says you need 6 tablespoons of oil to create a proper sauce, and recommends spooning the excess of the top of the sauce once cooked.  I refuse to use that much oil so I use just one tablespoon to start and would add more if needed once I got to the meaty bit.
3. When the oil is hot put in the cardamom pods, bay leaves and cinnamon stick.  If you've cinnamon piece came from a longer stick and you've broken it off and it's now in lots of pieces, that's fine, don;t worry about it.
4. Put in the meat.  If you've got a decent sized pan it should all go in in one layer.  If you are using a small pan put the meat in one layer at a time.  On a medium heat, brown the meat on all sides and remove onto a plate to sit until later on in the recipe.  If you have more meat to cook do the same with the rest of it.
5. Add the onions to the oil left in the pan.  Fry over a medium heat until the onions have softened.  Stir occasionally while this happens to stop it sticking.
6. Add the chopped ginger and garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
7. Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne and paprika. Stir so it doesn't all dry up and add the tomato puree.
8. Add the meat along with any oil and spices on the plate with it, and the water.  Add salt if you hate your heart.  Stir everything.
9. Bring this to the boil, then turn the heat down, put the lid on and simmer it for one and a half hours, or two, if you think the meat needs to be more tender.

I eat this with vegetable pilau rice and dahl and it's lovely.  This turned out hotter than I remembered so we also had yogurt with it.  Be careful of all the whole spices in it though, especially the flakes of cinnamon stick.

It takes a long time, but it's simple and well worth the effort.  It's a good one to make if you are having a bad day, as it's not delicate or fiddly and it can be left if you need to have a sit down and a cry.

I want to try making samosas this weekend, which I think I'll serve with this dahl, sag aloo and probably some spiced up rice.

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