The Kashmiri kitchen is celebrated, nuanced and moreover an exotic melange of spices. Traditions, flavours and memories go into the making of an exotic Kashmiri spread. The aromatic flavour of the variety of dishes, particularly seasoned with saffron, has become an integral part of Kashmiri cuisine, making it more enticing among gastronomic enthusiasts.
Mutton rogan josh, an authentic recipe straight from the Kashmiri kitchen, is distinguished by its thick, flavourful red sauce and tender meat. There are two different versions of this dish. Kashmiri Muslims prepare it with onion and garlic while the Pandits use only yogurt to make it.
→ On a muslin cloth put 1 bay leaf, 2-3 whole green cardamoms, 1 petal of mace, 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1-inch cinnamon stick; bundle it and keep aside
→ In a small bowl add 1 tsp asafoetida, 1/2 tsp dry ginger powder, 1 tbsp fennel seeds powder, 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder, 1/2 tsp red chili powder along with 3 tbsp of water. mix it well and keep the paste aside
→ Take a heavy bottom pan and pour 4 tbsp ghee and heat it on medium to high flame. Then put 2 pieces black cardamom into it and roast it for 1-2 minutes
→ Now add 1/2kg mutton, chopped in pieces, in the ghee and fry it*
→ When the outer coating is caramelised add the watery spice mix to it. Cook it for a minute or two
→ Now add 1/2 tsp saffron, salt to taste and pour 2 cups of water in it
→ Put the whole spice bundle into it. Cover and cook it on high flame for 5 minutes and let the mutton simmer. After 5 minutes turn the flame to low and let the mutton cook with spices for 40 minutes on low heat
→ After 45 minutes open the lid. you will find the gravy has turned into rogan (red), thick and oily. Now add 1 tsp garam masala powder along with 2 tbsp of whisked curd
→ Mix it well and again cook it while it’s covered for another 30 minutes on low flame. After 30 minutes open the lid and remove the spice bundle from the gravy
→ Serve hot with rice or naan
* The coating of the meat should be brown. Stir and turn the pieces to cook it evenly.
This dish gets its fiery red hue from powdered kashmiri chili peppers which have more colour than heat. Kashmiri pandits also use ratan jot or alkanet root to attain the signature red colour