Chicken Rogan Josh Recipe

Chicken Rogan Josh Recipe
Rogan Josh is a traditional lamb dish from the Northern Indian state of Kashmir, located in the Himalayan region. It is a very rich & hearty curry well known for its use of bold aromatic spices. This dish has distinct Mughal (15th century invaders thought to be from Persia) influences. The name “Rogan Josh” itself is thought to be of Persian origin & is loosely translated to refer to the dish’s characteristic color & slow cooking.

The use of Kashmiri Degh Mirchi (Kashmiri Red Chilies) in the recipe imparts a deep lovely red color to the dish. These peppers are not very spicy but their color is intense; smoked Spanish paprika is a wonderful substitute. Kashmiri Red Chili powder is available in any Indian grocery stores & most specialty markets.

Rogan Josh can be rather heavy so I have decided to make it using chicken instead, but keeping all the authentic flavors intact. But do feel free to make this dish using lamb if you prefer, just note that the cooking times will vary accordingly.

CHICKEN ROGAN JOSH (Kashmiri Chicken)


1½ to 2 lbs of skinless chicken pieces (I used thighs & legs), bone-in pieces work best
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3-4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1½” piece of ginger, roughly chopped
2-3 small green Thai chilies, to taste
2 large tomatoes, finely diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
stick of cinnamon (1½ to 2” in length)
2 bay leaves
1 star anise
2-3 cloves
½ tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
3 green cardamom pods, gently crushed
1 tsp turmeric (haldi)
1 tsp ground cumin powder
2 tsp garam masala
½ tbsp ground coriander powder
1 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder (or substitute smoked Spanish paprika)
salt & pepper, to taste
½ cup thick yogurt
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp butter or ghee (clarified butter)
2-3 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


Using a blender or food processor, blend the onions along with the garlic, ginger & green chilies into a smooth paste adding a little water as needed to get the process started. Set aside until needed.

In a large wide heavy bottomed pot (a Dutch oven works great) on medium high heat, add about 2 tbsp of the oil along with the butter (or ghee). When hot, add the chicken pieces and start to brown them on all sides. This may need to be done in batches. Remove the chicken and set aside until needed. The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked through, it will finish cooking later in the curry.

Now to the same pan, add the whole spices (cinnamon stick, bay leaves, star anise, cloves, fennel seeds & cardamom pods). If needed, add the remaining tbsp of oil. Stir for a few minutes until fragrant and then add the onion paste. Let cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every so often until the onion mixture has nicely browned. Now add the spices (turmeric, ground cumin powder, garam masala, ground coriander powder, Kashmiri chili powder, salt & pepper). Stir well to combine & let the spices cook for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes along with the tomato paste. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients and let cook for 5 minutes. Now add the chicken pieces (and any juices) along with a cup or so of water. Stir to combine and bring to a gentle boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer, cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through & tender.

Lastly, remove the entire pot from the heat and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then stir & whisk in the yogurt. Finish the dish off with some freshly grated nutmeg & cilantro leaves for garnish. Serve hot with buttery naans & jeera pulao (cumin rice).

 photo Chicken Rogan Josh.jpg

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You Should Also Read:
Kashmiri Chicken Curry Recipe
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