Thrilled to say this is our first guest post.  Erica came to Chez Us when we were hosting a father’s day gift away.  She won the lovely Eat Boutique gift box, and was more than excited about winning.  Over the course of a couple days I received an email from Erica, asking us if we were hiring.  I was honored that she enjoyed Chez Us enough to want to work together.  Since we are small, and we are not hiring (just two eaters) I asked her to do a guest post for us.  I did not know much about Erica, except that she is leaving for Italy in the fall to study and that she loves to cook and eat.  I thought she would pull out an Italian recipe; but, was pleasantly surprised when she brought us to India.

Come along for the journey while Erica teaches us her dad’s favorite lamb curry dish as well as homemade naan.  I know, we cannot wait to dive into this recipe.

(interested in doing a future guest post for Chez Us – reach out to us)

*****

I’m just mad about Saffron

Anything I have made from my Grandma’s recipes has been Italian food. From meatballs to lasagna, it’s all there. But the other day, I asked my dad what his favorite meal was growing up as a kid. To my surprise he said, “As great as our famous family lasagna is, I would have to say my favorite meal is Rogan Josh”. Now, having eaten Indian food once in my whole entire life I obviously had no idea what he was talking about, so I searched through the colossal mound of family recipes in the kitchen and pulled it out. Rogan Josh is a north Indian lamb curry. Later that week, my dad and I went food shopping (he has a tendency to “hover” when it involves cooking). After five calls to Grandma while on our shopping trip, we finally came home with a bag of spices and about 3lbs. of lamb.

Not going to lie–I was quite skeptical at this point, but as an aspiring chef I jumped right into measuring out my turmeric, coriander, cumin and the rest of my arsenal of spices.  My dad and I also had to Google ‘Saffron’ so we could uncover the mystery as to why we had to take out a small loan to use it in our dish (just kidding, but that stuff can set you back). So together we chopped the onions, minced garlic, and cubed up some lamb shank. If making a dish for the first time wasn’t enough my dad suggested we make our own naan bread. I mean we didn’t get and bread for dunking at the store and in my opinion sopping up sauce with bread is the best part of the meal.

I never thought of Indian food as comfort food, because in my family it’s all about who can make the best marinara and Bolognese. But I have to admit this dish blew me away. There were so many flavors that I have never tasted before! I had a fabulous time recreating my father’s childhood favorite and I hope everyone out here in food-blog land will take a leap and try this meal. I can’t wait to have the leftovers tomorrow for lunch!

Disclaimer:  All photos styled and shot by Erica Gelb

 

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Rogan Josh

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbpsn olive oil
  • 1 white onion thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbspn grated ginger
  • 2 Tbspn ground coriander
  • 1 Tbspn poppy seed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground clove
  • pinch of mace
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of saffron
  • 2 lbs leg of lamb cubed
  • 1 can peeled San Marzano tomatoes drained and chopped
  • ½ cup yogurt plain and unflavored (plus 1 cup for serving)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • flat leaf parsley fresh

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil and brown the onions.
  2. When onions are browned add garlic, ginger, coriander, poppy seed, cumin, turmeric, paprika, ground cardamom, cayenne pepper, ground clove, mace, nutmeg and saffron allow spices to “fry” for 3 minutes.
  3. Then add lamb and “fry” for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in ½ cup yogurt until just combined. Then add salt, tomatoes and water.
  5. Cover mixture and let simmer for 1½ - 2 hours until meat is tender and sauce thickens (if sauce doesn’t thicken to your liking add a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour and stir).
  6. Serve with yogurt and fresh flat leaf parsley over couscous or rice.