Lamb Rogan Josh with Chapatis

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Spicy, rich and filling, this Lamb Rogan Josh is the perfect winter warmer and brings that genuine curry house fragrance and flavour to the home kitchen. A curry of Persian/Kashmiri origin, it’s debated whether it traditionally would have included tomatoes. For us they bring a lovely thickness to the dish and balance out the generous chilli heat. It’s a sauce suited best to the spice heads but you can reduce the amount of chillies to your own taste, or alternatively increase the amount of yoghurt you use. Serve some extra yoghurt on the side in case it all gets too much! Even without the chillies, it’s a deliciously strong dish with the pepper and red onion base bringing plenty of tang to the other spices. Served with easy to make chapatis on the size, it’s best eaten messy with plenty of hand involvement and a beer on the side.

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For the curry:
Lamb shoulder (around 1kg - chopped into cubes)
2 Red peppers
5 Fresh chillies (chopped and deseeded)
5cm Fresh ginger (grated or finely chopped)
Natural yoghurt (1 cup)
6 Garlic cloves (crushed or finely chopped)
Chopped tomatoes (400g)
Turmeric powder (1 tsp)
Pepper (1 tsp)
Coriander powder (2 tbsp)
Paprika powder (2 tsp)
Cumin powder (1 tsp)
Salt (1 tsp)
1 Cinnamon stick
4 Bay leaves
Cardamom pods (1 tbsp)
6 Dried red chillies (finely chopped)
Fresh coriander (to serve)
Vegetable oil (2 tbsp)

For the Chapatis:
Whole weat flour (400g)
Warm water (1 cup)
Vegetable oil (4 tbsp)
Melted butter


1. Place the yoghurt with the ginger, garlic, turmeric powder in a bowl and add the lamb, mixing to make sure all the lamb is coated well. Leave this in the fridge to marinate, ideally overnight.

2. Chop the onions, peppers and 4 of the fresh chillies and then blend together to form a liquid paste.

3. Lightly toast the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick in a dry pan over a medium heat and then grind them up in a pestle and mortar along with the dried chillies. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan on a medium heat and then add the veg mixture as well as the remaining powdered spices and the spices from the pestle & mortar. Finally, add a dash of salt.

5. Cook this on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes before adding the tomatoes, lamb, bay leaves and a glass of water. Stir well and then transfer to an oven proof dish (unless you can use your pan) and cover. Don't worry if it seems very liquidy at this point, it will thicken up in the oven.

6. Place in the oven and cook for around 2 hours or until the lamb is tender.

7. When you have about half an hour left you'll need to cook your chapatis. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and mix in half the vegetable oil.

8. Add the warm water, a little bit at a time, and keep mixing as the mix begins to form a dough. You want your dough to be wet enough to roll into balls and hold it's shape but not too sticky. Add more water if it's breaking up and more flour if it's sticking to your hands or the bowl too much.

9. Sprinkle some flour on a large area of worktop and knead the dough into a large ball before leaving to rest for around 15 minutes.

10. Use a rolling pin (or a wine bottle if you don't have one) to smooth the dough out into a thin circle. Sprinkle the remaining vegetable oil over it before rolling into a sausage shape and then cutting into small balls, around 5cm in diameter.

11. Heat a pan on a medium heat and then take the first piece of dough and roll it out into a circle as thin as possible.

12. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan and place in the dough. Cook for 3 minutes until it begins to turn brown and is solid enough to flip, then turn and cook for another 2 minutes. You want your chapati's to begin to form slightly charred bubbles without becoming too stiff.

13. As soon as you take it out of the pan, brush each chapati on both sides with melted butter and then stack them on a plate, with a sheet of tin foil between each one, and keep warm in the oven as you cook the others.

14. Serve the curry with rice, garnish with the final chopped chilli and a generous sprinkling of fresh coriander and place the chapatis on the side to complete the spread.