Ingredient SpotLight

If the only time you ever see lamb on the menu is during springtime celebrations and it's served with mint jelly, you have been missing out on a great addition to your meal plans. Lamb provides an excellent source of iron, protein, zinc, niacin and the B vitamins. A 3-ounce serving of lean lamb averages 176 calories, only about 36% of the fat is saturated. The rest is mono or polyunsaturated. The same 3-ounce serving also contains just 76 milligrams of cholesterol.

But, more important than its nutrient-dense nature, lamb is a versatile ingredient. It lends itself to broiling, roasting, braising, barbecuing, stir-frying, sautéing or stewing. However, lamb is best when served rare to medium. Overcooking lamb, a common mistake, can diminish its flavor and texture.

Of course, for every statement like that, there is at least one dish to counter that point! So, before anyone rushes to point it out, I am going to share such a recipe myself! Below is my favorite recipe for Rogan Josh or Lamb Curry. It's an Indian dish and while I am sure that there are more traditional recipes out there, I like this one because it is easy to make and can even be finished in a slow cooker if you want to ignore it for a while or a pressure cooker if you want to speed up the cooking time. Feel free to use either if you want to enjoy it during a busy work week!

Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh (Lamb Curry)
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 T. tomato purée
  • 4 T. vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 ¼ lb. lamb, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 8-10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed with the back of a spoon
  • 10 oz. beer

In a food processor, blend together the garlic, onion, ginger, all of the ground spices, salt and tomato purée.

Heat the oil or ghee in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole and add the lamb pieces and cardamom pods. Quickly fry until the lamb is browned all over. This may need to be done in 2 batches, depending on the size of your pan. Stir in the spicy paste and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the beer and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for about 1-1¼ hours, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the lamb is tender. Let the dish rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve over hot cooked rice and sprinkled with chopped cilantro.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes