This dish is a winning combination for fans of eggplant, lamb, and aromatic Persian flavors!
Lamb and eggplant are two things I really enjoy but don’t eat very often. Firstly, because not everyone loves lamb and secondly, not everyone loves eggplant. Which is a pity, since together these two ingredients deliver a complex, robust and earthy flavor combination that’s truly satisfying.
This dish is based on a popular Kashmiri dish, called Rogan Josh. Traditionally made with lamb, yogurt, garlic, ginger and aromatic spices, this exotic lamb curry originally came to Kashmir from Iran (once referred to as “Persia”) and is actually milder than other Indian curries – so if you’re not too keen on spicy dishes, this is a great option!
As a result of the slow-cooking, lamb lovers will appreciate the tenderness of the meat — “slow” as in one hour, making preparing a delicious meal like this on a weeknight still achievable. As always, to ensure the lamb is most flavorful and tender, be sure to buy it from a reputable butcher who you trust.
This simplified version of Rogan Josh features eggplant, tomatoes, creamy yogurt, a store-bought prepared sauce for flavor, and fresh citrusy lime to brighten up an otherwise hearty dish. For an even richer sauce, coconut cream can easily takes the place of yogurt.
For this recipe in place of the curry sauce you can also use rogan josh curry paste — just use 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon tomato purée. The result is less saucy, but just as tasty.
I like to serve this with wholegrain basmati rice. It’s remarkably simple to prepare — and perfect every time! All you need to do is put the rice in a pot of water (it’s cooked in lots of water just like potatoes), stir, then cover and turn the heat to low and simmer it for 25 minutes, then drain in a colander and allow it to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Voila! Couldn’t be easier!
This dish takes a little more than an hour to prepare, so plan accordingly.
Mild and Tangy Lamb Curry (Rogan Josh)
4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 medium eggplant (about 350-400 g), cubed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
340 g jar rogan josh curry sauce (from Sanchon available at Alnatura — otherwise Pataks also sells a medium spicy version, available at Asian food markets or the Asian section at your supermarket)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
600 g lean boneless lamb, cubed
1 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (400 g) (alternatively use 1 x 400 ml can coconut cream)
100 g cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped or cut into quarters (about 12-15 cherry tomatoes depending on size)
juice of 1 lime
1–2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
2 carrots, shredded
1 small bunch fresh coriander chopped
steamed basmati rice, for serving
lime wedges, for serving
1. In a wok or large saucepan pan, heat 3 tablespoons coconut oil over medium heat, add the onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the eggplant and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until starts to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add more oil if necessary. Transfer to a large plate or bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper.
2. Reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining coconut oil, then stir in the curry sauce, garlic and ginger. Add the lamb and stir until coated with the spice mix. Season with salt and add the yogurt (or coconut cream, if using instead).
3. Increase the heat to medium. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to bubble. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, covered, for about 25 minutes, stirring now and again.
4. Return the eggplant and onion to the pan, add the tomatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and sugar. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste, if needed. Add the grated carrots. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve with the steamed rice and lime wedges. Enjoy!