Sunday, March 11, 2012

rogan josh

By now I'm sure you're all well aware of my fondness for all things curry. Mmmm, curry! Curry is not exactly a popular thing in Vermont, at least not in the part I live in. Every town around here has two or three pizza joints, and probably every town (on average, at least) has an Americanized-Chinese restaurant, but any other kind of ethnic food is pretty under-represented. We do have two Indian restaurants "near by" - meaning 30+ minutes' drive away - which means we never go to them.

Instead, I've learned to make my own curry and it's been a rewarding adventure. My first stab at curry was a couple years ago when my (then newly installed) UK-born husband started jonesing for the unofficial UK national dish, Chicken Tikka Masala. I'd never made anything so exotic as curry before, and I was a little nervous as I researched recipes and went shopping for ingredients. However, never one to back down from a cooking challenge, I gave it a go. It turned out yummy, and my husband's high praise gave me the confidence to try other types of curries. I've even converted my "what's in it, is it weird, what does it taste like, I don't know about this" parents into curry fans.

When I got "Well Fed", a Paleo-diet cookbook by Melissa Joulwan, I wasn't sure what to expect - especially after a couple of other sort of disappointing Primal- and Paleo-compliant cookbooks I'd recently bought. "Well Fed" was a pleasant surprise, full of  awesome photos, yummy-sounding recipes, and just the general way the book was put together. One of the recipes that really caught my eye was one for Rogan Josh, which I'd been recently thinking about trying to make. Huzzah! Happy coincidence! I bookmarked the recipe and, a couple weeks later, decided to give it a go.

Obviously I can't type the whole recipe out for you here because that's not cool (buy the book! Seriously! Worth the money!), but I can tell you that the meat is browned on its own (the recipe calls for lamb, but I used beef), and then has a nice long simmer with plenty of onions in a sauce made of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, and some other spices, along with coconut milk. The resultant texture is silky and lush. We had it spooned over some steamed cauliflower for dinner, and then we ate bowls of it like stew the next day for lunch. It's one of those dishes that improves with an overnight sit in the fridge, too. I'll definitely be adding this to my list of curry can-do's!