Rogan Josh with Mint Chutney
In our never ending web-scouring for paleo insight and recipes, I recently came across a great new cookbook called Well Fed, Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat. It was written by Melissa Joulwan of The Clothes Make the Girl, and so far its been a fantastic resource for everything from how to stock your kitchen to prepping food for an entire week of delish meals (something I’d taken to doing before going primal), and of course-fabulous recipes. One thing I was really drawn to in this book was how her first section of recipes covers some basics for making various meats and then outlines a ton of easy ways to jazz them up into different meals just using a handful of ingredients. The rest of the recipes get more involved, with some standouts I can’t wait to try, like Scotch Eggs, Moroccan Meatballs, and Pad Thai (YES, noodle-free!). If I haven’t sold you yet, guess what? You can download a FREE 30-page sample of this book. So seriously, get on that!
Anyway, the first recipe Scott and I decided to try was the Rogan Josh. Its a spicy curried lamb stew from Kashmir, and despite the long list of spices it involves, the recipe is actually pretty simple. We served this over mashed cauliflower and topped with mint chutney (both of which she has recipes for in the book as well).
I’m not going to detail the cauliflower recipe as its something you can customize to your own preference and we didn’t end up using Melissa’s recipe. But basically you just steam a bunch of cauliflower (you can use fresh or frozen!), and puree it with a blender, slowly adding in the liquid and spices of your choice until you’ve reached the desired consistency and flavor. I used whole milk, fresh garlic, and a little salt and pepper. Now, onward to the meaty deliciousness!
First, make your chutney
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 fresh jalapeno
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp lime zest
- 1 TBSP lime juice
- 1/4 tsp dried ginger or 1 tsp minced fresh
- 1/4 tsp salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until everything’s minced up and mixed up nicely. Place into a jar with a lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
Rogan Josh Spice Blend
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 tsp powdered ginger
- 2 TBSP sweet paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tsp ground cumin
- 4 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 TBSP ground cayenne
For the meat, I would recommend visiting your local butcher. When we asked ours for stew meat, he whipped out a whole lamb leg and proceeded to de-bone and cut up the entire hunk of meat for us, which was awesome! I’d so much rather use freshly butchered meat than any “leftovers” sitting around in a refrigerator case wrapped in plastic. Another tip is to get your coconut milk at an Asian market if you live near one. Since we use coconut in so many things these days, it makes a lot more cents (HAD TO) to get a bunch of cans for a little over a dollar each at our Asian market, rather than the 3-4 dollar cans at the regular supermarket.
- 2 lbs lamb stew (stew meat, shoulder, or leg), cut into 1-inch cubes
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/4 cup water
In a small bowl, combine the spices and mix with a fork. In a large bowl, sprinkle the meat generously with salt and pepper, tossing with your hands to coat.
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat, then add the lamb, being careful not to crowd the pieces. Sear the meat for 5 minutes per side, then remove and place into a separate bowl and continue with the rest of your meat. Be a little patient with your lamb and really let the pieces get nice and browned on each side. You’ll know when its done because it will pick up easily out of the pot; if its stuck, let it sit!
When all your meat is browned and removed from the pot, add your onions in and cook until they begin to soften and show brown spots.
Then add the spice blend and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the coconut milk and water and mix well. Add the meat back in at this point, give it a stir, and raise the heat to high to bring to a boil. Then cover and reduce to a simmer, and cook for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, remove the lid and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken for about 2-3 minutes.
Serve over mashed cauliflower, or if you’re not anti-starch like we are, feel free to spoon this flavor gold-mine over some real potatoes or rice. Top with a dallop of mint chutney and enjoy!