Easy Chicken Rogan Josh Curry Recipe
Homemade chicken rogan josh, a Kashmiri curry that’s rich, creamy and ready to eat in just 40 minutes. Make this Indian restaurant classic at home and serve with rice or chapati for the best meal ever.
If you love Indian takeaway, wait until you try this easy chicken rogan josh recipe! It’s full of spices, chillies, flavour and is so easy to recreate at home. Oh, and the chicken is so tender too!
It has to be one of my go-to curry recipes because it turns out perfectly every time and the taste is exceptionally good. It’s the ultimate curry ideal for dinner or whenever you fancy a delicious meal quickly.
Even though rogan josh is usually made with lamb, this chicken version tastes just as good. Plus, using chicken quickens the cooking process making this recipe slightly quicker.
What Is Chicken Rogan Josh?
Chicken rogan josh is a rich and aromatic curry that’s full of flavour and is believed to have originated in Kashmir, a region of northern India.
The name “Rogan Josh” comes from the Persian words “rogan” meaning oil or ghee (red in Hindi) and “josh” meaning heat, fiery or passion. This popular dish is known for its vibrant red colour and its rich, spicy and tasty flavours.
It’s one of the most popular curry dishes on the menu in Indian restaurants and takeaways across the UK and US.
Watch How To Make It
What Is Chicken Rogan Josh Made Off?
Chicken rogan josh is made from an onion and tomato-based curry sauce that’s full of spices and tender pieces of chicken. It goes really well with basmati rice, flatbreads, chapati, plain naan and garlic naan.
The spices used in authentic chicken rogan josh recipes usually include fragrant cardamom, fennel, cinnamon, cumin, and Kashmiri chilli. This is why Indian curries taste so good because these spices add different dimensions of flavour.
Rogan josh is a medium-spiced curry, if you like extra heat, then you can add extra chillies to suit your personal preference.
Below are the ingredients needed to make this rogan josh curry.
Now, the spice list might look long but it’s likely that you already have most of these spices at home. If you miss one or two it’s okay! This dish will still taste great.
- Chicken: I like to use skinless chicken thighs or legs with the bone inside. However, feel free to keep the skin on or use other various cuts.
- Ghee & Oil: Ghee is clarified butter that is added to the pan with oil to fry the ingredients in. If you don’t have ghee, you can use vegetable oil or any other cooking oil instead.
- Onions: I like to use one medium-sized onion, you can use red, yellow or white onions (I normally use yellow or white onions).
- Tomatoes: I recommend using fresh tomatoes, but you can also use chopped tomatoes or tomato puree as an alternative.
- Yoghurt: Use natural plain yoghurt, this makes the curry sauce creamy and evens out the spices.
- Ground Spices: The ground spices in this curry are curry powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, fenugreek and salt.
- Kashmiri chilli powder: A red vibrant chilli powder native to the Kashmir region of India. If you don’t have this, you can use any standard red chilli powder.
- Whole Spices: The whole spices used are cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.
How To Make Chicken Rogan Josh
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make this easy restaurant style chicken rogan josh curry. Full recipe instructions are on the recipe card:
Heat a pan on medium heat and add ghee and oil to the pan. Add bay leaves, cardamom and cinnamon sticks to the pan and leave it for 4-5 seconds to sizzle.
Add pieces of chicken to the pan and fry the chicken on both sides for 2-3 minutes each. Once the chicken is seared on both sides, remove it from the pan and set it aside for later use.
Add onions and green chillies to the pan and fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and starting to brown.
Then add all the ground spices and garlic and ginger paste to the pan and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.
TIP: If onions are burning before softening, add some water to the pan.
Add the chopped tomatoes and leave to simmer until the tomatoes have softened. Then add the chicken and stir until evenly distributed.
Pour water into the pan and mix, then pour yoghurt into the pan and mix until evenly distributed. Close the lid and leave the curry to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Sprinkle with diced fresh coriander and serve immediately.
TIP: Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
What To Serve With Chicken Rogan Josh
There are a range of delicious side dishes that go perfectly with this rogan josh curry. I like to serve it with garlic naan or flatbreads, I use it to wipe the whole plate clean!
To cool things down, you can dollop extra yoghurt on top and serve this curry with a popular and traditional kachumber cucumber salad.
I’ve listed a few popular side dishes below:
My Top Tips
Make sure you use a pan that comes with a lid as this prevents the chicken from drying out by keeping the moisture in.
I like using a variety of chicken cuts with the bone in like chicken thighs or drumsticks. It adds extra flavour to this dish and also stays tender and moist whilst the curry is simmering. You can of course use boneless chicken or chicken breasts; I would recommend you use large pieces of chicken to keep the texture moist and tender or simmer the curry sauce for a less amount of time.
For extra flavour marinate the chicken with ginger, garlic, chillies, turmeric and cumin powder at least 1 to 2 hours before starting this recipe. Marinating the chicken also tenderises the chicken.
Make sure the onions are brown and caramelised before adding the spices and diced tomatoes. This helps to add depth and sweetness to the curry flavour profile.
For an ultra tender chicken, cook this rogan josh curry in a slow cooker, cooking this dish low and slow is also a great way to deepen the spices and overall flavour.
Swap The Meat: If you don’t want to use chicken, you can use red meat like lamb, mutton or beef instead. Great chicken substitutions are duck and guineafowl.
Vegan Rogan Josh: Make this recipe vegan by swapping the chicken in this dish with vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes and peas.
Change The Heat Level: Add extra chilies for a hotter chilli or add cream to the recipe to help reduce the heat and spread out the spice flavour.
Don’t Have Ghee?: If you don’t have ghee, then that’s no problem! You can use vegetable oil instead. Other alternatives are coconut oil, sunflower oil and butter.
How To Store Chicken Rogan Josh
If you have leftovers, keep it in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm the rogan curry in the microwave or over a stove until piping hot throughout.
You might want to add some water when reheating over a stove to prevent the curry sauce from drying out.
How To Freeze Chicken Rogan Josh
To freeze, allow the curry to cool down completely before placing it in an airtight and freezer-safe container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Yes, you can make this dish in advance and serve it at a later date. This is specifically useful for events and special occasions. You can either freeze this dish up to 3 months in advance or keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
No, you don’t have to use whole spices when making rogan josh, whole or ground spices are fine to use. The main difference is that ground spices lose their flavour more quickly.
Chicken rogan josh is a medium-spiced curry but is not necessarily really hot, though this can depend on personal preference. The Kashmiri chillies used in this recipe don’t have any heat.
Rogan josh is similar to butter chicken as they both have a tomato base with yoghurt added to the curry. Though the flavour profile is different, butter chicken has a creamy and slightly sweet flavour whereas rogan josh is more aromatic with a deep and complex flavour.
More Curry Recipes
If you love curries as much as I do, then you have to try out these delicious Indian and Chinese restaurant style curry recipes below.
Chicken Rogan Josh Recipe
- 700 g Chicken (Thigh, Drumstick etc) (25 oz)
- 2 tbsp Ghee
- 3 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 2 Green Chillies
- 1 Onion
- 1 tbsp Ginger And Garlic Paste
- 3 Tomatoes
- 3 tsp Natural Plain Yoghurt
- 1 Cup Water (240g of Water)
- Handful Coriander
- 5 Cardamon Pods
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 tbsp Curry Powder
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 1 tbsp Turmeric
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Fenugreek
- 1 tsp Salt (Or To Taste)
- Heat a pan on medium heat and add ghee and oil to the pan. Add bay leaves, cardamom and cinnamon sticks to the pan and leave it for 4-5 seconds to sizzle.
- Add pieces of chicken to the pan and fry the chicken on both sides for 2-3 minutes each. Once the chicken is seared on both sides, remove it from the pan and set it aside for later use.
- Add onions and green chillies to the pan and fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and starting to brown.
- Then add all the ground spices and garlic and ginger paste to the pan and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and leave to simmer until the tomatoes have softened. Then add the chicken and stir until evenly distributed.
- Pour water into the pan and mix, then pour yoghurt into the pan and mix until evenly distributed.
- Close the lid and leave the curry to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender (stir occasionally). Sprinkle with diced fresh coriander and serve immediately.
- Crack open the cardamon pods before starting this recipe as it releases extra flavour. This is a general tip when using whole spices.
- The more yoghurt you add to this curry the less red it will be. You’ll notice that the curry will be more orange than red.
- Once you’ve made the curry, don’t throw away your cinnamon sticks! You can reuse them up to four to five times. It will need to be rinsed with water to remove the curry sauce from it, then you can leave the cinnamon sticks to air dry.
- When frying the onions, if they are browning too quickly, add a small amount of water and leave the onions to simmer in it until the water has evaporated.
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