I think it’s impossible to be British and not love a good curry. I’ve been eating them since I was a small child and it feels very much part of my heritage, even if my Pakistani grandfather passed away before I was born.
Over the years, I’ve eaten many a delicious curry either at home or in a restaurant and yet I still feel I have barely dipped my toe in the plethora of wonderful, highly regional culinary delights India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka offer to name but a few cuisines I simply can’t get enough of.
It was, however, my friend Mhairi (and fellow curry lover!) who introduced me to a wonderful book quite a few years ago that provides the basis of my Instant Pot Lamb Rogan Josh.
The book in question is called The Three Sisters Indian Cookbook and it’s written by (funnily enough) three sisters who hailed originally from Kashmir and emigrated to Derbyshire in England, the county next to mine.
I was lucky enough to get to meet them once at a food show in Birmingham and it was such a lovely moment! Although the whole book is full of wonderful recipes that I’ve made lots of times, it’s their Rogan Josh which I go gaga for. Mhairi had pointed it out in particular as a recipe I had to try and she was not wrong, it’s simply the best lamb curry I’ve ever had.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Treat yourself to this Instant Pot Lamb Rogan Josh! ” quote=”Treat yourself to this Instant Pot Lamb Rogan Josh!”]
The thing is, before I got my Instant Pot, making lamb curries were a little tricky to get just right. I find of all the meats, lamb can be the most variable in how long it must be cooked until it’s good and tender but with a few simple tweaks, the pressure cooker presents you with the most tender, succulent lamb that you will ever have – in a cooking time of 10 minutes! Isn’t that crazy? To think of the hours I’ve spent cooking tough old lamb meat in the years gone by…
Rogan Josh is a British curry house favourite – I doubt there’s an Indian takeout menu in the whole of the UK that doesn’t have it! It’s a rich tomato based curry full of aromatic spices.
I’ve made a few changes to the method to get it just right in the IP but have made minor adjustments to the ingredients. I find a 24-hour marination gives you the head start to succulence that you need with lamb and all you need is a little yogurt (which you can make in your Instant Pot too) and some garam masala – the mixed spice of India.
I leave out the additional sugar the sisters put in theirs and I use some fresh tomatoes rather than tinned as I prefer the acidic tang to balance the sweet spices including cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. The addition of a little tomato purée is genius and really helps to give body to the gravy the meat cooks in as there are no onions in this dish which normally do the same in a curry.
I find that once the lamb has been sitting in the yogurt, there’s little point in trying to caramelise it so I go with plopping it into the full-bodied curry just before putting the lid on and cooking it.
If you can cool it and leave in the fridge overnight to allow the flavours to develop, you are in for the best lamb curry of your life – I promise. Plus, it frees up the Instant Pot to cook some rice for you whilst you reheat the lamb until piping hot on the stove. Which also means this could easily be trotted out midweek for your curry fix, even when you arrive home late.
You know I am a huge advocate of the Instant Pot but honestly, it’s when you taste a dish like this you realise it lives up to all the crazy hype there is about it and you feel good about your investment in another kitchen gadget!
A rich tomato based lamb curry made in the Instant Pot. It is definitely worth making a day ahead of when you want to eat and reheating it, as it only gets better for a night in the fridge. Plus it frees up your IP to cook the rice to serve it with!
- 500 g leg of lamb, deboned and cut into 1.5 inch cubes
- 4 tbsp Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 green cardamom pods, cracked open
- 1-2 inches cinnamon bark
- 2 whole cloves
- 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
- 1.5 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp ground chilli adjust to your heat preference
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tomatoes, finely diced about 200-225g in total
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 100 ml water
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped to serve
- sea salt, to taste
Start by mixing the lamb, yogurt and garam masala for the marinade together and cover and chill for up to 24 hours in the fridge. Don't skip this step as it really helps tenderise the meat.
When ready to cook, set the IP to Sauté and when reads Hot, add the oil and all the whole spices (the bay, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds and fennel seeds). Sizzle and cook briefly until the aromas are released.
Add in the garlic and stir well before adding all the remaining powdered spices in. Allow the spices, garlic and oil to cook for a couple more minutes before stirring in the fresh tomatoes, tomato puree and water.
Add in the marinated lamb and stir well before cancelling Sauté and placing the lid on. Set to Manual for 10 minutes and when done, allow a QPR.
Remove the lid when the pressure has come down and press Sauté so you can reduce the sauce to your desired consistency. Stir only very gently as the lamb will be so tender it will fall apart if beaten! Add salt to taste - 1/2 tsp Malden sea salt is normally plenty for our tastes.
If you can, allow the curry to cool then chill in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving, scattered with the fresh coriander if liked. I do this on the hob in a saucepan so I can use my IP to cook the rice to serve with it.
If your lamb is cut in larger chunks, the cooking time will be slightly longer. Also, bare in mind that lamb will vary in how tender it is with it's age etc so if yours isn't cooked to your liking after 10 minutes, then give it a couple more and check again.
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