Enjoy the delicious aromatic and chili spice of a traditional Indian curry with hands-off cooking. This slow cooker lamb rogan josh is packed with flavor and the meat meltingly tender.
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Lamb shanks are definitely a favorite in our house, although they have to be slow cooked which does mean you need to plan a little to have them. However that doesn't mean they need to take a lot of effort.
Plus, they can take on a range of flavors, whether a classic wine-tomato based braised lamb shanks or Moroccan in my tangia style lamb shanks. These Indian flavor also work really well, and the lamb becomes meltingly tender and flavorful.
This lamb rogan josh is cooked in the slow cooker with only a little preparation at the start, then left to get on with it. The smells filling the kitchen will have you desperate to dive in, but give it time, and you'll be rewarded with a deliciously flavorful curry that melts in your mouth (while giving it a little spice kick, too).
It's the sort of dish that is perfect for this time of year, as it's getting colder as it is wonderfully warming.
Steps to prepare this lamb curry
This dish takes a tiny bit more preparation than some slow cooker recipes in that for one, I really think you need to pre-cook the onions to get the proper flavor from them. There's also a spice paste to make up. But neither of these take long and can be done in advance if it suits your schedule better.
The spice paste and sauce is based on a traditional lamb rogan josh, a dish that is fairly common when you go out for a curry in the UK but that I don't think is really known in the US. It's a wonderful mixture of flavors that you can spice up or down as you like.
Normally this curry is made with more stewing cuts of lamb meat ie in chunks, but it works really well with lamb shanks as well. They have a great depth of flavor and become so tender after the long cook, which also gets the flavor into them.
Partly with cooking it in the slow cooker, you will end up with a bit too much sauce with the lamb than you probably need but don't let it go to waste - while it is most commonly paired with lamb, you can also use it with chicken or vegetables and it will be great.
Using the leftover sauce another day is a great way to enjoy the flavors even more - just cook whatever meat or vegetables you want to have with it, add the sauce and warm through.
How do you serve lamb rogan josh?
I served the lamb rogan josh here with basmati rice and some homemade naan bread but do serve as you prefer. Just make sure you have something that will let you enjoy all the delicious sauce! You really want to be able to mop it up, and balance out the bit of spice kick as well. Though as I say, you can make it as hot or mild as suits your taste.
This slow cooker lamb rogan josh has such fantastic depth of flavor without needing all that much effort, you would think you had just ordered one of the best Indian takeaways you have ever had. You'll be glad to have the extra sauce to be able to enjoy the flavors again soon. It's a great way to have an incredibly delicious meal without too much effort, and I know one we will have again.
If you enjoy traditional Indian flavors, why not try:
- keema curry (keema matar), a delicious ground meat and pea curry,
- Goan fish curry, where fish is cooked in a spicy coconut sauce,
- vegetarian paneer makhani that has a lovely tomato-nut sauce.
- Chana masala, a vegan chickpea curry with a tomato base.
All are quick to make! Plus get more Indian recipes in the archives.
Slow cooker lamb rogan josh (using lamb shanks)
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 lamb shanks or 2 if large, depending on size
For the spice paste
- 1 tbsp ginger approx 1in/2.5cm piece
- 2 cloves garlic or 3 if smaller
- 1 tsp chili powder or more or less to taste
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground allspice or cloves
- ¼ tsp ground cardamon seeds from around 5 pods, crushed
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt
For the base sauce
- 4 tbsp yogurt
- 4 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste tomato puree
- 3 tbsp ground almonds at end
- Roughly dice the onion then heat the oil in a skillet/frying pan and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until it has softened and is just starting to brown. Transfer the onion to the slow cooker, or set aside if preparing in advance.
- Finely grate the ginger and garlic then mix with the rest of the spice paste ingredients (chili, cumin, coriander, turmeric, allspice or cloves, cardamon and yogurt). Rub the paste over the lamb shanks and put them in the slow cooker on top of the onions.
- Mix together the base sauce ingredients (yogurt, water and tomato paste) and pour into the slow cooker - I prefer to pour it to the side to keep the spice paste on the lamb rather than running off too much but it's not so important.
- Turn on the slow cooker to low and cook for around 6-8 hours.
- Once it has finished cooking, stir in the ground almonds and serve. You can either serve the whole lamb shank for a large serving, or remove the meat from the bone and serve just the meat in the sauce.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Try these other comforting dishes:
- Drunken Pumpkin Spice Latte by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Hot Mulled Caramel Apple Sangria by The Crumby Cupcake
- Mexican Atole by Curious Cuisiniere
Main Dishes and Soups
- Braised Venison with Plums by Food Lust People Love
- Butternut Squash Chili by Amee's Savory Dish
- Butternut Squash Risotto with Pears and Sage by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Carbonnade Flamande by Tara's Multicultural Table
- Classic Italian Meat Sauce by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Creamy Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Curry Debal by Palatable Pastime
- Turkey Chipotle Chili by The Complete Savorist
- Apple Pear Crisp by The Freshman Cook
- Bananas Foster by Pies and Plots
- Fudge Pudding Cake by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Honeycrisp Apple Tart by The Redhead Baker
- Pumpkin Cheesecake in Pumpkins by Desserts Required
- Warm Cardamom and Coconut Rice Pudding by Fearless Dining