Slow Cooker Lamb Rogan Josh is a great example of how simple it is to make classic Indian dishes at home in the slow cooker. This medium heat curry turns out deliciously rich, aromatic and bursting with flavour!
Does melt in the mouth lamb and fragrant spices in a warming sauce sound appealing? Then this recipe is definitely one to try!
The sauce turns out beautifully rich and balances the flavour of the lamb perfectly. It’s signature red colour comes from tomatoes and fresh red chilli peppers.
Why use a slow cooker?
Rogan Josh originates from Persia and simply means ‘cooked in oil with heat’. Whilst the slow cooker isn’t designed to provide a searing heat like cooking over a stove, you get excellent results by marinating and sealing the lamb first.
Slow cooking does the rest of the work infusing the sauce with heaps of flavour over time. This gives the best of both worlds; beautifully tender meat and a flavoursome aromatic sauce.
What are the signature flavours?
Rogan Josh is typically a highly fragrant sauce with a medium heat. The key flavours are:
- Cardamom – this recipe uses pods, which are highly aromatic and contain small seeds.
- Cinnamon – a sweet and woody spice.
- Bay – has a delicate aroma that gets stronger when slow cooked!
A Rogan Josh also contains more well known spices, such as garam masala, ginger, chilli, and cumin.
How to make a Slow Cooker Lamb Rogan Josh
Start by making a paste and marinating the meat. This can be left overnight to save time the following day. Alternatively, you can leave it for a shorter time before you cook. Thirty minutes should be the minimum, but the longer the better!
Next, sear the meat and onions. Do this in the slow cooker if it has a pot that you can put on the hob. See our equipment list for a recommendation.
Mix the sauce in a separate bowl. This helps to ensure the spices are evenly distributed through the sauce.
Finally, add everything to the slow cooker, and wait!
Tips for a great Lamb Rogan Josh
- Marinate the meat. The longer you can marinate the meat, the more flavour from the spices that’ll be imparted into it.
- Sear the lamb before you put it in the slow cooker. This kick-starts the Maillard reaction for tonnes of extra flavour and locks in the juices.
- Don’t cut the chunks of lamb too small. Chunks of 3 to 4 cm (1 to 1.5 inch) cubes are ideal. Too small and they’ll fall apart and simply melt into the sauce!
More Amazing Indian Slow Cooker Recipes
If you love Indian food as much as we do, try some of these alternatives:
Slow Cooker Lamb Rogan Josh
- 700 g (1.5 lb) lamb – neck fillet
- 1 onion – white, large
- 2 tbsp oil
For the paste
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves – minced
- 1½ tsp cumin
- 1½ tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chilli powder – hot
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lamb stock cube – crumbled
For the sauce
- 400 g (14 oz) tomato passata
- 250 g (1 cup) natural yogurt – not greek style set
- 50 ml (0.2 cups) water
- 1 red chilli – finely chopped, seeds removed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp cardamom pods – pressed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander – dried or fresh
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients for the paste until smooth.
- Prepare the lamb fillet by removing any sinew and cutting into 3 – 4cm (1 – 1.5 inch) chunks. Add the lamb to the paste and coat thoroughly. Leave for a minimum of 30 minutes, but ideally 2 hours (or overnight if preparing the night before).
- Sear the marinted meat in a pan, along with the onions. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- In another bowl, mix together the yogurt, coriander and chopped chilli and then gradually stir in the passata and water. This will ensure a smooth consistency.
- Pour the sauce over the lamb and onions in the slow cooker, then add the bay, cardamon pods and cinnamon stick and ensure they are submerged in the sauce. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3.5 hours.
- Don’t cut the pieces of lamb too small, 3-4 cm cubes or strips are ideal. The lamb becomes very soft and tender and this will prevent it falling apart in the sauce.
- Taste a little bit of your red chilli before you dice it to check how fiery it is. If you want a hotter curry or the chilli proves to be quite mild then you may wish to add some or all of the seeds.
- Check your cooking times as there can be a little variance in heat between the types of slow cookers. For reference this recipe was created in a Crock Pot ceramic slow cooker which tends to cook quite quickly.