beef rogan josh

Beef rogan josh is an elegant Indian dish made with tender chunks of beef (traditionally lamb) and a fragrant, delicately spiced yogurt sauce. It's an easy and flexible recipe that goes especially well with a basmati rice pilaf.

  • Author: Julie Sahni
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Indian


marinade + beef

  • 4 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups plain, full fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (or 1/3 cup ghee, melted)
  • 3 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes and trimmed of fat

spiced butter

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter plus 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or 4 tbsp ghee)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, crushed (or 2 tsp ground cumin)
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • milk or water, if needed


marinade + beef

  1. Put all of the ingredients of the marinade except the butter (or ghee, if using) into a blender or food processor, and run the machine until the ingredients are finely pureed.
  2. Place the beef in a large bowl and pour the marinade and melted butter (or ghee, if using) over it. Mix thoroughly to coat the meat pieces with the marinade. Cover and let the meat marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or as long as overnight in the refrigerator. (Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to cook the meat.)
  3. Transfer the meat, along with the marinade, to a heavy bottomed pan (she recommends one with a non-stick surface, but I prefer to use a Dutch oven). Place the pan over medium-low heat, and gently bring the contents to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until the beef is very tender. The beef is done when a fork or thin skewer pieces it without any resistance (about 2 1/2- 3 hours, depending on the heat, pan type, and meat quality). Stir frequently to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.

to finish

  1. Heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or 4 tbsp ghee, if using instead) in a small frying pan over high heat. When it is very hot, add garlic, and stirring rapidly, fry for 15 seconds. Immediately add cumin, cardamom, and garam masala. As soon as the spices begin to sizzle and release their fragrance (about 3-5 seconds), turn off heat and pour the perfumed butter, along with the spices, over the meat. Add cream, and stir to distribute the ingredients.


  • serves 8 | recipe slightly adapted from Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni
  • keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and freezes well


Keywords: beef rogan josh