Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Winter food series 2

Today I bring you Rogan Josh

A couple f winters ago, Charlie and I decided to get proficient in curry making, head bobbling etc… From making my own rotis to perfecting various curries to delicious Indian desserts, wedding them all. From mild creamy curries to fiery vindaloos, we ate our way through lots of chilli! And this became one of our spicier favorites.

Ingredients – 1kg lamb leg, cut into 2-3 cm cubes
2T olive oil
3 onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 teaspoons chilli powder
1t paprika powder
4 cloves
4 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
1t ground coriander
1 t fennel powder
1t ground ginger
1t turmeric
1t salt
1t white pepper
300ml plain yoghurt
250ml water

Method – brown the onions and garlic in the oil, add the meat and brown, add all the spices and mix into the meat. Stir fry for 5 minutes to release all the aromatic flavors from those spices.


Add the yoghurt and water and stir. Put the lid on and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.


Take the lids of and bake uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes to allow the sauce the thicken slightly.
Serve with steamed basmati rice, rotis and raita.


My little tips to save the day:
To stop onions from making you tearful, suck a teaspoon of sugar while chopping them.
Reduce the chilli if you are nervous about the heat (I usually only use 2-2,5t personally, but it does depend on the quality of the chilli powder)
Raita is like Indian tzatziki. Plain yoghurt with grated (and water squished out) cucumber, chopped fresh coriander, salt, and I always like to add some roasted cumin seeds, lightly crushed to release the flavor.
Serve this with a fruity red wine, we find the fashionable coffe pilotage ado quite well too!
(With grateful thanks to Neil Roake for this delicious recipe – one of absolute favorite SA food writers, and the maker of the finest macaroni cheese I have ever tasted… Now if I could just find that recipe!)


  the aunty formerly known as donzil wrote @

does the sugar trick really work? i;ve tried sucking on a teaspoon and that really doesn’t work 🙂 looks delish btw

  charliesbird wrote @

Worked the other day for me, maybe it’s all psychological?

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