Rogan Josh Curry Paste

Rogan Josh Curry Paste

Rogan Josh is a Persian dish consisting of lamb that is slow-cooked in aromatic spices. It has a characteristic deep red colour, which comes from the use of dried red chillis rather than from tomatoes (a Western intervention). However, as the chillis are normally de-seeded, it’s actually milder than most curries, so is all about the aromatic spices rather than the heat.

Curries are very suited to the Paleo diet as they can be made in bulk when you have the time, and then kept on standby in the fridge for up to five days. In fact, aromatic foods such as stews and curries actually appreciate in flavour, as the spices release into the oil, melding together and marinating the meat. Rather than one or two flavour notes dominating, you get a much more rounded and complex taste. So any meal that contains aromatic ingredients such as garlic, ginger, onion, spices and herbs will continue to develop flavour in the refrigerator.

You can make the curry paste in advance and safely store in the fridge for 1 month. If you want to make a bulk lot and store for longer, then you will need to sterilise the paste to kill off all bacteria:

  • First, sterilise a glass jar and lid by putting through the dishwasher on a rinse cycle without detergent, or by boiling in a large pan of water for 10 minutes then removing and leaving to air dry.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a frying pan over a medium heat (I used light olive oil). Add the curry paste and fry until the paste steams.
  • Transfer the paste to the glass jar, using the back of a spoon to press the mixture down and eliminate air bubbles. Put the lid on as tight as you can to seal the jar and keep it airtight.
  • Take a large, deep-sided pan, and place a rack at the bottom (I used a steaming basket, but scrunched up foil also works). This allows the heat to circulate evenly, and prevents breakages. Put the sealed jar in the pan and cover with boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool. Store in refrigerator and use within 2-3 months for maximum flavour.
Follow this link for a Lamb Rogan Josh recipe


makes cooking time
400ml – 8 servings 0 minutes
Rogan Josh Curry Paste
Ingredients Instructions

whole spices:

  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 4 black cardamom pods
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 2 whole dried chillis


  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 thumb-sized pieces of root ginger (30g), peeled and grated
  • 150g roasted red peppers, from a can, drained (or 2-3 fresh peppers, roasted until black and blistered, skin peeled)
  • 4 tablespoons (80g) tomato purée

ground spices:

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon salts
  1. Toast the whole spices. Break open the cardamom pods by crushing with the broad side of a heavy knife. Shake out the seeds and discard the husks.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the whole spices (cardamom seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and dried chillis) and dry fry for 1 – 2 minutes, or until they release a fragrant aroma. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan.
  3. Grind the toasted spices. Tip the toasted spices into a spice grinder and grind until finely ground (if you do not have a spice grinder, then use a pestle and mortar or the small bowl of a food processor). Set to one side.
  4. Purée the aromatics. Put the aromatics (garlic, ginger, red peppers and tomato purée) in the small bowl of a food processor.  Blitz until smooth.
  5. Add the ground spices. Tip in the toasted spices, and the remaining  paste ingredients (paprika, garam masala, turmeric and salt). Blitz until fully combined.
  6. Bottle the paste. Transfer the paste to a sterilised glass jar, using the back of a spoon to press the mixture down and eliminate air bubbles. Seal, and transfer to the refrigerator. For best results, eat within 1 month.

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