Rogan Josh (Lamb in a Slow Cooker)

I love Indian food. Love it. I was spoiled for six years living next door to the best Indian restaurant in Cleveland. Now, sadly, I have to re-create these dishes on my own. I’m getting better… Practice makes perfect.

This recipe uses a lot of traditional Indian spices that you might have on hand… ginger, coriander, cumin, paprika, Bay leaves, and turmeric. None of those spices sound too unfamiliar, do they? If you start to get fancy with your Indian cooking, you can try making your own garam masala or scanning your local spice shop for some asafoetida… but, until then, rest assured you can make delicious Indian dishes with some basic spice combinations.

I am also a creature of habit when I order out an Indian restaurant – always the lamb. Always. Mainly because I am too afraid to cook it myself. Butter chicken, chicken tikka masala? No problem. Anything with lamb? No way. I forced myself out of this zone of fear recently when I bought a bag of lamb – yup, a bag – from one of my local farmers. As I piled steaks and chops and shoulder roasts into my freezer, I knew I had to get over my lamb issues fast. And so we have rogan josh… hope you enjoy it! 


1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
grated ginger (about a 1/2 inch)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon garam masala (optional)
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can chick peas (drained)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 lamb chops (about a pound)


1. Combine spices – cumin, coriander, paprika, and sea salt together. Liberally rub over the lamb chops.

2. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan. When the pan is very hot, gently place your lamb chops into the pan – you should hear a loud sizzle so you know that the meat is getting a good sear. Let it cook for about 2 – 3 minutes. Season the other side of the lamb with some more of the spice. Turn the lamb over and let the other side get a good sear.

3. Place the seared lamb chops and the scraped up seasoning bits from the pan into the slow cooker. Ad the grated ginger (powdered ginger works fine, too!), bay leaves, garam masala, diced tomatoes, chick peas, and vegetable broth.

4. Cook on high for about 3 hours or low for 6 hours. Remove the meat from the bone and add back into the slow cooker. Taste test to make sure that you have enough flavor! If not, add more seasoning as needed…

5. We served our rogan josh over tasty quinoa but, a more traditional option would be simple jasmine rice.

Rogan Josh With Chickpeas Over Quinoa

My dinner party trick … I love cooking Indian food for dinner parties but I am not always great with the appetizers or the na’an – a traditional Indian flatbread. (Naan is one bread product I have NOT been able to make gluten free!) So, if someone asks what they can bring, I sometimes suggest that they order some na’an from our local Indian restaurant or pick up some samosas and chutney on the way over. You can even pick up some na’an from the freezer section at your local grocery store. Test out these flavors on your friends and family … I think you will be surprised how much they enjoy it!

For the record … You might not find chick peas in a traditional rogan josh recipe – but I like to throw chick peas in everything when I am cooking Indian food. It is an inexpensive way to stretch my meals to feed all my hungry little mouths!  

For dessert … Serve a yummy Mango Milkshake! Click here to see the recipe.

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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