I had been wanting to make a curry from scratch for a while now, I often use paste from a jar (Pataks usually) but soon realised that making your own is not only better for you, but tastes much cleaner & fresher. So I did some research and found the ingredients that were reflective to that of a Rogan Josh. If you have the herbs / spices in your cupboard, a paste is not actually very difficult to make! This paste is based off one originally made by Jamie Oliver, but after looking around it was clear most Rogan Josh pastes contain the same / a very similar combination of ingredients.
This recipe works for vegetarians and vegans and is suitable for both dairy and gluten free diets. The flavour is amazing and it makes a perfect dinner especially as we head into autumn / winter… but who am I kidding, you can eat this anytime of the year!!
For the paste:
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled & sliced)
- 1 small piece fresh root ginger(peeled & sliced)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 1 small bunch fresh coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
For the curry:
- 2 onions
- 1 red pepper
- 1 Potato
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- 1 handful of closed cup mushrooms (diced)
- A tin of chickpeas
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- Fresh coriander
- 2 fresh tomatoes
- 1 fresh green chilli (de-seeded)
- 1 Lemon (juice only)
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Start by making the paste. Combine all the dry ingredients, seeds and peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and grind until you have a fine powder. Combine with the remaining ingredients (garlic, ginger, chilli, tomato puree & oil) in a food processer and blitz well until a smooth paste is formed.
- Roughly chop the red pepper, onions and chilli. I leave my vegetables cut quite large, but this is completely up to personal preference. They will reduce slightly in size once cooked. Also, peel and dice the potato into 2cm chunks. Depending on how much time you have, you can part boil the potatoes to give them a head start, otherwise you may need to leave the curry to simmer for a little longer to make sure they cook through.
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a high sided pan and fry 2 tablespoons of the paste for 1 minute and then add the onions, peppers, potato and chilli. Note: You can use more or less of the paste depending on how strong you want to make it. Keep stiring so the vegetables don’t catch, but just soften ever so slightly.
- Next, add the tinned tomatoes. Let the mix bubble for 10-20 minutes on a medium heat, stirring every now and again. If the mixture is ever looking a little dry, simply add some water (I do this by putting a splash of water in the empty tins from the tomatoes and adding that in).
- Add the mushrooms, chickpeas (drained) and lemon juice and stir well. Continue to simmer and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. To finish add in the fresh tomatoes (chopped into wedges) and the spinach. Stir until combined and allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes, until the spinach softens (it can often wilt down to nothing, so feel free to add more).
- Finish with a sprinkle of fresh corriander and serve with rice. Works well with mango chutney / I also like to have mine with natural yoghurt (optional).
This indian inspired dish has deep and powerful flavours that really hit the spot, whilst being fairly easy to make. If you have a good selection of herbs and spices to give your curry the life it needs, you really can’t go too wrong. You can of course change the chilli quantities depending on how much heat you can handle! I want to explore making homemade Balti, Jalferezi, Korma and Tikka Masala (etc.) curries too, so stay tuned!
The thing I love about curry, vegetarian or not, is that you can mix and match ingredients depending on your likes and dislikes, and each one can end up being slightly different.
I hope you like this recipe and if you want to see more please let me know!