Roghan Josh

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Roghan Josh
facts and tidbits

How did you come
across this recipe?

One enchanted morning decades ago still lingers in my memory. I was exploring the poplar-lined canals near Kashmir's capital in a small boat, called a shikara, when a flotilla of shallow-bottomed wooden vessels silently appeared out of the mist rising from the still water.

They were laden with fruits and vegetables destined for the marketplace and, like my boat, were propelled by poles. Before they completely passed me, I had purchased from the vendors a variety of freshly harvested foods for my midday meal.

Later that morning my shikara was gliding over the mirror-smooth surface of Dahl Lake. I could see reflected in the water snowcapped peaks of the spurs of the mighty Hindu Kush mountains. Periodically my shikara slipped through green patches of flowering white lotuses, all within sight of the Shalimar Gardens.

Moored against a shoreline were a string of for-rent neo-Victorian houseboats with elaborately sculptured details - the Kashmiri wood carvers have stellar reputations. The wall paneling inside these floating palaces was even more ornately chiseled. My rented houseboat came with three hospitable staffers: houseboy, chef, and shikara chauffeur.

Near my houseboat a family was busily preparing a wazwan, a thirty-dish feast for the peasant wedding planned that evening. Roghan Josh, marinated spiced lamb, was the featured dish.

Is Roghan Josh
simultaneously a Mogul
and a peasant dish?

Yes, because it has its roots in both culinary styles. The Mogul, or court, version is prepared from a more elaborate recipe, but the peasant style Roghan Josh I tasted at the wedding had more vitality and character.



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Nasi Goreng  Indonesia
Osso Buco  Italy
Oyako Donburi  Japan
Roghan Josh  India
Tom Yam Kung  Thailand
Vatapa  Brazil
Yalanci Dolma  Turkey

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