This chicken rogan josh is a delightfully easy-to-make Indian curry recipe made with seared chicken cooked low and slow in a rich, tomato-based gravy packed with warm spices. Grab some naan and dive in!
Easy Chicken Rogan Josh
Check it: Your skillet is working its magic, browning the chicken and cooking it in a hearty tomato-based sauce. The aroma of Indian spices – curry, cumin, garam masala, cinnamon, and more, wafts through your kitchen. It’s a delightful sensory overload. You serve up bowls of this chicken rogan josh, sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top, and get ready to dig in. The first bite? It’s all those mouth-watering smells packed into a single, flavor-bursting morsel of tender chicken. And you think, “Man, I could chow down on this forever!”
Does that sound like I love Indian food? Good, ’cause I do! It’s one of those things that people, including yours truly, often go to restaurants for rather than cooking Indian dishes in their homes. It can be intimidating and foreign for many, but that doesn’t need to be the case when you have a simple recipe such as this one.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I’m telling you, friends; this is one of the best curries I’ve ever tasted.
Flavor-packed. Indian curries tend to pack a wonderful punch of unique flavor. This chicken rogan josh is no exception. The warmth of the toasted spice mix combined with the acidity of the tomatoes and subtle hints of garlic make this curry something to write home about.
So tender. The low and slow cooking method used to make this dish results in incredibly tender chicken thighs that practically melt in your mouth as you bite into them.
Quick and easy. This recipe only requires about 25 minutes of active time in the kitchen, full of simple, easy-to-follow steps. Then all you have to do is turn down the heat and enjoy the aromas of the simmering curry as the chicken soaks in all of the flavors of the sauce.
What is Rogan Josh?
Rogan josh is a traditional Indian curry dish comprised of a protein (usually lamb but I used chicken here to make it more accessible) that is seared and simmered in a robustly flavorful tomato-based curry. Although it is usually mild on the heat scale, it is packed with warm spices that are sure to keep your taste buds interested.
Ready to make some truly awesome chicken rogan josh? Here’s what you’ll need to make it. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for precise measurements.
Chicken thighs: I used boneless, skinless thighs but you could easily use breasts of bone-in, skin-on thighs. Just check the chicken for doneness as this might affect the cook time.
Salt & Ground Black pepper
Yellow Onion & Garlic
Tomato Puree & Diced Tomatoes
Chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make Chicken Rogan Josh
Indian curry might sound like an intimidating thing to tackle but I promise you this recipe is actually manageable. Here’s a basic overview of how to make it.
Make the spice blend. Whisk together the ingredients for the spice blend and set aside.
Sear the chicken. Season the chicken and sear it in ghee over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes on either side. Remove the chicken from the pan.
Build flavor. Sauté the onions and garlic in the pan. Stir in the tomato puree and cook until darkened. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute.
Make the gravy. Stir in the diced tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook, covered, over low heat for 40 minutes.
Tips for Success
This rogan josh recipe is surprisingly simple but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few tips and tricks to keep in mind if you want to end up with the best results possible.
Get a good sear. Before seasoning and searing the chicken, I suggest patting it dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture that will cause it to steam instead of sear. In addition, don’t crowd the pan. This will cause the temperature to drop. The chicken will release its moisture and will not brown properly.
Cook the tomato puree. It can be tempting to stir in the tomato puree and add other ingredients right away, but it’s best to take the time to cook the tomato puree first because this will deepen the flavor.
Toast your spices. Taking an extra minute to toast your spices – this awakens their flavors and allows them to contribute much more to the dish.
Low and slow. After you add the chicken, turn the heat way down to low and let it simmer for at least 40 minutes. The low temperature and longer cook time will allow the chicken time to break down to tender and thoroughly absorb the flavors of the curry sauce.
While your rogan josh is simmering away, I highly encourage you to whip up a tasty side dish or two to serve with it.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Refrigerator: Allow the curry to cool completely before sealing it in an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Seal the cooled leftovers in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat: Thaw the curry in the refrigerator before reheating, if applicable. Transfer the desired portion to a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat on the stovetop until heated through, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, transfer the desired portion into a bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until heated through, stirring intermittently.
More Chicken Dinner Ideas
Chicken is a miracle protein in my eyes. It’s affordable, delicious, and so versatile. Rogan josh is just one example of how you can take this simple ingredient and turn it into a nutritious flavor explosion. Here are some of my other favorites.
Prep Time 10 minutesmins
Cook Time 55 minutesmins
Total Time 1 hourhr10 minutesmins
For the spice blend
Make the spice blend. Whisk together the curry powder, cumin, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and ground ginger and set aside.
For the curry
Sear the chicken. Season the chicken with 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt and the ground black pepper. Melt the ghee in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown for 2 minutes. Flip and brown for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Sauté the veggies. Add the onions to the skillet, season with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
Cook the tomato puree. Add the tomato puree to the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Toast the spices. Add the spice blend and cook for 1 minute.
Make the sauce. Add the diced tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring the contents of the skillet to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 minutes.
Finish. Return the chicken to the skillet. Stir the contents to coat the chicken in sauce. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 40 minutes.
Serve. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and serve over rice with a side of naan.
Chicken: While you can use any part of the chicken, bone-in chicken imparts a deeper flavor. Thighs and drumsticks are particularly good for slow-cooked dishes like Rogan Josh.
Low and Slow: Rogan Josh benefits from slow cooking. Take your time to brown the chicken nicely, and let the spices cook out fully. The flavors develop better with time.
Garnish: Don’t skip the garnish! Fresh cilantro or even a dollop of yogurt can add a fresh element to balance the spices in the dish.
Accompaniments: Chicken Rogan Josh pairs beautifully with steamed basmati rice or naan bread, which can be used to scoop up the rich, flavorful sauce.
Refrigerate Leftovers: Allow the curry to cool completely before sealing it in an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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