Rogan Josh vs Punjabi Tariwala Gosht

We decided to have a shootout between Rogan Josh and Punjabi Tariwala Gosht and see which curry we prefer.

Our Rogan Josh was mostly based on a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey which can be found here and our Punjabi Tariwali Gosht was based on a recipe by Munika Gowardan which can be found here.

Although most of the ingredients between these two curries are the same, there are some significant differences (in these specific recipes anyway):

  • There is no tomato in the Rogan Josh, but the Punjabi Tariwala Gosht contains both fresh tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • There is yogurt in the Rogan Josh giving it some sort of creamy taste, and the Punjabi Tariwala Gosht uses black cardamon, giving it a more earthy taste.
  • The Rogan Josh in this recipe is started by frying the meat in oil, removing it and then frying the spices quickly, before adding the onions. With the Punjabi Tariwala Gosh, the onions are fried first, then the spices are added and then the meat.

Also, we used lamb neck instead of boneless lamb chunks as we believe the bone adds more flavor.

The two curries with naan bread and sambal


Rogan Josh

  • 750g lamb neck (+/- 5 cuts)
  • 5cm fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 75ml vegetable oil
  • 10 whole green cardamon pods
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 4 tsp kashmiri chili powder (the original recipe called for paprika)
  • 1 tsp salt (add more to taste)
  • 6 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 freshly ground black pepper
  • 500ml water
  • Chopped, fresh coriander for garnish
Ingredients for the Rogan Josh

Punjabi Tariwala Gosht

  • 750g lamb neck (+/- 5 cuts)
  • 45ml vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 green cardamon pods
  • 2 black cardamon pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2.5cm fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 800ml water
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
  • Slivers of ginger for garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped, fresh coriander for garnish
Ingredients for the Punjabi Tariwala Gosht


Rogan Josh

Blend the garlic, ginger and 60ml of water into a smooth paste.

Roast the coriander and cumin in a dry pan before grinding it in a pestle and mortar.

Roasting the coriander and cumin seeds

Heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium to high heat and brown the meat in batches. Set the meat aside.

Searing the meat

Put the cardamon, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon in the same oil and stir. Wait about 30 seconds, then add the onions and stir fry for about 5 – 10 minutes until the onions turn golden brown.

Put in the paste and stir for 30 seconds, then add the coriander, cumin, kashmiri chili and the salt. Stir for another 30 seconds.

All the spices and onions added

Add the meat with the juices and stir. Then add the yogurt, one tablespoon at a time, stirring the whole time. Stir and fry for another 5 minutes.

Add 300ml of water and then stir, making sure all goodies are scraped off into the pot.

The meat added

Cover, turn the heat to low and let it simmer until the meat is soft, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

Remove the lid, and cook until the sauce has thickened.

Sprinkle the garam masala and black pepper over the dish and garnish with coriander just before serving it.

Punjabi Tariwala Gosht

Blend the garlic and ginger to a smooth paste with a splash of water.

Heat the oil in a heavy pot and fry the onions until they are brown, stirring now and then.

Add the cardamon pods, bay leaves, cinnamon and black peppercorns and fry for another minute.

Spices with the onions

Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir well.

Tomatoes added

Cook for another 5 minutes while mashing the tomatoes slightly.

Add the ginger and garlic paste, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.

Then add the coriander, kashmiri chili and turmeric powder and fry for another minute.

Add the meat and stir well, making sure all the pieces are covered and sealing the meat.

The meat being added

Add the water, bring to a boil and then simmer with the lid on for 1 hour, lightly stirring every 10 minutes or so.

Add the potato chunks and cook with the lid on for another 15 minutes until the meat is soft and the potatoes fork tender.

The potatoes added

Garnish with garam masala, slivers of ginger and fresh coriander.

Coming together

This was obviously cooked over an open fire using cast iron pots – the way we do it in South Africa.

We decided to serve this with naan using a recipe from Nagi and Recipe Tin Eats which can be found here and some sambal.

Naan made from Nagi’s recipe

And then we also kept a bottle of 2022 Gewürztraminer of Bergsig just for an occasion like this. Some notes on the wine:

A refreshing white wine with mineral and citrus peel undertones. The palate echoes mineral aromas along with fresh citrus nuances. A crisp dry, refreshing, and versatile wine.

In the end there was no clear winner. Both curries are beautiful, but quite different in flavor, The Rogan Josh has a deep red color, because of the kashmiri chili and some creaminess because of the yogurt while the Punjabi Tariwala Gosht has a strong earthy flavor because of the black cardamon.

Any one of these curries would be welcome on our table anytime!