Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #4: Curry Rogan Josh

Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #4: Curry Rogan Josh
This was our fourth official cooking/blogging experiment from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. The weather this weekend has been cooler, so we thought something warming was appropriate. We also had some pumpkin and carrots to use up from the veggie box, so one recipe leaped out at us: Curry Rogan Josh, Fluffy Rice, Carrot Salad, Poppadoms, Flatbread, and Beer. (I love that Beer is in the meal title!) No dessert with this one, but it made a huge feast’s worth of food.

Curry Rogan Josh

Quick verdict: The only substitution we made was using Kent pumpkin instead of butternut. Time-wise, we were worse than last week with an elapsed time of 48:02. There are definitely things we’d do to save time next time though. Overall I rated it 9/10, while the Snook rated it 8.5/10. (Personally, any recipe with two whole bunches of coriander/cilantro is A-OKAY by me!) However, we both agreed that the lemon pickle SUCKS. Read on for a photo essay of the preparation.Pre-start prep: We got out all the necessary ingredients, tools, and cooking vessels. This week we also needed the food processor and a kettle full of boiled water. The kitchen was clean (well, as clean as it gets) and everything wiped down and ready to go. The oven was turned on and a big saucepan put on the stove to heat.

First up are the ingredients for the curry: onions, squash/pumpkin, cauliflower, chilli, garlic, coriander, Patak’s rogan josh paste, chickpeas, baby spinach, and yogurt.

Curry ingredients

Ingredients for just about everything else! Basmati rice and cloves for the rice; almonds, carrots, chilli, coriander, ginger, and lemon for the carrot salad; chapattis and turmeric for the chapattis; and lemon, mustard seeds, turmeric, and chilli for the lemon pickle.

Other ingredients

Pans ready to go. The big one is for the curry. The saucepan is for the rice. The frying pan is for toasting the almonds and later cooking the lemon pickle. (Note: This was a BAD CHOICE for the pickle. More on that later.)


Our crappy food processor, ready to go.

Food processor

Time to start cooking! The Snook immediately got going on the curry. Here’s the onion starting to cook.


Chopping up the pumpkin. Jamie didn’t peel his since he used butternut, but we had a Kent so the Snook peeled it.


The pumpkin’s cooking now…

Onions and pumpkin

Meanwhile, I was working on the carrot salad. I know from experience that our food processor is CRAP at grating things, so I did them all by hand on a box grater. I just used the processor to whizz up the chilli, coriander, and ginger.

Salad flavourings

Here’s the whizzed up flavourings mixed up with the grated carrot.

Carrot Salad

The curry continues. He’s chucked in cauliflower, chilli, garlic, and coriander at this point.

More curry

And with some more additions: curry paste and chickpeas. We put the lid on and let it cook.


Now for the rice. The Snook was skeptical of cooking the rice on the stove and lobbied hard for us to use our rice cooker. I told him we had to stick to the recipe, but if we did it again, we’d use the cooker. (I don’t know why Jamie didn’t mandate using one; everybody’s got one, right?) Anyway, rice, water, and a couple cloves.


I got my almonds toasting for the carrot salad…

Toasting almonds

And the Snook got the chapattis going. He scrunched up some greaseproof paper and soaked it in water, then spread it out on a cookie sheet. The chapattis are each drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with turmeric.


He’s stacked them up and wrapped the paper around into a little parcel, which then goes into the oven.


To finish the carrot salad, I added olive oil, salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

Carrot salad

My almonds are toasted!

Toasted almonds

I finished the carrot salad with heaps of coriander and the toasted almonds. I have to say, I am not traditionally a fan of raw carrot, but I could tell already this was going to be a winner!

Carrot salad

It was time to start the lemon pickle. Here’s the Snook chopping up a whole lemon.


The frying pan received a glug of olive oil, then the spices for the pickle.

Pickle spices

And that’s when all hell broke loose! See all those little specks on the stove? Yeah, the mustard seeds started popping like popcorn and zinging all over the kitchen! I’d suggest using a saucepan in the future and maybe clamping a lid down for the first few seconds.

Mustard seeds!

Now he’s added the lemon and he’s giving it the required ten seconds of cooking.

Lemon pickle

The finished pickle in the bowl.

Lemon pickle

Checking the curry. It’s looking good!


The rice cooked for seven minutes and then steamed for seven more. To my surprise, it turned out great! Fluffy and perfect, with a tiny bit of flavour from the cloves.


The chapattis have come out of the oven, still in their paper package…


And the poppadoms are ready with their yogurt and olive oil dipping sauce.


The finished meal! The curry was garnished with yogurt and coriander leaves. We served it with an ice cold glass of the Snook’s homebrew, of course.

Finished meal

Tasting notes: The Snook thought the curry was “good, but not great.” He liked the carrot salad and the chapattis. The pickle earned a big thumbs down. “It had potential, but it was… not right.” I actually thought the curry was quite good, and I’m happy we had three generous portions left over for lunches. The carrot salad was excellent, and I can definitely see myself making that again for barbecues and picnics. I do agree with him on the pickle though. Much too bitter and strong. We ended up throwing most of it away. Maybe we needed a sweeter lemon? If we were going to do the meal again, I’d leave out the pickle, do the rice in the rice cooker, and possibly do the curry in the pressure cooker since that was the thing that took the longest. I also like that this meal was vegetarian, and you can easily adjust the spiciness level if needed. It’s a great one for a party feast!

Stay tuned next week for another recipe from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals!


Add yours →

  1. You’d break 30 minutes if you had someone else doing the photography. Also, it’s solve the problem of having too many leftovers.

  2. No rice cooker here. Never saw the point – we don’t eat rice very often and it’s a uni-tasker as far as I can tell.

  3. Uni-tasker?! Roger Ebert would take umbrage at that… 🙂

    If you don’t eat rice, fair enough. We always had one growing up though, and every Asian person I know has one. They’re brilliant!

    Toastman – eh, I don’t think the photos take up too much time. I’m just using the iPhone and it doesn’t take me long to snap a quick one. And our kitchen is barely big for two as it is; there’s no way it’d take a third!

  4. OK, so perhaps less of a uni-tasker than I thought. Alton has never used one as far as I can tell, so we don’t think we need one!

  5. Bah, that’s because he lives in Georgia. They’re weird down there.

  6. We don’t have a rice cooker but we do ahve a little microwaveable container that we cook rice it and *bing* always comes out right.

    I like the look of the salad but it seems odd to me that the curry is essentially a jar of patak’s and vegies which is pretty much what it says on the side of the jar (without the meat)…

    The lemon pickle looks a little stark. Now if he could tell me how to make a quick mango chutney, I’d be very happy.

  7. next time just setup a web-cam in front of the kitchen and go all out, without stopping for photos.

  8. Andrew McConnell

    March 9, 2011 — 11:43 am

    I surfed here on the lemon pickle alone – the only dish you diss. Hmm – that crit is based on your pan being too hot, and the mustard seeds popping – no comments on flavour, but you complain about it three times in the article! VERY unfair, I think.

  9. No comments on the flavour? Did you miss “Much too bitter and strong” in that last paragraph?

    It’s possible our pan was too hot, but given that you only cook the thing for like 10 seconds, I don’t think it made much of a difference. It certainly wasn’t burnt. It was just bitter and strong without any subtlety.

  10. Hello
    Wat are you doint with the baby spinach in this Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals #4: Curry Rogan Josh
    I’m not inglisch maybe i missed it somewhere?
    Greatings from Holland

  11. Hi Emmy! Hmm, I forgot to mention the spinach. You stir it into the curry a few minutes before you eat it.

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