Laal Maas is a fiery meat curry from Rajasthan, India. It is prepared in a sauce of curd and considerable amount of red chili paste beside other hot spices. It is said that traditionally laal Maas was prepared with wild game meat. The hunted animals were cooked in hot chilis, spices, lot of garlic and Desi Ghee to veil the gamy odour of the meat. That is why it is also called junglee laal maas. It was favourite among the Royal families. Rajasthani cuisines are influenced by both war like lifestyle and the availability of limited ingredients in this arid region. Its vibrant red colour talks about the royality in this dish.
Presently this dish is cooked with mutton keeping the other ingredients intact.
Traditionally cooked with lot of dry hot red chili which is available in abundance in Rajasthan. Most of the Rajasthani cuisines are said to be hot. But these days we get mild version of Laal Maas and kashmiri chiis are used which are rich not hot but in red colour. Therefore, if you want only colour and not much of heat, use kashmiri chili which gives the curry a rich red colour but not the heat. Its cooked in slow fire in Handi. It is very important to procure tender meat for this dish.
So key ingredients of this dish is tender Mutton, Kashmiri Red chili/sweet chili, and Curd. Lets Cook……
- Mutton 1 kg
- Curd 100 gm
- Chopped onion medium sized 4
- Minced Garlic 2 tblspn
- Ginger paste 1 tblspn
- Dry kashmiri red chili whole 8 for paste
- Dry kashmiri red chili whole 1
- Kashmiri red chili powder 1 tspn
- Cumin seeds 1 tspn
- Coriander powder 2 tblspn
- Green Cardamom 8
- Brown Cardamom 2
- Cinnamon stick 1 2”
- Bay Leaf 4
- Desi Ghee 2 tblspn (if cooking with ghee only 100 gm)
- Mustard/refined oil 3 tblspn
- Water 4-5 Cups
Preparing the key ingredient, the chili paste.
Slit the chili and discard the inner stem and the seeds. Soak these chili for at least two hrs. and make a paste out of it. If short of time , can soak in warm water for 10 mins and paste. The paste may be course but shall not affect the final result.
Wash the mutton and keep in a strainer for at least ½ hr for discarding the extra water from it.
In a large bowl pour the curd and whisk it to smooth. Add red chili paste and salt. Marinate the mutton in it at least for an hr. More you marinade, less will be the cooking time.
Heat oil in a large cooking pan/wok. Add ghee and let it melt. Put bay leaves, 1 whole red chili, cumin seeds, whole cardamom and cinnamon stick. Stir for 1 min or till aromatic.
Add minced garlic, fry till light brown.
Add chopped onion. Always use chopped onion, grated or onion paste releases moisture.
When the onion is lightly browned (not caramalised) add Mutton. Give a nice stir for five mins then add ginger, salt and coriander powder. Keep stirring in reasonable intervals.
When the moisture dries up and the ghee shows on sides, add water. Once starts boiling then lower the flame and cover the pan with a tight lid. You may check the salt level at this time and add if required.
Cook covered at east for an hr. Check occasionally and give a stir and cover it again. The liquid may get reduced so if the mutton is still not cook, may add water.
Check out, the dish is ready to serve. This dish does not need any garnishing so I have not done any. If desired, may garnish with chopped coriander.
The consistency of the gravy depends on personal preference. If light consistency is desired, put more water. To reduce the heat, after the mutton is cooked, take off the meat pieces in separate bowl and strain the curry. The chili flakes and the whole masalas will be discarded and it will become a smooth curry. Add the mutton pieces and give a good boil before serving.
Enjoy with hot steamed rice. Best with Naan/Paratha/Tandoori Roti.
Note: If cooking in pressure cooker, follow the same method. After putting water cook till 4-5 whistles or 20 mins on low flame.