Laal Maas Recipe

Traditional Rajasthani Laal Maas Recipe

Laal Maas Recipe – Red meat curry from the land of Royals, Rajasthan, this laal maas is one such dish that will immediately rank high up in any non-vegetarian lover. This curry has taste on the spicier side and is reddish in color. This red color comes from unique Mathania chillies. Garlic, cardamon, mustard oil and other spices along with meat, gives it a distinct likeable taste.

Origin of laal maas

Laal maas (or maans), means red meat, in literal translation. No surprises in guessing that the name comes from the red color of the curry. This red color is attributed to the unique red chilli found in mathania village of Rajasthan. The curry originated in mathania, which is a place odd 35kms from Jodhpur. Red pigments from the chilli lends the bright red color to the curry.

Traditionally, laal maas was made from wld boar, venison or even rabbit, however now it’s usually made with goat or lamb. Another distinct feature of this laal maas is the smokey flavour. I guess traditionally, the “way of cooking” using burning of logs / wood, would have yielded this smokey flavour.

Laal Maas Recipe
Red Meat Curry Recipe

I had visited Jaipur back in December 2020 and there Kapil got to taste authentic laal maas, ever since he had been keen to explore more about this traditional Rajasthani meat. After much research, here is the recipe which Kapil feels was close to what he found in Jaipur. I have taken liberty to swap some of the ingredients to suit the availability, primarily the chillies. I have used red kashmiri mirch as against to mathania chilli. To enhance the spice levels, I have further added bird’s eye chilli.

You may use tomato puree too, to check the spice levels in balance at the same time ensuring the redness of gravy. In my house, my daughter also loves lamb curry, but can’t stand spice (typical British!), hence have to keep spice meter on low.

Difference between Laal maas and Rogan josh


Lamb rogan josh, may look similar to laal maas, as both of these have red color, however these two curries are hugely varied in taste. Lamb rogan josh has more of kashmiri flavours, mild in spice level, however laal maas is spicy and comes from Rajasthan. Later is smokey in flavour to an extent, however no smokey thing in rogan josh.

Traditional Laal Maas Recipe - How to make laal maas
Traditional Laal Maas Recipe

Method to make laal maas

  • First of all, soak the deseeded chillies in warm water for 15-20 minutes. After that grind them together with coriander seeds, black and green cardamom, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg in a grinding jar and keep this paste  aside.
  • Now, in a mixing bowl, add this paste (saving 1 tablespoon for later) with 1 tablespoon of ginger paste and 1 tablespoon of garlic paste, yogurt, turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Add mutton pieces now and coat them well with this marinade. Cover and keep it aside and let it marinate for 1-2 hour.
  • In a heavy-bottom pan, heat ghee and add bay leaves and onions. Sauté until they are golden. Add rest of ginger and garlic paste each and sauté for a minute. Add tomato puree, and sauté until the oil begins to separate.
  • Now add marinated mutton and mix well. Roast it for few minutes and then add 1 cup of water. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat until the meat is tender and cooked.
  • Switch off the heat and add rest of the saved spice paste. Mix it well.
  • Now take a piece of charcoal and burn it on flame. Once done, keep it in a bowl or small plate and keep this bowl in the cooked mutton pan. Pour little ghee or oil on it and quickly cover the lid and let the smoke collect inside the pan. 
  • After 3-4 minutes, open the lid and remove charcoal bowl. Gently mix so that smoke gets mixed in cooked mutton. Transfer it into a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or bread of your choice.
Traditional Recipe of Laal Maas
Traditional Recipe of Rajasthani Laal Maas

Pro Tips for best laal maans

  • If you can access to mathania chilli, nothing beats that. Those chillies are the best one. As an alternative, you can use Kashmiri red chillies to get the red color. You may also use tomato puree if you want red color, but less spices.
  • Use mustard oil for cooking. In my recipe, I have used ghee, as ghee cooked lamb tastes awesome too (and getting edible mustard oil in UK is challenging)
  • Use dhungar method to give smokey flavour to the lamb curry. For doing so heat a piece of charcoal on high flame for 7-8 minutes. Now, keep a small bowl on the top of curry in the pan. Put burnt charcoal into that bowl. Pour 1 tsp of oil over it and cover the pan with lid. Let the smoke come out of charcoal and infuse in lamb curry.
  • If you can cook this in open area by burning wood, like bon-fire, I guess this laal maas will taste splendid.
  • Marinate – Do not forget to marinate for best taste. Marination process will help spices to marry up well meat.

This laal maas recipe

  • Is close to traditional recipe, with minor deviations (Chilli, and Mustard Oil)
  • One of the unique rajasthani dish, loved by any meat lover.
  • Fully gluten-free, making it worthy for gluten intolerant people.
  • Yields a yummy lamb curry, which can be used as “show stopper” on any dinning table.
Rajasthani Laal Maans Recipe
Rajasthani Laal Maas Recipe

Serving suggestion for laal maas

Traditionally this laal maas is served with unlevelled roti. These roties are made with hand (and not using rolling pin). Roti can be of wheat, jowar or bajra. This is how people in villages of Rajasthan would eat, however, you can serve lamb curry with any Indian bread, including naan or even rice.

FAQs

Can I make it in Instant Pot

Absolutely! Note that the meat will get cooked relatively quicker in instant pot and the water will not evaporate as much, hence pay special attention on these points

Do I need to add lots of chillis to get red color

No! Adding lots of chilli may make this rajasthani laal maas, too spicy. De-seed the chillies to keep spice level less. Adjust spice level by using tomato puree

Does it need to be smokey

Ideally yes. Use dhungar method, as explained above or use liquid smoke. However, do not restrict yourself from enjoying this delicious laal maas if you can’y get smokey flavour.

Can I freeze laal maas

Yes, you can. Keep it in air-tight container. On de-freezing, let it thaw and once at room temperature, heat thoroughly before serving.


Recipe Card

Rajasthani Laal Maas Recipe

Laal Maas

Meenu Gupta
Traditional Rajasthani non-veg curry, getting its taste from the color and fiery spices
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Marination 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 938 kcal

Equipment

  • Wide Mouth Pan/ Kadai

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Kg Mutton /Lamb Pieces
  • 4 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 4 tbsp Tomato Purée
  • 2 Onions Medium Size, Chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Ghee / Clarified Butter
  • 2 Bayleaves
  • 3 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 3 Green Cardamom
  • 2 Cinnamon stick
  • 5 Cloves
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 12 Deseeded Kashmiri Red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1.5 Tsp Salt As per taste
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves

Other

  • 1 Charcoal 2 inch piece to give smoke.

Instructions
 

  • First of all, soak the deseeded chillies in warm water for 15-20 minutes. After that grind them together with coriander seeds, black and green cardamom, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg in a grinding jar and keep this paste  aside.
  • Now, in a mixing bowl, add this paste (saving 1 tablespoon for later) with 1 tablespoon of ginger paste and 1 tablespoon of garlic paste, yogurt, turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Add mutton pieces now and coat them well with this marinade. Cover and keep it aside and let it marinate for 1-2 hour.
  • In a heavy-bottom pan, heat ghee and add bay leaves and onions. Sauté until they are golden. Add rest of ginger and garlic paste each and sauté for a minute. Add tomato puree, and sauté until the oil begins to separate.
  • Now add marinated mutton and mix well. Roast it for few minutes and then add 1 cup of water. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat until the meat is tender and cooked.
  • Switch off the heat and add rest of the saved spice paste. Mix it well.
  • Now take a piece of charcoal and burn it on flame. Once done, keep it in a bowl or small plate and keep this bowl in the cooked mutton pan. Pour little ghee or oil on it and quickly cover the lid and let the smoke collect inside the pan. 
  • After 3-4 minutes, open the lid and remove charcoal bowl. Gently mix so that smoke gets mixed in cooked mutton. Transfer it into a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or bread of your choice.
    Laal Maas Recipe - Lamb Curry

Notes

  • You can use mustard oil instead of desi ghee in this recipe for more authentic version.
  • Traditionally this recipe uses Mathania chillies for the colour and heat. However I have used Kashmiri red chillies as we don’t get these mathania chillies locally.
  • If you want this recipe to be more hot, combine bird eye red chillies with Kashmiri red chillies.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Laal Maas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 938 Calories from Fat 621
% Daily Value*
Fat 69g106%
Saturated Fat 32g200%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 27g
Cholesterol 281mg94%
Sodium 1874mg81%
Potassium 1007mg29%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 63g126%
Vitamin A 44IU1%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 100mg10%
Iron 27mg150%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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