Laal Maas is one of the signature dishes of Rajasthan. This proper Rajasthani delicacy of lamb meat is cooked with loads of chillies and other spices. It appears almost red in color, and is fiery hot in taste.
This non-veg recipe depicts a lot about Rajasthan and its people. The Rajasthan region was earlier known as Rajputana and consisted of many princely states. Being a desert land, it barely had any vegetation, and furious dust storms and scorching sun made living here tough and challenging. In earlier days, Rajput people, who were famous for their valour and grandeur, used to be passionate hunters , and “Junglee Maas” was their favourite. Their cooking was simple, and they used loads of ghee and chillies to fight the heat. Laal Maas is just another perfect example of their war-like lifestyle and adaptability to the challenges of Mother Nature.
Ingredients of Laal Maas
- 1 kg leg meat of lamb with bone, chopped into 1-1.5 inch pieces
- 25–30 dried whole red chillies (remove their stalks)
- 3 bay leaves
- 10 whole cloves
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 5 black cardamom pods
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 inches cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp roasted cumin seeds
- 150 g ghee
- 250 g plain yogurt
- 75 g garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250 g onions, finely chopped
- 750 ml lamb stock or water
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 tsp coriander leaves, finely chopped, for garnishing
Preparation method of Laal Maas
- Keep 5 chillies, a few cloves and 1 tbsp of the ghee aside and soak rest of the chillies in half cup of water.
- Take yogurt in a glass bowl and add cumin seeds, ground coriander, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt to it and whisk it smooth.
- Put a heavy-base pan on gas stove and heat the remaining ghee in it. Add bay leaves, green and black cardamom pods, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick and rest of the cloves to it and cook until they start to crackle and change their color. Then add garlic, and when garlic turns golden in color, put in the chopped onions and cook for some 5-10 minutes. All this time keep stirring.
- When the onions start appearing golden brown, stir in the pieces of lamb meat. Cook for 4-5 minutes stirring continuously. Take out the soaked chillies and put them in the pan, cook for another 10-12 minutes or till when the meat becomes visibly light brown in color. Now empty the spiced yogurt from its bowl in the pan and cook till all liquid from yogurt disappears.
- Pour the lamb stock or water and boil the contents. After that, place a cover over the pan, turn the gas knob to SIM and cook till the meat is tender. When the meat is completely cooked, removed the pan from the gas stove.
- Place a frying pan on heat and melt the ghee we had kept aside earlier in it. Throw in the chillies and cloves. Cook till the spices release aromas, and the color of ghee changes. Pour this tadka mixture over the Laal Maas.
Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and served with “makke, bajre ki roti” or “bati” that are topped with a munificent amount of ghee.