This Laal Maas recipe is my easy rendition of a classic meat delicacy – the traditional Rajasthani Laal Maas! If I have to write down all the mutton curries that I love, I am going to write this one at least twice! It is in a league of its own! For the uninitiated, authentic laal maas is a mutton curry cooked with signature Mathania dry chillies in a yogurt sauce.
Laal maas is fiery, yet flavourful. It doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, but you will be surprised at how these ingredients work together and take your taste buds on a tour!
I have modified a few items used in the conventional preparations to utilize ingredients that can be easily sourced. The smoking element using charcoal and ghee is not included in my recipe. I have replaced the signature Mathania chillies with a mix of Kashmiri and hot chillies. And finally, I have cooked using a pressure cooker reducing the number of hours required to produce this dish compared to the traditional slow cooking methods. So that’s the disclaimer! 🙂
I guess laal maas is one of the most famous specialities of the Rajasthani cuisine. It certainly is one of my favourites!
My sister, while returning from her recent trip to Jaipur, brought us some beautiful plates and artwork from the Pink City. She also got me a recipe for laal maas which I have tailored to an easier version here.
While I have never been to Rajasthan, I have come across laal maas on various occasions at wedding feasts and in restaurant spreads. And I never missed a chance to taste it on any of those occasions.
What makes laal maas different from other mutton curries?
Well, almost everything! It doesn’t use the regular tangy ingredients to add the acidity. So no tomatoes, no lime or lemon juice, and no tamarind. It is the thick, creamy yogurt that also brings in the tangy touch. Another distinct flavour variation is the use of mustard oil. And of course, the dry chillies that add all the character to the meat.
About this recipe
We’ll start by roasting cloves in mustard oil and slow-cooking onions till they are brown. This is followed by adding meat and cooking for sometime before adding the ginger garlic paste. Once the meat is evenly coated with onions, chilli paste and salt is added followed by some more slow cooking. Now that’s colourful. Pressure cook to perfection and garnish with garlic slivers fried in ghee!
If you love mutton curries, you shouldn’t leave without checking out this delicious Kerala mutton curry. These lamb recipes are also worth a try.
- 500 grams mutton small to medium pieces
- 4 medium onions about half the weight of mutton
- 5 cloves
- 1 inch ginger
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 cup yogurt whisked
- 3 tablespoon mustard oil
- 10 dry kashmiri chillies *read notes
- 5 dry red chillies hot chillies
- 1/2 tablespoon ghee clarified butter
- 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced lengthwise
- Cilantro (Coriander leaves) optional
- Thinly slice the onions. Finely chop the ginger and garlic, and crush to a coarse paste.
- I prefer using meat with bones. Wash the mutton pieces and keep it aside.
- I used Kashmiri and the regular hot variety red chillies instead of the Mathania chillies.
- Soak the chillies in lukewarm water for 10 minutes.
- Grind to a fine paste in a blender adding a little water at a time.
- On a high flame, heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker.
- Once the oil reaches a smoking point, take off the cooker from the heat.
- Add the clove once the smoke subsides. The oil will still be hot and you can hear them pop.
- Now put the cooker back on the stove and add the onions.
- Mix well and fry the onions on a low flame.
- Cook till they are brown (about 15 minutes) and add the mutton pieces.
- Cook for a couple of minutes while stirring to get the onions and the meat evenly distributed.
- Now add the ginger garlic paste, mix well, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chilli paste and mix well.
- Add salt, half a cup of water, and mix well.
- Now close the lid and pressure cook until the meat is cooked. I was using soft, tender mutton which got cooked in 4 whistles.
- Switch off and wait for the pressure to subside before opening the cooker.
- Mutton should be cooked perfectly now.
- Increase to a high flame and bring to boil. Add the whisked yogurt.
- Stir well and cook on a high flame till you bring it to boil again. Switch off.
- Heat some ghee in another pan and fry the thinly sliced garlic pieces. Switch off when they start to turn brown.
- Garnish with fried garlic and serve hot with some chapati or rice.