Thanks everyone for voting me to the top 9 on FOODBUZZ.I guess, all of you have been wondering “where the hell did she disappear!!” Well, first, I wanted to kick start 2011 with a dish that would really tell you what’s the secret ingredient that I totally love in my food which is(That’s my new chilli pepper font, I found on the net...funky rite? J)
Another reason that I delayed my post was waiting to get my foodbuzz publisher status before posting, but seems like the process is going to take more time....so I’ll move on!
Now that I am done with all the justifying, let’s move on to our recipe today. There is a tiny story behind this.
I watch this food and travel show on tv. Whenever its advertisement airs, there is a clip of the host gobbling down a huge piece of meat, straight from a potfull of red, thick, luscious, spicy and totally drool worthy meat curry J. My mouth watered every time I saw him eat that huge juicy chunk. So I googled and googled and found the video of the episode that aired this clip. AND that is how I found - ‘Lal Maas’ that literally translates to ‘Red Meat’.
This is a royal dish from the Rajputani Kitchen. The Rajput Kings of Rajasthan were known to be fierce hunters and lovers of meat. They had amazing culinary skills too! I’ll do a detailed post on Rajput cooking some other time. But, I have to admit that cooking and reading about this one dish has totally evoked my interest. I need to do some more research on facts or fiction to tell you more.
Something about these royal dishes that caught my fancy was, none of the authentic recipes had tomatoes because at the time, these veggies were not grown or for that matter it was unknown in this region....you see, we are roughly talking about an era around the 10th century. Wow! Now, that’s what I call truly rustic!! J
Another interesting thing about their dishes is that everything is prepared in pure ghee/ clarified butter because the region is a desert and water is scanty. But don’t worry, since water is not scanty for me, I used only 2 tablespoons of ghee in place of a whole cup....imagine so much oil that meat would float over it...hehehe....I bet Mr.Aj wouldn’t touch it!! Infact, most of us won’tJ.
The recipe here is an adapted and modified version of Lal Maas from Prashad by Jiggs Kalra, a famous Indian Chef and food critic.
I won’t call it absolutely authentic. But this is the closest I could get. The main deviations from the original recipe are:
1. I have used powdered spices plus whole (original has only whole spices)
2. Replaced dried red chillies with red chilli flakes due to personal worry that meat won’t have enough flavour.
3. Reduced amount of ghee from 1 cup to 2tbsp and instead of deep frying onions golden brown, I sautéed them brown.
By the way for those of you who don’t know what is Clarified butter or how it’s prepared, please check this post from my dear friend Susan’s blog, Chacko’s Kitchen- “How to prepare clarified butter?”
Now I’ll leave you with The ROYAL RED MEAT CURRY J!!
Ingredients: (serves 6)
Leg of tender lamb - clean and cut into chunks (around 1kg)
Onion- 5 medium sized finely sliced
Garlic- 1 pod remove skin and crushed
Yogurt - 1 cups (around 500ml)
Dried Red Chillies- 7 (reduce number for less heat)
Coriander powder- 4 teaspoons
Turmeric powder- 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds-1 teaspoon
Black cardamom - 7(shown in first picture)
Green cardamom - 10
Fresh Coriander leaves - 6 sprigs
Clarified butter/ ghee - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
1. Heat a pan and sauté cumin seeds for 2 mins on a medium flame.
2. Grind cumin, 2 black cardamom and 4 green cardamom into fine powder.
3. Separately, grind red chilly into flakes.
4. Mix the turmeric, coriander, spice powder and red chilli flakes into the yogurt. Keep aside for at least 15mins.
5. In a deep pan, heat ghee and add rest of the cardamoms.
6. Sauté for a minute and add onions.
7. Add some salt, mix and put lid on.
8. Let the onions cook till transparent. After that, sauté them till they turn golden color.
9. Add garlic and let it cook for a few mins.
10. Toss the meat in and adjust salt. On a high heat sear the lamb for 5 minutes.
11. Now incorporate the yogurt mixture and cook on medium heat with lid on, stirring once in a while.
12. Cook till meat is fully done. If water content reduces, add a cup of hot boiling water and cook. Once fully cooked, the gravy content should be bare and of sauce consistency.
13. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or bread of your choice.
N of course, enjoy the heat and spice on a cold winter night J!!!
Once Again, Happy New Year and lots of luv!!