Thursday, January 13, 2011

RED MEAT CURRY - LAL MAAS: “RAJASTHAN's ROYAL LAMB CURRY”

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

Method:

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!!
Mj

33 comments:

  1. mouth watering in excess over here :)) it looks great & spicy!

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  2. Your recipes always make me hungry. This looks soooo good. Interesting story too. Looking forward to more instalments once your research is completed! :)

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  3. Lovely curry, though I dont cook lamb myself, Im sure this dish was delicious..

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  4. Love the story behind the Lal Maas, and the red chili font.... next time I turn to red meat, this is the curry I'm going to cook! This is royal stuff!!

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  5. I was ready to eat up that first photo! I can't take too much spicy, but this looks worth the tears and the runny nose! ;-)Delicious recipe!

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  6. this soo, soo good dear. i am certainly gonna make this....

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  7. Oh my...that looks phenomenal! I just love the photos and recipe is wonderful as well!!

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  8. incidentally my new neighbour is a rajput...and i once saw a mutton roganjosh recipe with 1 cup ghee! this is beautiful and i fall back on you as my mutton recipe provider. i'm gonna have a separate mutton folder coz good recipes with this meat are rare. good show!

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  9. Thanx everyone for all those great comments
    @Julie: just placed orders for the books. I just cant let go of this cusine..its awesome hot and spicy.
    @KAte: you can reduce the number of chillies and put them as whole instead of flakes, that way it wont be as spicy :)
    @kitchen morph: Oh! A rajput neighbour...now i'm jealous...the last few days of reading about their cusine has totally left me wanting to talk to someone who's actually from that culture :)

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  10. that pic has drool factor written all over it! its lunch time for me and not at all a wise decision to blog hop :( i want that athisaya pathiri too :(

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  11. I looove lamb curry! I've never made it, but when I eat out the slow-cooked flavors and tenderness of the meat are so good. Not too much hot spice for me though. :)

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  12. MJ, your meat curry made it to Top 9
    Congratulations !!!

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  13. Thankyou!!!! I just found out...its such a happy moment wen you know u r on the top nine =)

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  14. your dishes always look incredible, I love this one and your images are gorgeous!!
    Congrats on the top 9!!
    Dennis

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  15. Mmmm...love the spicy stuff! This looks absolutely delicious! A well deserved top 9! Congrats!

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  16. I don't know what I appreciate more: the beautiful photos, the great dish, your lovely description or the way it all has me so hungry that I'm just going to have to try it! Thanks for a nice post!

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  17. hesy dear i posted your recipe in CURRY LOVERS group in FB, come and join us there.

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  18. @Denis: Thanx Chef!!
    @Susan: I cant find the group of fb =( How ever I have added chako's kitchen to my favs. Could u mail me a link of the group?

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  19. Gorgeous curry dish...
    Congrats on Top 9 :)

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  20. congrats on top 9! next time our mutton is in this is the preparation and i'll stick to it religiously and find out what lal maas is. wht is the spice powder mentioned in your prep. again do you think if i pressure cook it it may affect the taste. mutton takes a long time....

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  21. @magic of spices: thanks a lot!! =)
    @Kitchenmorph: spice powder is powder when we ground cardamom and cumin. I wont recommend using pressure cooker. always cook mutton in a seal vesseland medium to low heat to retain the great flavours =)

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  22. My gosh - these flavors are poppin'! I LOVE this and wish I had this for lunch!

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  23. Wonderful. I love the seasoning.

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  24. I had the best lal maas in an non descript hotel in Jaipur. Awesome, been in love with it ever since.

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  25. Your blog has awesome photos and looks so scrumptious --you make me hungry!! Congrats

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  26. I've just had a big breakfast and now you've just made me hungry again! Very nice post.

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  27. Wanting to try this after having loads of it in Rajasthan! Your Venice pics to die for...will post comment soon!

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  28. Made this: goody good.

    I bought a mutton masala from Udaipur..costs a bomb. 120/- for 100 g but phenomenal taste.

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  29. Trying this again: current family fave!

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  30. I a'm not mistaken, chili was brought to India by Portuguese traders, so it cannot be in 10th century :)

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  31. wow wow this is one of the best recipe felling to grap all...
    Mutton Recipes

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  32. This blog is looking repository of food and found here every kind of food. it looks beautiful and superb in taste. share more recipe with better information. restaurant near venkateshwar college

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