:: Recipe & Ingredients (Serves 2-4)
1 kg of Mutton with bones
1 Cup Paste of Kashmiri Red Chillies or Mathania Chillies (8-10 Chillies)
1 Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jhalokia / Raja Mircha)
2-4 Spoons of Yogurt
3-4 medium sized Onions thinly sliced
2-3 Tablespoons of Ginger & Garlic Paste
2-3 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Red Chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon Cumin Powder
Pinch of Asafoetida
Salt to taste
Ghee or Mustard Oil for cooking
Fresh Coriander for Garnish
Laal Maans or the Red Mutton Curry is a Rajasthani Mutton Recipe cooked in Yogurt, Spices and Chillies.
“Traditionally, laal maans was made with wild game meat, such as boar or deer and chillies were used to soften the gamy odor of the meat. It was a favorite among the royalties. While the spicy flavor remains, the meat used is tender mutton.”
This recipe is my twist on the Laal Maans and I do not claim it to be completely authentic. However, it is a easy dish to cook and just too delicious to eat. The cooking involves a 3 step process; first the marination of the meat, second is readying the paste of red chillies and then the actual cooking.
:: Step 1 – Marinating the Mutton
Wash and dry out the mutton and add it to a large bowl. Any marination requires a binding agent which basically binds the meat with the spices. In this case Yogurt is the binding agent.
In a small bowl add the Yogurt, the Ginger & Garlic Paste, Coriander Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, Garam Masala, Cumin Powder and Salt and mix it well to form a consistent paste of yogurt and spices.
Next add this paste to the mutton and mix it well. I always use my hands to mix the marinade and take my time to massage the meat. Once the meat looks nicely coated and relaxed set it aside for at least 1/2 hour.
:: Step 2 – Paste of Red Chillies
The most important ingredient of this recipe are the Red Chillies! They provide the heat and the bright red color to the meat. Traditionally the Mathania chillies are used, however the Kashmiri red chillies do a wonderful job of infusing the dish with their color and sweet peppery flavor. I also add 1 bhut jhalokia (Ghost Pepper) for some ‘real’ heat and smokiness.
Take around 8-10 dried chilli peppers along with the ghost pepper and soak them in warm water for 5-10 minutes or until they become soaked ‘n’ soft and let them cool down.
Once the soaked chillies cool down, grind them into a smooth paste. The hero ingredient is ready!
:: Step 3 – Cooking the Mutton
For cooking mutton, many people prefer doing it in a pressure cooker as it takes longer for the mutton to get tender. However, slow cooking any type of meat, specially with bones, releases more flavor and adds depth to the gravy. On a day to day basis I use the pressure cooker as well to save time.
To the cooking utensil, add and heat ghee or mustard oil. I prefer mustard oil for its after taste and aroma it adds to the meat. Once your oil is ready and smoky, add the Asafoetida, the Bay leaves and the onions. Saute the onions on medium / slow flame till they start turning golden.
To this, now add the marinated mutton and on a high / medium flame mix, stir and saute the mutton continuously for 3-5 minutes for all the marinade masala to cook and release it’s aroma. Reduce the heat and continue the saute process till the mutton gets well seared. I usually give this 5-10 minutes.
Next add the chilli paste to the mutton and mix well. Keep stirring and sauteing the mutton for 3-5 minutes. In a few minutes as the chilli paste binds with the mutton, it will begin to release its color. The mutton will begin to get richer in saturation. Continue on low / medium flame till the mutton starts to release oil. The oil separating from the masala is usually the sign when the saute is well done!
Now add water (2-4) cups, depending on the thickness of the gravy you prefer. Cover and cook the meat on slow/medium heat till its tender. It would take a good 30-45 minutes for the mutton to be done. If done in a pressure cooker then 4-6 whistles should get it there.
Once done garnish the mutton with fresh coriander. Serve hot with Roti / Bread / Rice and salad! Enjoy!
If you try this recipe out, please share your experience and/or feedback.
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