Laal Maas
50 Min

Laal Maas

Rajasthan, home to the Thar desert, is known for its princely states, palaces, and royalty. It is also a land where myth and history intermingle, and festivals and celebrations abound. With a bold cuisine of meat curries and kebabs, hunting and game meat like wild boar, venison, quail, and duck are also prized. Rajasthan is also barren of vegetables due to its climate and lack of vegetation, so a lot of beans, lentils and dried vegetables are part of the cuisine. Meats as well as vegetables are often preserved by pickling. Laal maas simply means ‘red meat curry’ and can be made with beef, lamb, or goat.
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Cook Time

50 Minutes + refrigeration & rest time



Step 1
Marinate the lamb chunks in garlic, yogurt, red chile, deghi mirch, black pepper and sea salt. Set aside in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Step 2
In a medium sized stockpot, saucepan, or Dutch oven over high heat, warm the ghee. Add the cloves, cinnamon, black cardamom, and cardamom pods. They will sizzle and fry – within a few seconds add the whole red chiles and the minced onion. Cook on high heat, stirring frequently, until the onions have sweated or start to change color. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes and lower the heat if you need to. Turn the heat down to a low setting, cover the pot and continue cooking for another 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 3
Add the marinated lamb and turn the heat back to high. Fry the lamb with the onions until it starts to cook and turn slightly brown on the edges. Lower the heat.
Step 4
Add the ginger puree, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, and salt and continue simmering for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add about 2 cups of water (or stock) and bring the entire curry to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the lamb is tender. The sauce should be rich, a deep red in in color and fairly thick. Continue cooking, uncovered, to reduce the sauce if needed.
Step 5
Stir in garam masala and turn the heat off. Let the curry rest for at least an hour before serving.

Meat Marinade:

1-pound boneless lamb leg

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt

2 teaspoons red chile powder (reshampatti)

2 teaspoons deghi mirch*

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt 

For the curry:

1/3 cup ghee

10-12 cloves

3 to 4 small sticks of cinnamon

4 to 5 black cardamom pods

8 to 10 crushed green cardamom pods

10 to 12 red chiles, whole

2 cups of minced red onion

2 tablespoons ginger puree

1/2 cup canned tomato puree or 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)

2 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds

1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon garam masala

Notes & Variations

  • When frying the spices at the beginning, remember to move quickly or the spices will burn. If they turn dark brown or black, discard the spices and start over.
  • Deghi mirch is a branded bright red chile from India – usually available in most Indian grocers or online.
  • Tomatoes are not traditionally added to laal mass but we find that it gives the curry a brighter color and a touch of acid.
50 Min

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