Laal Maas (Rajasthani Red Mutton Curry)

4.10 from 10 votes

Laal Maas is a traditional Rajasthani goat mutton curry that is fiery, hot, and deep red. Use my authentic recipe to make it at home in an instant pot or a traditional pressure cooker.

Rajasthani Laal Maas served in a bowl.
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About Laal Maas

Laal Maas translates to “Red Meat”. It is a traditional Rajasthani curry made using goat mutton and spices and is fiery hot and bright red.

Traditionally, Mathania chilies are used to make Rajasthani laal maas, which gives this mutton curry a fiery red color and moderate heat. These red chilies get their name from Mathania village of Jodhpur district in Rajasthan, where they are grown in abundance. But if you can’t find these chilies where you live, use Kashmiri red chilies instead.

In the earlier days, laal maas used to be cooked with spices on a slow fire until the meat was succulent and almost fell off the bones. But I make my recipe in an instant pot or a traditional pressure cooker to quicken the process.

When the laal maas was cooked over a fire on low heat, it also developed a smoky flavor, which can be easily replicated at home using the Dhungar method. It is optional but if you want your curry to have a smoky flavor, you can consider taking this extra step. I have explained it in the post below.

Here are some more mutton recipes I love making at home

History Of Laal Maas

In earlier days, the kings used to go for 3-4 days hunting trips, and they would take their best chefs (khansamas) with them to set up a temporary kitchen at the hunting camps. The kings would hunt wild boar, deer, rabbit, neel gai, etc, and the chef’s task would be to clean and cook the meat. They would use ghee, dry chilies, garlic, etc, to veil off the gamey odor of the meat and make a delicious dish using the minimum ingredients they could carry to the camp. This is how Junglee Maas was invented.

After some time, the kings got bored of the same recipe and wanted change. That’s when some other ingredients like yogurt, whole spices, and powdered spices like coriander powder, chili powder, etc, were added to the basic Janglee Maas recipe, and this Laal Maas Recipe was invented.

Ingredients

To Marinate The Mutton

Goat Mutton – Use bone-in goat mutton pieces cut into 1 and ½-inch chunks to make laal maas. If it’s not available, you can use lamb instead.

This dish was traditionally made using the kill of the day. It was game meat like wild boar, rabbit, deer, or Neil Gai. With time, the game meat was replaced with goat mutton.

Others – You will also need salt, ginger garlic paste, and lime juice.

For The Chili Paste

Laal maas ingredients list 2

Dry Mathania chili paste gives this dish a fiery red color and heat. You can source the Mathani chilies from Amazon, and if they are not available, use Kashmiri red chilies instead.

For The Curry

Oil – For an authentic taste, cook the laal maas in mustard oil or ghee.

Whole Spices – This recipe also uses a few whole spices that are lightly crushed and added to the oil. When added to the hot oil, they infuse a beautiful aroma and flavor into the recipe. These whole spices are – cloves (laung), black peppercorns (kali mirch), black cardamoms (badi elaichi), green cardamoms (hair elaichi), cinnamon (dalchini), and bay leaves (tej patta).

Garlic – Peeled whole garlic cloves are added to the curry for an authentic taste. Do not skip them.

Yogurt (Dahi, Curd) – Plain yogurt gives the curry a rich and creamy texture. Whisk it well to prevent it from curdling while cooking.

Spice Powders – You will need Mathania chili powder (or Kashmiri red chili powder), turmeric powder, coriander powder, and roasted cumin powder.

Note – Some people do not add any spices except the red chili powder to their recipe. You can try that version too.

Others – You will also need red onions.

How To Make Laal Maas

Preparation

Wash 2 pounds (1 kg) bone-in goat mutton (cut into 1 and ½ inch pieces) and drain all the water.

Peel garlic cloves and slice the onions.

Remove the yogurt from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Whisk it well using a wire whisk.

Make The Laal Maas In Instant Pot

Marinate The Mutton

Mix the mutton with 2 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, and 1 tablespoon lime juice.

Marinate for 2 hours

Mutton marinated with salt, ginger garlic paste and lime juice.

Make The Chili Paste

Cut 25-30 dried Mathania chilies into half and discard the seeds.

Soak in hot water for 15 minutes.

Chilies soaked in hot water.

Drain. Add to a blender along with ¼ cup water and blend to make a fine paste.

Soaked chilies and water added to a blender.
Ready chili paste.

Make The Curry

Add

  • 6-8 cloves
  • 6-8 black peppercorns
  • 3-4 black cardamoms
  • 3-4 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick

to a mortar pestle and crush them lightly.

Crushed whole spices.

Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot.

Add 6 tablespoon mustard oil to the pot.

Once the oil is hot, add the lightly crushed whole spices and 2 bay leaves to the pot and saute for 3-4 seconds.

Whole spices added to hot oil in the instant pot.

Add 2 cups of thinly sliced onions and cook till slightly brown (8-10 minutes), stirring frequently.

Onions added to the pot.

Now add 10-12 peeled garlic cloves and cook for another 5-6 minutes until the onions are nicely browned.

Garlic added to the pot.

Add the marinated goat mutton and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Marinated mutton added to the pot.

Add 1 cup room-temperature plain yogurt (whisked) and the chili paste to the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Yogurt and chili paste added to the pot.

Now add

  • 1 teaspoon Mathania chili powder (or Kashmiri red chili powder)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder

and cook for 2 minutes.

Spice powders added to the pot.

Add a cup of water to the pot and mix well.

Water added to the pot.

Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.

Lid of instant pot secured.

Press CANCEL and set the timer to 25 minutes at high pressure.

Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.

Note – To make the curry in a traditional stovetop pressure cooker, follow the recipe until water is added over medium-high heat. Close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Now reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.

Check for salt and add more if needed. Serve hot.

Ready laal maas.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I give laal maas a smoky flavor?

To make it smoky, you can give it a dhungar. Heat a piece of charcoal or a whole cinnamon stick over a direct flame until it is red hot. Keep a bowl in the center of the pan.

Keep the hot charcoal in the bowl. Drizzle 1 teaspoon ghee over the charcoal and immediately close the pan lid. Let the curry absorb the smoke for 10-15 minutes. Remove the bowl and give the curry a mix.

 

 You will have to add more water while cooking the curry.

 

Some people add kachari powder, giving this curry a unique tangy taste. Cut the yogurt to ½ cup and add 2 tablespoon of kachari powder if you use it.

Some people do not add turmeric powder and coriander powder to their recipes, but like any other traditional recipe, each dish has different versions. I saw my grandmother adding these spices to this curry, and I followed the tradition. If you are uncomfortable adding it, feel free to skip it.

Reduce the chilies if you don’t want the curry too spicy.

Serving Suggestions

Laal Maas is traditionally served with Bajra Roti or Makki Ki Roti. You can also serve it with Indian bread, like Plain Naan, Lachha Paratha, or Phulka.

It also goes very well with Steamed Rice or Jeera Rice. Serve some sliced onions and lemon wedges on the side.

Storage Suggestions

Laal Maas will last in the fridge for 4 to 5 days when stored properly in an air-tight container.

Reheat it in a pan or microwave before serving it again. Add a little water while reheating if you feel it has become thick.

Heat only the amount you want to serve if you make it in bulk. Reheating, again and again, should be avoided.

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Laal Maas is a traditional Rajasthani goat mutton curry that is fiery, hot, and deep red. Use my authentic recipe to make it at home in an instant pot or a traditional pressure cooker.
4.10 from 10 votes

Laal Maas Recipe

Laal Maas is a traditional Rajasthani goat mutton curry that is fiery, hot, and deep red. Use my authentic recipe to make it at home in an instant pot or a traditional pressure cooker.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Marination Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

To Marinate The Mutton

  • 2 pounds bone-in goat mutton (1 kg, cut into 1and ½-inch pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For The Chili Paste

  • 25-30 dried Mathania red chilies (or dried Kashmiri red chilies)

For The Curry

  • 3-4 whole cloves (laung)
  • 6-8 whole black peppercorns (kali mirch)
  • 3-4 whole black cardamoms (badi elaichi)
  • 3-4 whole green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
  • 1 inch piece of whole cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 6 tablespoons mustard oil (or ghee)
  • 2 bay leaves (tejpatta)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 8-10 whole garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (dahi, curd) (at room temperature and whisked)
  • 1 teaspoon Mathania red chili powder (or Kashmiri red chili powder)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
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Instructions 

Marinate The Mutton

  • Wash the goat mutton and drain well.
  • Mix the mutton with salt, ginger garlic paste, and lime juice.
  • Marinate for 2 hours.

Make The Chili Paste

  • Cut the chilies into half and discard the seeds.
  • Soak in hot water for 15 minutes.
  • Add to a blender along with ¼ cup water and blend to make a fine paste.

Make The Curry

  • Add cloves, black peppercorns, black cardamoms, green cardamoms, and cinnamon to a mortar pestle and crush them lightly.
  • Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot.
  • Add mustard oil to the pot.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the lightly crushed whole spices and bay leaves to the pot and saute for 3-4 seconds.
  • Add onions and cook till slightly brown (8-10 minutes), stirring frequently.
  • Now add garlic cloves and cook for another 5-6 minutes until the onions are nicely browned.
  • Add goat mutton and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add yogurt and chili paste to the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Now add Mathania chili powder (or Kashmiri red chili powder), turmeric powder, coriander powder, and roasted cumin powder, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add a cup of water to the pot and mix well. Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
  • Press CANCEL and set the timer to 25 minutes at high pressure.
  • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.
  • Check for salt and add more if needed. Serve hot.

Notes

To make the curry in a traditional stovetop pressure cooker, follow the recipe until water is added over medium-high heat. Close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook for 1 whistle on high heat. Now reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 704kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 58g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 136mg, Sodium: 149mg, Potassium: 619mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 620IU, Vitamin C: 9.7mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 4.2mg
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3 Comments

    1. It could be because of the variety of chili you used. I have made this recipe multiple times and it has always turned out like this.