Brunch · Indian Curry/Stew

Laal Maas – Rajasthani Red Mutton Curry

SinfullySpicy - Laal Maas, Rajasthani Red Mutton Curry001I feel unusually excited about curries at this time of the year. Generously spiced, red hued, boldly flavored curries are a different beast during winters, just waiting for rotis to be dunked in or rice to be mixed.These are the months that I reserve for time-consuming meat stews and long cooking processes. There is comfort in standing beside the stove preparing meals which warm up the heart and soul.

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Couple of years back, I saw a chef talk about and prepare this fiery curry on a food show. All I remember is that he used simple day-to-day spices,grated in lots of garlic & doused the masala in yogurt to tame down the heat from all those dry chilies. Only after making it, did I realize what he meant when he said this curry is not for the faint hearted.

SinfullySpicy - Laal Maas, Rajasthani Red Mutton Curry003, hot chili

I did not grow up eating it, so I came up with from what I remembered & what suits our tastebuds.The sauce is fiery, though beautifully hued and the dash of ghee towards the end must.You really need mellow side dishes with this meal – plain dal tadka and lot of kachumber (sans the green chili) to wash it down. The intense flavors open up your appetite but you won’t want to stop 🙂

SinfullySpicy - Laal Maas, Rajasthani Red Mutton Curry005

The dish can be made a hot as or not as you want. I use a mixture of kashmiri chili powder for less heat but the intense color. You could go ahead and use super hit red chilli powder if you want it fiery!.Now, it is something which I would not make every now & then.Maybe once or twice a year – the flavors are excellent but hot! We drank so much water during dinner time but what a nirvana!

SinfullySpicy - Laal Maas, Rajasthani Red Mutton Curry006

Ingredients – Serves 2-3

  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom (buy online here) 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1.5 lb mutton (cut into 1″ pieces)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1″ ginger shoot, minced
  • 10-12 whole dry kashmiri chillies (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (or cayenne)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup thick curd/plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp ghee
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • cilantro to garnish

Notes

  1. The dish can be made a hot as or not as you want. If you use store bought kash miri chill powder, the taste is mild but its lends a beautiful color.So the dish will come out less hot.
  2. If you powder whole dried kashmiri chillies like I do, the fresh ground chilies are hot and bring in the beautiful red color too! 

Method

In a heavy bottomed pot with lid, heat mustard oil till it smokes and immediately turn off the heat. Wait for about a minute or so to let it cool to medium hot. Return to the stove and  add the cloves, black cardamom and bay leaf. Wait for them to crackle.

Add the sliced onion to the pot and cook on medium till they turn brown. Once the onions have browned, add the mutton pieces,kashmiri chili,red chili & turmeric powder to the pot and sauté uncovered for about 20 minutes till you see the sides of mutton getting brown.

Add the minced ginger and garlic to the pot next and sauté for another 5-8 minutes. Next, reduce the heat to low, wait for 2 mins and add the yogurt to the pot. Also add the salt and slowly stir around so that the yogurt combines with spices and coats the mutton pieces. Saute uncovered for another 2 mins.

Add the water, ghee and grated garlic to the pot next and increase the flame to medium, cover the pot and cook till the mutton is done. It took me about 40 minutes for the meat to be thoroughly cooked.If you intend to use a slow cooker, adjust the cooking time, for pressure cooker, it might take 3-4 whistles for cooking through.

Let the curry rest for about 3-4 hours before serving.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with flatbreads or steamed rice.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Desserts/Baking

Jeera Biscuits – Buttery Cumin Cookies (Eggless)

Sinfully Spicy :Jeera Biscuits 001(Buttery Cumin Cookies)

I have just finished unpacking the last of bags from a month long trip to Delhi. The household is slowly settling to routine, the little one is back to her usual sleep schedule and yesterday I could manage a batch of these cookies while she napped.

Sinfully Spicy :Jeera Biscuits, Ingredients 002(Buttery Cumin Cookies)

Sinfully Spicy :Jeera Biscuits 008(Buttery Cumin Cookies) Tea time in India is special, though not british like,but in its own way. From gossip sessions with the neighbor to prepping for exams the next day or just as a way to relax, the ubiquitous chai shadows each and every aspect of day today indian life. Something said to taste better with company, chai is usually served with piping hot fritters, indian trail mixes or cookies (better called biscuits).

Sinfully Spicy :Jeera Biscuits 004 (Buttery Cumin Cookies)

I grew up sipping overly milky, cloyingly sweet and richly spiced chai, something which I kind of got addicted to over years. Morning tea was accompanied by rusks but in the evening, while everybody liked their chai with samosas,I  dunk those salty-sweet jeera biscuits which mom got every now and then from a bakery near home.

Bakery biscuits back home are quite a thing, they taste different from the usual packaged cookies you get in the grocery stores, they look rustic, taste homely and make you feel gluttony. I guess thats the whole point there, its the non- consistent taste and look that makes them so special. Unlike fancy ingredients like chocolate chips or vanilla (yes), they are loaded with nuts, whole wheat flours and loads and loads of ghee.

Sinfully Spicy :Jeera Biscuits 006 (Buttery Cumin Cookies)

I am not much of a cookie person but I m partial towards these. These biscuits are more salty than sweet (which is what I like about them),crumbly thanks to copious amount of butter and the warm,woody aroma of the cumin seeds scattered in the dough is what makes them so whimsical.

Honestly, I prefer these cookies slightly over baked, when they are more crunchy than crumbly but that’s just me, the original ones which you get in India are chewy in the center even when baked through.It took me a quite a lot of attempts to scribble this recipe, hope you like it.

Sinfully Spicy :Jeera Biscuits 006(Buttery Cumin Cookies)

Ingredientes (Makes 25-30 cookies)

  • 1.5 cups All purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup fine semolina
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, diced into cubes
  • 3 tbsp any neutral oil
  • 3-6 tbsp cold milk (just so that the dough comes together)

Method 

In a bowl, mix flour, semolina, sugar, salt, baking powder & soda together. Sift once. Dump the sifted flour mix in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the cumin seeds & cold butter cubes. Pulse for a minute or so till the butter becomes pea sized.

Remove the metal blade and fit the dough blade into the jar.Add the oil.Start the processor and add cold milk 1 tbsp at a time till the dough just comes together.Stop.The dough might be slightly sticky but thats okay.

Scoop out the dough, bring it together, don’t knead and divide into two equal portions. Form logs with each portion. Wrap the logs in a parchment sheets or plastic cling films. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes till firm and ready to be cut into slices.

Preheat oven to 325F/ 165C. Line cookies sheet with parchment/ wax paper. You might need 2 baking sheets or you can bake them in two batches.

While the oven is preheating, take out the cold dough logs and using a sharp,serrated knife, cut cookies about 1/4″ thick. Try to cut as uniform size as possible. Do not cut very thick slices else cookies will be raw while baking.

Arrange the cookies on the sheet about 2″ apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes till the cookie bases start turning brown and the top changes color. I personally like my cookies slightly overdone so I baked them for few extra minutes.

Let cool on the sheet before storing them in air tight containers for up to 2 weeks. Serve with hot chai.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!