Indian Non Vegetarian

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 🙂

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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!

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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


  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! 


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.

32 thoughts on “Laal Maas – Rajasthani Red Mutton Curry

  1. I really enjoy reading your blog…especially when you reminisce about delhi, because I can also relate to that. Your recipes are really good. Somehow you don’t cut corners and yet it sounds simple enough to try out. Thanks for sharing. Your knowledge about food is commendable.

    1. Vaishali,
      I m so glad that you get it. My motive is to keep it traditional, the way it is supposed to be done but not complicate it. Thanks so much.

  2. I have seen many such lovely mutton curry and trust me you’s is one of the best that I have seen. Excellent preparation.

  3. It’s very similar to Bengali goat meat curry except the ghee. I am sure the ghee will add an extra flavor to it. Looks very tempting. I do cook a lot of meat and stews in winter. It’s the best season to indulge in those after all.

  4. Thank you for sharing! I am have made this today and will let you know how it turned out!

    By the way I am also married to a Bengali!

    1. Tanvi, It was just amazing, Very simple and easy to make but DELICIOUS! The ghee just adds another level of favour and aroma.

      My Hubby loved it too!

      Thanks once again!

  5. hi Tanvi,

    last week I made your Laal Maas and it was good. But one thing … I expected it to be very fierce / hot but to be honest it was not 🙂 I thought that the Laal Maas dish has the reputation to be very hot ?

    1. Yes you are right Jan.It is supposed to be very hot. I have written in the write up that I used kashmiri red chili powder (a much milder chill powder) to bring down the heat but keep the color. I think I should have written this a note in the recipe. Sorry abt that. Will update.

      1. ah ….but would it not be an option to keep the kashmiri powder (for color) and raise the amount of red chili powder ? then you have a nice red (but also hot) dish 🙂

      2. Yes totally. You can use kashmiri chill powder for color and normal red chili powder for heat! Or better yet get whole dried kashmiri chillies and powder them with seeds and all. Best option if you know what I mean 🙂

  6. Just made this today didn’t turn out quite as red as the pics but still firery and delicious

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