Lal Maas Spicy and Fiery Mutton Curry

Laal Maas is a spicy meat curry from Rajasthan India, prepared by cooking lamb/mutton or goat with lots dried red chilies.
It used to be cooked when royalty went out hunting in the Jungle using simple ingredients of mainly dried red chillies and ghee. Hence the original name Jungli maas.
Moving forward its evolved to Laal Maas, its name coming from its colour derived from the plentiful red chillies used primarily in this curry.
The dish is traditionally fiery hot but don’t be put off with the sheer amount of dried chillies used as this is traditionally Mathania chillies that are used more for their colour. Adjust the amount if you feel its too much and omit the chilli powder but I love the heat which is what the dish is supposed to be.

They key points of the success of this curry is to cook slowly and steadily. To ‘bhuna’ and cook in its own juices as much as possible. It’s paramount the flavours develop and that’s achieved by the slow cooking process.
Don’t rush it…let it do it’s thing…you will be greatly rewarded.

There are many recipes but this is how I make it. I love the temper at the end as the ghee gets flavoured and adds that rich note that hits your nostrils!


1kg mutton on the bone, I use neck and shoulder mix.
¼ cup Ghee/Oil –
20 Dried red chilies
1/2 cup hot water to soak dried red chilies.
1 Bay Leaves
5 Cloves
4 Cardamom Pods
1 black cardamom
10 Garlic cloves in paste
1 inch gnger paste
4 peppercorns
3 med Onion – finely chopped

Spiced yogurt
¼ cup yogurt
Salt to taste 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp Red chili powder
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tbsp mustard oil

Soak the dried red chilies in ½ cup of hot water for about 30 min then blitz into a paste using a few tablespoons of the strained soaking water. Keep the remaining water for later.


Heat ghee or oil in a pot.
Add bay leaves, cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns and fry until fragrant.

Add chopped onions and fry until they turn golden brown.

Add lamb, garlic, ginger, chilli paste and cook for 10 mins on med, uncovered until chilli paste starts to ‘bhuna’ and cooks in the water released from onions and eventually caremalises.

Add the drained water from the dried red chilies and add to the meat. Cover partially cook until the liquid evaporates, for about 10 mins.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix plain yogurt, salt, red chili powder, roasted cumin seeds, cumin powder and coriander powder and 1 tbsp of mustard oil. Whisk until smooth to make spiced yogurt.

Add spiced yogurt to the meat and cook on med/high until liquid released from the yogurt evaporates for about another 5 mins till oil splits. You will know as the yogurt will reduce alot and there will be alot of oil separating.

Add a cup of water, cover and cook on low flame until the meat turns tender for about 40 to 45 min or until it falls of the bone.

Adjust the seasoning and turn off the flame.

Next prepare to temper.

Ingredients for Tadka:
1 Tbsp Ghee/Oil
3 Cloves
2 Dried red chilies torn

Method for tadka:
Heat ghee or oil in a small pan or ladle.
Add clove and dried red chilies. Fry until fragrant.
Add to the curry. Cover immediately after for about 10mins

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with boiled rice and tuck in.

Serve with flat breads and cooling yogurt sauce.


You can use any meat you choose. Beef, lamb or pork. If using chicken it may not have the same final flavours due to shorter braising time.

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