Happy Sunday foodies!
Hope you are having as relaxing a Sunday as I am. We had our very good friends over for dinner last night and it was a wonderful, fun Saturday! Today, it’s a rainy Sunday (Yep, that happens a lot in Ireland)…..the kind you want to spend enjoying a hot and soothing bubble-bath, ordering in and catching a nice movie on Netflix, buried under a duvet (I do that a lot too..*wink* *wink*). So, while the water is heating and I am finishing my morning tea in bed, let me share with you a beautiful and authentic Indian “curry” recipe that I made yesterday afternoon, and which is immensely famous in our country as well as abroad.
First things first-
Disclaimer- *Making lal-maas with anything but mutton is equivalent to a crime but as we don’t get mutton here is Ireland, I have prepared it with chicken instead. If you live in a place where goat’s meat is easily available, PLEASE PLEASE make this curry only with mutton. The recipe will remain the same, only the cooking time has to be increased!*
So, where were we…
‘Lal-maas’ (Lal means ‘Red’ and Maas means ‘flesh’) is a fiery, traditional meat curry from the Indian state of Rajasthan. Mutton (Goat’s meat) cooked in a variety of spices, and a burst of red chillies results in a dish that is hot with a kick yes, but is also so very delicious. There are no tomatoes used in this recipe (that is uncharacteristic of most Indian curries) and the key ingredients here are onions, dried red chillies, natural yogurt and an authentic Rajasthan spice powder, called ‘Kaachri masala’.
My aunt who lives in Udaipur, got Kachri powder for me when we met last year, and I use it very conservatively, as it is so rare to find. It is a powder made of dried, wild cucumbers and it acts as a very effective meat tenderizer, mostly for mutton. It also gives an amazing flavor to the curry dishes. It is quite tangy and also contributes a strong tang in the dishes where tomatoes aren’t used. You can find Kachri masala only in Rajasthan!
Lal-maas is Rajasthan’s signature dish and one that the people there consider very close to their hearts. There are many different versions that you will find on internet these days, but I have researched and tried my best to bring for your the authentic one.
Now let’s talk Bajre ki roti! The bread that goes insanely well with all the meat based curries.
This too originates from Rajasthan but nowadays, it is equally popular in many of the Indian households, especially in winters. It is made of the pearl millet flour and is absolutely gluten-free. That is the reason why it is very very crumbly and the flat-breads are difficult to roll and roast. Thus, I add my usual whole-wheat flour to all my millet based flours My mother-in-law, however, makes them easily as she is very experienced and skilled at preparing them. Luckily, I got the bajra flour at our nearby Indian store and thus, had to use it at the earliest by pairing the awesome bajra rotis with, spicy and flavorful meat curry!
Try this comforting food combination from the royal lands of Rajasthan. The color of the gravy is a vibrant hue of red and the melt in mouth chicken/mutton is so succulent and tasty with bajre ki roti, that you will make it again and again before bidding the winters adieu for this year.
Have a great Sunday folks, and enjoy! xx
– 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (Substitute with 1 kg lamb or mutton if available)
– 10-15 dried red chillies
– 2 large onions, sliced
– 1 heaped tbsn ginger-garlic paste
– 2 tbsn Kachri-powder
– 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
– 1-2 cardamom seeds
– 1 bay-leaf
– a pinch of asafoetida
– 1 tsp turmeric
– 1 tbsn red chilly powder
– 2 tsp coriander powder
– 1/2 tsp Garam masala
– 3 tbsn plain yogurt
– 2 tbsn ghee+2 tbsn mustard oil
– 1 tsp cumin seeds
– Salt to taste
– Fresh coriander for garnishing
For the Bajre ki roti aka flat-breads-
– 2 cups pearl millet flour/Bajra flour (available in most Indian stores)
– 1 cup whole-wheat flour
– Around 1 cup of luke-warm water
– Soak the red chillies in around half cup of water, overnight. In the morning, grind the soaked chillies with around 1 tbsn of water to a smooth red paste.
– Marinate the chicken/mutton pieces with Yogurt, red chilly paste, salt, turmeric, coriander powder, chilly powder, kachri powder and red chilly powder. Mix well and set in the refrigerator for around an hour.
– To make your lal-maas, heat your mustard oil in a heavy-bottomed pan.
– Once it reaches smoky stage, lower the heat and add your ghee (clarified butter).
– Throw in a pinch of asafoetida and cumin seeds. Saute for a couple of seconds.
– Add all the whole-spices and saute for a few more seconds.
– Add in the sliced onions and cook covered on low heat, till they turn soft and translucent.
– Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for another minute or so, until the raw smell goes away.
– Now add the chicken along with the marinade and give it a good mix with the tempering.
– Fry on medium heat till you see oil leaving the sides of the mixture.
– Pour around 1 cup of water and cook covered for around half an hour, or until the chicken pieces are well-cooked.
– Simmer the gravy on removing the lid, till it reaches a desirable consistency.
– Switch off the gas and garnish with lots of fresh, chopped coriander.
– Your mouth-watering and spicy Lal-maas is ready!!
To make Bajre ki roti-
– In a bowl, combine both the dry flours.
– By adding the luke warm water little by little, knead into a soft, smooth dough.
– Cover and keep for around half an hour so that the dough rises nicely!
– To make bajra ki rotis, with a wet hand, take a large ball out of the dough and smooth it between your palms.
– With a very light hand, roll into a thick circle using a rolling pin.
– with a flat spatula, place very carefully on a hot skillet.
– Lower the heat and when you see the surface bubbling over, flip the roti.
– Wait till the other side looks browned and cooked as well. These rotis take more time to cook than the usual whole-wheat chapattis. When both the sides have dark brown spots on their surface, pick the roti with tongs and place on the open flame.
– Flip a couple of times till the roti looks absolutely cooked to you.
– Transfer to a plate and smear ghee generously on top of your hot roti.
– Prepare all your rotis this way and serve hot with delicious Lal-maas!
– You can also fry your bajre ki rotis like a paratha, on a frying pan with ghee.
– Bajra rotis are extremely nutritious but heavy on the stomach. My hubby who has a minimum of four chapattis daily, could only manage to eat two bajra rotis only.
– For the lal-maas,if you do not have mustard oil or ghee or both, comfortably substitute them with the vegetable oil that you use for cooking.
– For redder color in the curry, you can also add a spoonful of tomato puree/paste while the meat is cooking.