Laal Maas (Lamb Curry)

Laal Maas

This famous, fiery hot lamb curry from Rajasthan is seasoned with whole spices and red chilies. I like to use some paprika along with the cayenne pepper to temper the heat and add that gorgeous red colour to the curry. Serve with naan and a fresh salad.

2 tbsp oil

6 each, whole spices: cardamom, cloves

1 star anise

2 inch stick of cinnamon

1 mace flower, optional

1/4 crushed nutmeg, optional

1 large cooking onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped

1 lb boneless leg of lamb, cubed into bite sized pieces

1 tsp each, ground spices: coriander, cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp paprika

Salt to taste

1/2 cup each: thick Balkan style plain yogurt, water

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Warm oil in deep heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add cardamom, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick, mace and nutmeg (if using). Sizzle spices for 1 min, then add onions.

Saute onions until lightly browned, about 5-7 min.

Add lamb, garlic, ginger, all the ground spices and salt. Saute for 5-7 min until lamb browns lightly and becomes aromatic.

Add yogurt, stirring all the while for 1 min. Add water, mix well, cover and bring contents of skillet to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 2 hours or longer until lamb is very tender and sauce is thick. Stir occasionally and add another 1/4 cup of water if needed.

Fold in fresh coriander and serve.

Serves four