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Lal Maas

(Indian Curry)

This fiery dish, with its red gravy, hails from Rajasthan in India and is normally made with goat mutton. If you can't find goat, it can also be made with lamb. I used lamb shanks as I love the richness the bone marrow adds to the final dish.

Simon Majumdar's Lal Maas Recipe

Lal Maas Recipe


Serves: 4



  • Lamb Shanks (1 per person)

  • 2 Red Onions (Peeled and sliced)

  • 5 Cloves of garlic (Peeled and finely minced)

  • 1 Inch Fresh Ginger (Peeled and finely minced)

  • 3 Fresh Green Chilies (De-Seeded and finely minced)

  • 8 Dried Kashmiri Red Chilies (or 2 Tbsp Kashmiri chili powder)

  • 1 Tsp Ground Turmeric

  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander

  • 1 Tsp Ground cumin

  • 1 Tsp Salt

  • 3 Cloves

  • 3 Green Cardamom

  • 1 Black Cardamom

  • 4 Bay Leaves

  • 1 Piece of Mace

  • 6 Black Pepper corns

  • 3 Tbsp Whipped Whole Milk Yoghurt

  • 2 Pints of Water

  • 3 Tbsp Ghee or Oil for cooking



  1. Soak the dried Kashmiri chilies in a little water and blend to a fine paste.

  2. Mix the ground spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander & salt) and place to once side.

  3. Melt the ghee in a deep sided pan.

  4. Add the whole spices (cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, bay leaves, mace) and allow to cook in the oil until they begin to pop.

  5. Add the sliced red onion and cook until it is soft and golden brown.

  6. Add the minced garlic and minced ginger and cook gently for five minutes.

  7. Add the minced green chili and allow to cook gently for five minutes.

  8. Add the Kashmiri spice paste, combine well with the onions and allow to cook gently for at least ten minutes so the spices are cooked and release their oils.

  9. Add in the whipped yoghurt, combine with the onion mixture and cook gently for a further ten minutes.

  10. Add the lamb shanks to the pan and toss them in the onion mixture so they are coated.

  11. Add one pint of water. Cover the pan and allow it to simmer gently for around one hour.

  12. Remove the cover, add one more pint of water and simmer gently for one more hour.

  13. I like to let the dish sit over night at this point, to allow the flavours to really combine and to make it easier to remove the fat from the top of the sauce. You don't need to do this, but do try and remove as much fat as possible using a large spoon.

  14. Remove the lamb shanks from pan and keep warm.

  15. Remove as many of the whole spices as you can from the sauce.

  16. Blend the sauce to a paste using an immersion blender (this is optional, but gives a much better end result).

  17. Return the lamb shanks to the pan and cook gently for another fifteen minutes until the sauce has reduced to a thick gravy.

  18. Serve one lamb shank per person, making sure it is coated with lots of gravy.

  19. I like to serve this with Indian breads, plain boiled Basmati rice (mixed with a little ghee) and a raita of yoghurt, mint and tomato.

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