Laal Maans

I’ve made a few versions of this dish in the past but I can’t remember where I first came across the recipe. Until recently I’ve used a more complicated set of spices and only dried chillies. Back in 2010, though, a local restaurant 'Massala' (now sadly defunct) sent out a newsletter containing a recipe for laal maans that used fresh chillies and black and green cardamom. I've not used the 'Massala' recipe here but I’ve taken those two ideas and shoehorned them into the recipe I’d already scribbled down from somewhere else.

Anyway, this is my version of laal maans and I like it even though it’s almost certainly a very long way from an authentic Rajasthan dish now that I've finished messing about with it. This should serve 2.
Laal Maans

3 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
½ tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
150 ml yoghurt
2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 black cardamom pods
3 green cardamom pods
375 g lamb neck fillet, cut into chunks around 2cm thick
400 g can plum tomatoes
½ tsp ground coriander
Chopped fresh coriander to serve

Stir the chopped chillies, the chilli powder, turmeric and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper into the yoghurt. Gently fry the onions in a little oil until they’re very soft and starting to colour (take plenty of time over this).

Split all of the cardamom pods and lightly crush the seeds. Add the garlic and the cardamom seeds to the onions and fry gently for another 2 or 3 minutes. Turn the heat up and add the lamb. Fry the lamb for another 3 or 4 minutes until it’s evenly coloured. Add the yoghurt mixture to the pan, turn the heat down and simmer gently, stirring every now and then, until the most of the moisture in the pan has evaporated and the yoghurt mixture is coating the lamb.

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Sprinkle over the ground coriander and add the tomatoes to the pan. Break up the tomatoes a little and add around 100 ml of water, or just enough to cover the meat. Bring the pan to the boil, cover and transfer to the oven.

Cook in the oven for around an hour until the meat is very tender. Serve sprinkled with plenty of fresh coriander.


  1. This looks delicious Phil. I've purchased my first Curry Bible cookery this past weekend and I'm very excited to try and recreate some of the recipes.


  2. Haha Phil. I am a humble student of your French dishes (cough... desserts) so its all evens up :-)

    Did you know 'laal maans' literally means 'red meat' in Hindi? It looks utterly amazing, and I love your adaptations, cause this is what Indian cookery is all about. Even I adapt liberally to Western (and mine too, now...) tastes when I make my dishes.

    Thank you so much for linking up to Sweet Heat, Lynds and I really

    PS - Have you tried the taar korma yet? Ahem.. its pretty good and weirdly I had you in mind when I was making the dish. I don't know why :-))

  3. This looks like a great dish and I love your inventiveness. I'm definitely going to try making it.

  4. I have a few spices in my cupboard and I will try this dish. I still have lots to learn as I have only recently started to cook Indian and I am not very familiar with it.
    Very inventive dish indeed!

  5. That looks delicious Phil, it really does and such a beautiful colour!

  6. Though I never heard of this dish before, it does look fiercely delicious. That and some pilau rice or naan bread. Oh, yum...

  7. Thank you, everyone, for the kind comments. Perhaps I should have advised caution in the choice of type of chilli - choose a really hot type and this dish can be a little fiery.
    Michelle - you clearly know how much I love a good korma. I haven't made the taar korma yet - life and cooking opportunities are a bit erratic at the moment but as soon as things settle down a little, then it's at the top of my list.

  8. I love love love indian food. I'm drawn to anything with chilli and spices, having grown up in singapore. that curry looks freaking good omg. and surprisingly few ingredients (for indian food), and I do have everything already, and to go with it, the 8kg bag of aged basmati rice I just bought at a bargain hur hur hur. oh wait darn, black cardamom. grahh. but I am totally bookmarking this.

  9. Oh how I wish I lived in a house full of curry lovers ..... this looks so delicious, I'm feeling even worse now!!!!

  10. This looks fabulous! Will definitely be giving it a go!

    Thanks for taking part in this month's Sweet Heat Challenge : )

  11. This looks really good, we love spicy food so this sounds just the sort of thing we would like. Diane

  12. My goodness! I just hooked up with Sweet Heat Challenge summary over at Michelle's blog and your lamb dish popped out at me ... I would love this dish! Ironically, I am making Indian this evening, but alas, no lamb in the house. Otherwise, I'd be knoshing this dish with the cauliflower curry that is planned ...

  13. I've bookmarked this recipe can't wait to try it. I have a surprise for you. Check out my blog

  14. This looks and sounds like an amazing curry.


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