Lal Maans (Lal means Red in English and Maans means Meat) is a meat curry which is prepared with red chilies and curd. It is prepared in thick gravy. The gravy once cooked looks red in color and hence it derives its name – Red Meat. It is said that earlier it was meat of hunted animals which was prepared in wild, but now a days what we get is mutton meat, but different stories prevail about its origin.
Now a days Lal Maans has become signature dish in almost all the restaurants, but changes can be noticed in its preparation. The taste also varies from one place to the other. Earlier it use to be slow cooked on wood fire, but now days it takes hardly an hour to cook the same. I have been trying local recipes everywhere I travel and I was so confused about what the real recipe of Lal Maans is.
For red color Mathania Red Chilly from Mathania in Jodhpur were used, but now a days we find use of Kashmiri red chilies.
I found a lovely article on Lal Maans published by chef Kunal Kapur and the same can be accessed here. He has very minutely described the recipe and has tried to find its origin as well.
What I found while traveling across Rajathan that it is very hard to find real recipe. You will find it too spicy at many places. I would like to specially mention the dish prepared at Camelman Guest house , which was the best I had till date. The one we had was prepared over wood fire and it took close to 5 hours to prepare the same. If you happen to visit Bikaner stay there and ask them to prepare the same and enjoy one of the most famous delicacy of Royal Rajasthan.