A royally good dish – the history and heritage of Lal Maas
Lal Maas, which literally translates to “red meat”, is one of India’s finest dishes and its origin can be traced back to the state of Rajasthan, where the royalty that give this place its name was said to enjoy its fiery flavour.
But while Lal Maas was a firm favourite in the royal kitchens throughout Rajasthan, what makes this dish so special is its popularity among the wider population too, with the Marwari people also claiming Lal Maas as their own.
Thought to be a Marwari delicacy, Lal Maas is a staple (and typical) dish in the true-blue Marwari cuisine of the Rajput warrior class – as meaty as it can get with plenty of game (rabbit, wild boar and venison) thrown in.
Despite more than 70% of Rajasthanis being vegetarian – making it the most vegetarian state in India – Lal Maas is still enjoyed today, but mostly misunderstood as a hot dish because of the red chilli paste used to overpower its game flavour.
While Lal Maas should be spicy, like most food originating from Rajasthan, it’s also packed full of incredible flavour and offers an exciting challenge for chefs that like to experiment by fusing the old and the new, Rajasthani tradition with western ways.