Junglee Maas – A Mutton Curry Recipe that’ll blow your mind.
This 100 year old mutton curry is slow cooked on low heat that produces the most tender chunks of lamb or goat meat that you would have ever eaten.
Yes, you read it correct – 100 Year Old !
I got this recipe from a wonderful 80 year lady from my hometown who learned it from her grandma and also shared a wonderful story behind preparing this Junglee Maas curry (story + recipe including the magic masala that makes this dish so yum are shared below).
Are you prepared to get addicted to this thick, sticky & aromatic mutton curry that will explode with depth of fragrance & flavors ? If yes, lets introduce you to this royal delight.
All Good Things Get Unfolded At Grandma’s Place
Last winter, we were at my grandmas place in Ajari – a small but beautiful village in Rajasthan. Its known for its beautiful scenery, rivers and cute little storybook houses. I just love it there.
All of my cousins were there. It was a true family get-together . My uncles and aunts were busy in gossiping and were enjoying the lazy afternoon.
Our close neighbors sent this wonderful bowl of meaty delight called Junglee Maas. For those of you who do not know – It is customary to send special food preparation to your neighbors – this is just another way of saying – “We care for you!”.
This dish was prepared by a wonderful 80 year lady whom they referred as “Baiji”.
Now, Rustic Mutton curries does something to my tastebuds and hence without wasting any time I decided to devour it with aromatic Missi roti. This is what I had that day.
With the very first bite – its unique and spicy flavors just exploded on my palette. I know people say that first bite is always “far more delicious” than the 5th or 6th. But in this case, I kept saying “wow” and “yum” every-time I took another bite.
I straightaway knew that this flavorsome curry is something special and definitely cooked with a different selection of ethnic spices. I just had to learn this Junglee Maas Recipe.
So we (me and pooja) decided to meet “Baiji” and see if she will be willing to share the signature recipe of Junglee Maas with us.
In the evening we went to her place and found her cooking food on a traditional chulha using firewood in a poorly lit kitchen. We took her blessing and sat next to her. We told her how much we loved her junglee maas curry. She was very delighted and happily agreed to share this recipe. This is what we found.
She got this Junglee Maas recipe from her grandma almost 60 years back and the recipe itself is over 100 years old. The unique flavor of this recipe comes from a special masala that was used to cover the gamey odor of the meat.
Gamey Odor ?
Yes, She explains that she has always cooked this recipe with goat meat, however her mother in-law used to say that goat meat was not such a popular choice of meat in those days (i.e almost 100 years back). Men took pride in eating only what they hunted and hence wild boar and deer meat became their obvious choice. That is why, it was called Junglee Maas (Forest Mutton).
However these meat types had a very strong distinct taste. To veil of that gamey taste, they relied heavily on special masalas. Yes they would make this awesome masala paste and then let the meat and masala do the talking on low flames.
At this point, I had to ask her :
How did you make this Magic Masala Paste ?
How To Prepare Magic Masala For Junglee Maas Mutton Curry
The way “Baiji” explained us how to prepare this magic masala really showed how wonderful a cook she is.
To prepare this masala, she din’t rely heavily on dry roasting the ingredients or frying them in oil. The idea was to heavily quote the meat with spices, so she would take various dry spices especially a handful of red chilli and then boil them up nicely.
Once they got tender and soft , she would take them out and grind all wet masala ingredients on a SILVATTA – a semi-circle shaped heavy stone slab supported by another heavy stone (an ancient indian grinder)
Pooja tried to ask her “Why doesn’t she use a Mixer Grinder instead”? On that her response was priceless. ” What is that ? Gift me one and I will use it “. She didn’t have a clue on what a Mixer Grinder was !
Anyways, She would then just sit patiently and grind until a paste like consistency is achieved. But that’s Ok – you can grind the masala in a mixer grinder.
I mean look at this masala ! Isn’t that wonderful ? Don’t worry complete recipe will follow.
There are few pro tips that would help you recreate this magical Junglee Maas recipe:
- Marination is really important in achieving that tender meat you are craving for. Hence take your mutton, add a bit of lime juice (acts like a tenderizer) and rub it with Mustard Oil (adds moistness), spices (adds flavors). Keep it aside for 30 minutes.
- While preparing this junglee maas curry, always cover the utensil or pan and cook on low flame. This will help retains moisture and thus flavor and taste of your mutton stays on.
- Do not throw away the water in which you will boil all your dry ingredients. You can use that water to adjust the consistency of the gravy.
- People in village really like spicy food , hence If you want only color but not all the heat, use only half the amount of red chilies and substitute the other half with Kashmiri Chillies. This is what I have done in the recipe below. This will ensure that you get that nice rich red color but average heat on Junglee Maas recipe.
Pooja was blown away by the knowledge this lady had. This lady really know what she was doing. It was not that she was just blindly following the recipe that her grandma had given her, she knew exactly what would work to produce this brilliant creation.
Follow the above tips and 1.5 hours later you will have this wonderful Junglee Maas recipe.
- 1 Kg of Mutton Curry Cuts (Lamb or Goat)
- 1.5 Tbsp of Mustard Oil
- 1.5 Tbsp of Lime Juice
- 0.5 Tbsp of Turmeric Powder
- 1 Tbsp of Chilli Powder
- 7 - 8 Dried Red Chillies (For Spice)
- 7 - 8 Kashmiri Dried Red Chillies (For Color)
- 3 Tbsp Coriander seeds
- 5-6 Green cardamom
- 2-3 (1/2 Inch Cinnamon sticks)
- 2-3 Bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp Cumin seeds
- 10-12 Garlic Cloves
- 4 Tbsp Mustard Oil
- ½ Tbsp Black Peppercorns
- 3 Star Anise
- 1 Tbsp Ginger Galic Paste
- 4-5 Medium Onions thinly sliced
- Salt To Taste
- A Handful Of Coriander
- Marinate mutton with the ingredients mentioned under marination ingredients section. Ensure that you mix them properly. Keep it aside for 30 minutes for oil, spice and juices to penetrate.
- Heat water in a pan. Add dried red chillies, coriander seeds, green cardamom, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cumin seeds to the pan. Allow the mixture to boil nicely. It should not take more than 10 to 12 minutes. Once done you will see that the dried chillies has gone soft and tender.
- Separate all the wet ingredients from Water through a sieve. Do not throw the water. We will use it later.
- Place all wet ingredients and garlic cloves in a grinder and grind it to a fine paste. At this point all your prep work is done. Time to get to the curry going.
- Heat mustard oil in a non stick pan. Add black peppercorns and Star Anise to the pan. This is done to slightly flavor the oil.
- Now add onions and saute till they are golden brown.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute.
- Add the marinated mutton to the onions and sauté on medium heat for two to three minutes.
- Add ½ cup of strained spiced water(that we had retained) to the pan and let the mutton cook in it on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add half of grinded magic spice mixture to the mutton and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of grinded magic spice mixture and 4 cups of strained spiced water to the mutton.Cover and cook for about 60 to 75 minutes on low flame or until the mutton is cooked properly.
- Once done, garnish it with fresh chopped coriander and serve hot.
Serve this Junglee Maas delicacy with either Missi Ki Roti or Bajra Ki roti. This combination will surely make your evening royal. This has become goto mutton curry recipe for my hardcore non vegetarian friends for any weekend get togethers. I hope you give it a try.
And if you do try this wonderful royal treat , let us know by tagging the picture with #yummydiariesbypooja on Instagram!
If you have any feedback or know a similar classic recipe do let us know by leaving a comment below
Until next meaty delight, happy cooking.