Red is the Colour.....

I think that everyone likes to have some colour in their lives. Personally, I like my food to be colourful too. I mean, what is the point of eating something if it is just going to be a drab lump of nutrition. Food should be    ' interesting'. I'd say that the appearance of the food contributes to about one third of the pleasure of eating, with the rest of course depending on the flavour. On this note, today I shall talk about a meat dish commonly eaten in the state of Rajasthan.

Lal Maans 

(literally translated to " red meat")

When we normally talk about red meat we refer to the type of flesh and whether it comes from birds or livestock. However, here red is the colour of the dish. Now this particular dish has been around since a really long time and is cooked in different parts of the state, so there are invariably many variations of the recipe. Here I shall tell you about one which I have eaten at home all my life and cannot stay away from. 

First, some oil is heated and sliced onions are fried till they are a nice deep brownish-red. To this is added curd, ginger- garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric, red chilli powder (According to taste. Many people love to have their meat taste as red as it looks. Others simply like it looking red. The colour is contributed by the fried onions as well as the red chillies) and of course, salt to taste. All of these are mixed together and cooked on a slow flame for about an hour or more till it is of a uniform consistency. As the volume goes down with heating, water can be added. The curd is preferably the sour kind. Today, since the sour curd could not be found, a little butter milk was added. 
The Gravy that we get is what we call the 'masala' part of the dish and is an attractive red colour. Once the masala is cooked, we add well washed pieces of meat into it. Now there is no particular type of meat this recipe is suited to and can be used for all kinds of livestock as well as poultry. If a meat is of the strong flavoured kind, it is better to fry it slightly before adding it to the masala. Once everything is well mixed, the whole dish is cooked under pressure on a high flame for three whistles. The heat is then lowered for fifteen to  twenty minutes. After putting the flame off, the cooker is left for a bit till the pressure dies down. This Lal Maans can be eaten with rice or rotis or bread as is convenient. This dish is however not for the 'weak-hearted' ( Get it? Not for the faint hearted? Oh never mind), what with its high oil and cholesterol content.
As I had previously mentioned, this is but one variation of the recipe and people are encouraged to experiment with it. Who knows, you may end up cooking something which uniquely suits your palate.

In the quite likely case that no one noticed, I have used a song as the inspiration for the title of this post. The song that I have shamelessly ripped off happens to be one of my favourites, from one of my favourite bands, Gaelic Storm. So, for those who aren't interested in cooking or food ( if indeed that is possible), and for those who find themselves deeply involved in matters of the heart, here is a soulful melody to pluck at your cardiological strings.( It definitely plucks at mine. If it doesn't affect you, then what are you doing here, you heartless automaton?)

Black is the Colour- Gaelic Storm


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