• Dr. Mohan Dewan assisted by Adv. Shubham Borkar

When it comes to food, the name of a dish holds meaning beyond just identification. The name of a dish can give an insight into the history behind it, the ingredients used, or even the cultural significance it holds. In this series of blogs, we will explore the history behind the names of famous Indian dishes.
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The origin of Laal Mans can be traced back to the Rajput era. The Rajputs were a warrior clan who ruled over Rajasthan, India for centuries, and meat dishes were an integral part of their cuisine. Laal Mans was originally created as a dish for the Rajput warriors, who needed a hearty and filling meal that would give them strength and energy.

The dish was traditionally made after a fresh hunt, such as boar or deer, which were hunted by the Rajputs. The meat was marinated in a mixture of spices and yoghurt, which helped to tenderize it and infuse it with flavour. The dish was then slow-cooked in a clay pot over a wood fire, which gave it a smoky aroma and enhanced its flavour.

Over time, as the Rajputs started to settle down and become more prosperous, they began to use domesticated animals, such as goats and lamb, in their cooking. They also started to add more spices to the dish, including red chilli powder, which gave it its distinctive red colour, fiery flavour and also the name Laal Mans which translates to Red Meat.

The special red chilli that is traditionally used in Laal Mans is the Mathania red chilli. Mathania is a town located near Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India, and is known for its high-quality red chilli peppers. The Mathania red chilli is known for its deep colour, smoky aroma, and intense heat, which makes it perfect for use in spicy dishes like Laal Mans. The chilli is usually dried and ground into a fine powder, which is added to the marinade and the gravy of the dish to give it its signature red colour and fiery flavour. However, if Mathania red chilli is not available, other varieties of dried red chilli can be used as a substitute.

Today, Laal Mans is a popular dish throughout Rajasthan and is enjoyed by people of all backgrounds. The recipe for the dish has evolved over time, with each region and family adding their own unique twist to it. However, the basic ingredients and cooking methods have remained largely unchanged, and the dish continues to be a symbol of Rajasthani cuisine.

If you ever have the opportunity to try this spicy and flavorful dish, be sure to savour every bite and appreciate the heritage behind it.


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