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Laal maans, missi roti

A plate of laal maans and missi roti from Lal Bagh in Udaipur, India.

What: A vibrant red mutton curry, laal maans (“red meat” in Hindi) is one of the most traditional nonveg Rajasthani dishes you can find in Udaipur. As its color indicates, there’s plenty of red chilies in the curry, but while it has a nice spice, it’s not as fiery as you might assume—the addition of yogurt in the sauce helps mellow the heat. Like other North Indian curries, it’s common to eat it with bread rather than rice, so we’re taking the opportunity to also feature an unleavened Rajasthani bread called missi roti, made of wheat (atta) and gram/chickpea (besan) flour.

Where: About a 15-minute rickshaw ride from the Old City, Lal Bagh (65 Sardarpura/Highway 27, nr Daulat Chambers) is a win-win: great Rajasthani dishes in a romantic, modern, spacious outdoor garden, replete with ornate fountains, silk canopies, and a well-dressed clientele. The restaurant strives to use organic ingredients when possible.

When: Daily, noon-11:30pm, though call (294-2414816) to confirm—sometimes the restaurant closes earlier. There’s live music most nights.

Order: Pictured is the spicy laal maans (280 rupees), in a chunky masala with hunks of tender mutton on the bone, and an order of missi roti (30 rupees), studded with chopped green chilies and onion and glistening with ghee (it’s not uncommon for other add-ins like cumin seeds, fenugreek leaves, or crushed spinach to be added to the missi roti dough). There’s a large menu of North Indian classics; other dishes traditional to Rajasthan include gatta curry (besan dumplings in a tomato-based yogurt curry), keema baati (similar to dal-baati, but with minced lamb, peas, and cashew in the baati, served with a spicy curry), and kadhi pakoda.

Alternatively: If you cross the footbridge at Chandpole to reach the western bank of Lake Pichola, directly opposite immense City Palace and romantic Lake Palace, there’s a popular upscale restaurant called Ambrai (outside Chandpole, map) at pretty Amet Haveli, a renovated heritage hotel. Famous for its spectacular views (and you do pay for them), it’s also said to have good food, including these and other Rajasthani favorites.


 



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