Sunday, October 5, 2008

Kerala Mutton Curry…

Let me start with a request. After reading this post, some of you might think that I am touting my own horns here. Well, I cannot blame you if you conclude that way but honestly that is definitely not my intention here. As most of the things come under the category of “accidental” in my life, this one also is not an exception. I am just chronicling a magical moment in my personal-chef life!

Well, some of my regular readers are aware of a particular situation in my life that I don’t compete with my mother in law to reproduce the magic from her kitchen, but I have tried to bring home the taste of the food cooked by some ‘lungi’ clad guy working in a small scale restaurant at the capital city of Kerala, as CJJ always fancies the food he tasted from restaurants like Chinnus, Ambalapattu and many others in that small junction at Kersavadasapuram. That said, I should also mention that I was trying to recreate a taste I haven’t experienced in my lifetime but my husband has. I was competing with a Pachakakkaran/local chef whose food I have never tasted in my life. But over the course of time, I realized that I was shooting in the darkness and slowly got over that ‘mysterious standard’ I was always aiming at.

Life moved on……from blunders to some edible stuff, from average to good. But one day I guess my lucky stars slightly changed their jogging route and that day at lunch time, I heard the most unbelievable words from him, “mm…mm….ohhhh…ethu Ambalapatte beef curry polundu” meaning “it tastes like the beef curry at Ambalapattu”!!!!!!! Well, what I served was Mutton curry (!!) but what I heard at that moment was more than I could ever imagine. It was a bolt from the blue……I sat there in total disbelief…..I couldn’t take my eyes off of him……..I know I should have noted the time and date to mark the historical moment in my culinary adventures but I just couldn’t, not for 1-2 minutes but it took almost a week for me to verify the restaurant name again.!

I hesitated to cook Mutton curry for more than a month after that…as I was doubtful if I would be able to recreate the same magic again and pressure was building on me whenever he opened the freezer and saw the meat packets. Finally, I gained some guts and rolled up my sleeves and made it again……and he relished……. and has now begun to admit that mutton is tastier than beef which was his weakness till then.

My friends, please don’t think that this is some exotic dish that I whipped up from nowhere, using some mysterious spices. It is either because perhaps CJJ has begun to forget the taste from his bachelor days and his palate is getting used to my cooking or because some minor changes I made here and there was enough to tickle his taste memories and resembled something like the dish he always fancied. I don’t know!!!! I used my mother’s homemade masala powder to my Mutton Fry recipe, made some additions and deductions here and there and voila, I got my magical Mutton curry! With the food blogger sword hanging on my head all the time, I was wise enough to scribble the measurements the first time I cooked and here is how I made it. Btw, this is my magical Mutton curry, it may or may not be your magical one :)

Ingredients: (Approx.)

To Pressure cook:
  • Around ½ to ¾ kg fresh mutton (goat meat) with bones, cubed and washed
  • 4tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 ½ tsp chilly powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp freshly crushed black pepper
  • 2 to 4 Indian green chillies, slit opened lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp ginger minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • ½ cup big onion, thinly sliced (around one small size big onion)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup water
To Sauté:
  • ¾ cup big onions, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup small read pearl onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Indian green chillies, slit opened lengthwise
  • 2 tsp Homemade Masala Powder/Garam Masala
  • 2 -3 sprigs of curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • Marinate the cubed pieces of meat with everything listed under “pressure cook”, except water for about 15-20 minutes and then pour water and pressure cook until meat is cooked well.
  • In a large sauce pot, heat the coconut oil and sauté thinly sliced small onions, big onions and green chillies , in low flame, until it starts to turn transparent. Tear off half of the curry leaves and add to this. Now, add the pressure cooked meat, along with gravy produced and stir well; cook covered, in medium heat and bring to a boil. Now add the homemade masala powder (keep a pinch or two aside for the final sprinkling) and stir well with the curried meat. Reduce heat and let it cook till the gravy starts to thicken a bit. Now do a taste-test and adjust the salt. Just two minutes before turning off the heat, add some more curry leaves and sprinkle a pinch or two of masala powder, kept aside earlier which leaves the dish with a wonderful aroma of fresh curry leaves and spices. Turn off the stove when the gravy is thick enough. Let it rest for 30-40 minutes before serving as it takes time for all the spices and masala to come together.
  • Serve warm with rice or Palappam (Laced pancakes), chappathi or porotta (Indian flat breads). This dish attains its real flavour after a couple of hours from cooking and tastes the best, the next day!!
Related Posts

Mutton Fry Beef Stew Chicken Roast - Kuttanadan Style

I will post the Masala powder/Garam Masala recipe within 2-3 days…so if someone is planning to try this dish, please wait till I post the spice mix recipe.


No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.


  1. That curry looks delicious, Shn! I know what you mean - the other day Nitin told me the mushroom curry that I made was "better than any restaurant's" and I was good for a week (kinda sad, I know! :))Usually, the "ghar ki murgi dal baraabar" syndrome is the norm and it really annoys me when I hear him praise a not-so-great dish that someone else made. But he's getting bette4r, I must say :)

  2. Hey, tout away girl! With a creation like that you sure have earned it... BTW I agree, Mutton beats beef anyday...

  3. Looks so yummy.Hopefully you will keep your word and post the masala recipe SOON.Tried out a few of your recipes and all passed the test with my family.So thanks heaps.

  4. Wonderful write up, as usual..the curry looks awesome n tasteful! Masalas do add that special taste, especially if homemade. (my experience wt mil-sent-home-made-masalas are never goes not to the chef, in my case, but to the masalas! ;) )tks for sharing!shall await ur mas. recipe too! :D

  5. hmm..the mouthwatering picture can give me the flavour..Before you come to the conclusion that your husband may be mistaken,lemme remind you something.The curry texture pulls my delicious memories back to some nostalgic restaus too.
    But am sure that he would have gone buddies with what you prepare by now.At a time when we were away from home studying/working,the moments we taste from some restua kitchen may prove more than delicous.But thats it.
    Just see when you accompany him next time to chinnus or any place,he is not even going to compare them with yours.Coz'finally this is going to be his exclusive taste in all life..
    lemme try this curry soon

  6. Ambalapattu and Chinnu's are like the Ritz of Trivandrum!!;-D

    and if he said the taste was better than that, it means you made a major breakthrough in culinary experience!...

    I love mutton...and it tasted more delightful coz it was rarely bought at home when i was a kid...Mutton cost almost 3-4 times as beef...What I have felt about mutton is the taste of the meat itself does half the job whereas for beef the chef's mix of spices is critical....

    ee mutton curry kandittu I dont think I ll manage to reach my office without straying into some mutton store and asking a Frau Schnieder to cook this for me!!

    Lipsmacking as usual!!will try this recipe soon...

  7. Oh my, everything has changed on your site! Looked like I have missed out a lot!

    Oh, can i make this curry with goat pieces?

  8. I think you have won hands down when when mutton dish was mistaken for beef!!

    But what struck me was the fact that you have said
    I hesitated to cook Mutton curry for more than a month after that…
    Needless to say I have noticed that this strange phenomenon occurs with women folks whom I know. But find it difficult to deduce what cud be the root cause for the cold feet.
    that too when someone gets a good opinion on the preparation ?

  9. The curry looks gorgeous...and anything which can give somebody so much of pleasure has got to be magical.

  10. Endamooo, this looks yumm!

    and mishmash, when someone tells you that the dish is better than thier favourite place's then its time to know that your's is the best :d trust me, that kinda comment comes once in a lifetime, infact my mom once made a realll amazing chicken curry that beat my altime fav place's and when i told her that she was on colud nine, but alas, coz she aint a food blogger the recipie got extinct as she forgot how she d made it.
    oh and i must tell you, you ve become a household name here, everytime i think of making something new and dont have a recipie, my mom says
    'mishmashinde blogil ilae?' :d

  11. curry looks very yummy! my hubby wud have loved ur post! he cud relate to may things that u said...

  12. No way! Shn, if CJJ had said that this does not taste as good...

    Looks superb.

  13. First a fall the curry looks so sso tempting ....i have to ry this weekend with appams...could you please please post the garam masala recipe?....Secondly when CJJsaid that the dish tastes better than his favourite hotel ones,believe it and give urself a pat on ur back for the good job....lovely post ....


  14. Thats surely something I am going to try!..

  15. I love this post.

    When I read this part: I hesitated to cook Mutton curry for more than a month after that…as I was doubtful if I would be able to recreate the same magic again... I was nodding because I would be thinking the same thing.

    Wish I could taste the mutton curry.

  16. Mishmash, that looks so yummy! Nice recipe :-)Thanks for sharing.


  17. Love the colour of the mutton curry! I know that feeling being compared to a small time chef :) Go and praise yourself, we'll join you!

  18. My mouth is watering! I hope I have enough strength to go to kitchen and cook something, which atleast half appetising as your Mutton curry!

  19. Vani,i used to be like that....though my mother is an excellent cook, i liked the food cooked by my friend's mothers and aunts....and most of the time my mother couldnt just understand how I could fall for a simple dish like that....but later i realised, its just that change -change of cook, environment - that makes it is common :)))

    Sig, thanks dear :) btw, hows your work load now..? getting time to blog?

    Poornima, ohh...thats something nice to hear...thank you :) Sure will post the recipe this week itself...i didnt include it with this one for ease of labeling and linking later.

    Purnima, u should take some credit too....the cook should know when and where to use the spices, isnt it ? :))

    Ann, ofcourse these two rest's are in my must visit list on my next vacation....want to know what all the hype is about...yeah to an extent u re right...CJJ was in hostel and whatever he could taste outside of his hostel mess was precious....but i have heard many telling the same things about these seems the smell wafting thru those windows itself is too next time I am checking out these two places:))

    Mathew, he didnt say 'better" , he said it is the xact same get the 'better' certificate, i should do circus in kitchen for another 10 yrs :) ethu try cheythittu taste sherikku vannillenkil, nammal thammil oru parichayavum ellatto...nerathe paranjekkam :D yeah u re absolutely right about the taste difference of meat...and at our place too it was not purchased that frequently...but compared to beef and mutton, chicken is rubber like..dont u think so ?

    Anh, yeah u have been busy with the best days of ur life :))) changed the template a month back...btw, goat meat is mutton.,..thats how we call back home..i have edited the post now to avoid confusion :)

    Pramod, many a time when we cook, unless someone has a blog, we dont care much for the proportions...its all about the same dish u made today wont look or taste exactly the next time we make it....and thats one of the reasons behind this phenomenon...we just dont know how to reproduce the exact same taste and if we fail in that, its like disappointing ur loved one...atleast this is what happens in my case :) thank you :)

    Sunita, thanks my friend...enjoy your special day :)

    Vidya, let me correct u there, he did nt say it was better, he said it was exactly the same taste...:D thats a sad story about ur mom's chicken curry...see , so blogging has got such uses right :)) btw, ammayodu ente special thanks paranjekku...ethenganum kettal ente veetukar enne kaliyakki kollum :)))

    Sangeeth, thank you...guys share this commom syndrome :)

    Indo, thank you dear :)

    Rashmi, thanks so much....will post the spice mix recipe tomorrow or day after but deftly before the weekend...i want you to have appam and mutton curry on the weekend :P

    Srivalli, :) let me know your feedback :)

    Cynthia, visit me next time you visit US and I will make whatever you pick from this blog..thats my word :)

    Anitha, thank you :)

    Jyothsna, lets start the celebration :D

    Mirage, hmm....i have this problem whenever i blog hop with a weeping i understand how you feel :)


  20. Hi,
    VerY appetising looking curry, congratulations. you specify goat meat. Can you get that in US? Have you tried this recipe with lamb?

  21. Wow are you trying to make us drrol.
    This looks so delicious.
    Just give me the whole plate, i would eat with parotta or plain rice.
    Here we don't get mutton which is a real pity otherwise i would have surley made this.

  22. Mini, I havent cooked lamb but you may give it a try and adjust the spices.... Goat meat is available in US but I havent seen that in regular stores....i get it from either Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi stores or some international stores where they sell halal meat.

    HappyCook, hmm...i is difficult to stay away from such succulent meats....shall i parcel some ? :P

  23. Hi mishmash...

    Mutton Curry looks so delicious.Though i wont eat mutton but by its looks itself i can guess its so tasty..!! ..Will surely try this and give it to my family ..:)
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe

  24. Your Mutton Curry looks so yummy....and as usual, wonderful wrtie up & photograph Mishmah!!!!

  25. Hi mishmash
    i tried ur mutton curry came out so good.But after tasing it my hubby said it is beef curry but he liked it so much..the recipe is good with beef also, thanx fr the recipe...


  26. Thanks Shn for a wonderful recipe. I tried it for XMas.. easy and came out perfect. The aroma was fantastic and all my guests enjoyed it too. Have a wonderful 2000, hope it is filled with blessings for you and yours.
    Angela (a fan from Kuwait)

  27. I jus happened to visit ur blog lookin high & dry for Mutton Curry..Well..well I jus have tyo congrajulate u on the recepie!!!
    its just simply Yummy!

  28. Hi there, I am new to ur blog and yesterday tried out ur receipe. But something din't come out rite. i thought mayb it was the coriander pwd cos i added 4tbsp to 500gms of mutton. was that too much. also how can i know the ideal difference to tbsp and tsp. i get confused... thanx

  29. great recipe, easy & yum!

  30. Hi Mishmash!!!

    Can you please upload a liverfry receipe.

    Waiting for the receipe..


  31. Hi..I have always been a silent reader of uer blog, yesterday I made this mutton curry and it was superb!! Great work..Can u post some recipes for chicken curry as well..thank you..
    Veena Nair

  32. Hey,

    I never thought I would make a mutton curry this delicious! Its superb!!!!!! I don't think I should go for any other web site. Mand my husband love kerala food, and we always try to make it in full kerala style. But most times, it is pretty hard to get the real taste which we expect.. and now, we are the happiest ones in the world....! ooohooo! Your dishes are simply mouth watering, and the photos make us more hungry! Oh man! I can't wait trying each of your dishes everyday! :D..

    Thank you sooooo much! You rock! Keep giving us more!!!! pleaseeee!


  33. You should be a genious....I was so mich inspired with the pics posted and the way you elaborated... i tried it out to make my wife happy. Let me confess I am a novice when it comes to non-vegetarian cooking it was a total flop. I just hope that I will be able to cook like you guys ....;(

  34. Hi! I want to try this dish. but, just had a doubt abt the amt of coriander powder. Will I need 4tbsp or is it 4 tsp? Just thought 4 tbsp might be a bit too much.
    Also, if i add too much coriander powder ,is there any remedy to rectify the taste? Thanks.
    I've tried a few of your recipes (beef, china grass, orange soufle) and they have been big hits.

  35. Hi,

    I tried your mutton curry just few minutes ago and have let it to cool. I made it with 1Kg Mutton. Added 6Tbsp coriander pd and 4 Tsp Chilli. The taste is really cool and a typical kerala mutton curry.
    The curry seems to be a bit more spicy and also I guess the Coriander Pd was a bit more. IS't?
    I have 6 guests tonight, I hope they like it..Lakshmi

  36. Hi,
    I think you must be in cloud9 after hearing CJJ s comment.U surely deserve the best for ur culinary skills. I am used to my husbands comparison of my cooking to this moms cooking and I tell you I have never heard a word of praise from him in the past 6 yrs, and now I have got used to his ways... I enjoy learning some tips from my MIL and she loves to teach and try new things. Now I try out new recipes which are not complicated and I always follow ur blog.
    I tried out lamb instead of mutton and it came out good :)I shall make it for my husband when he comes to US.

  37. Hi mishmash,
    Just made your recipe for mutton curry today and it was absolutely FANTASTIC!!!! I made some adjustments-adding 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder and 1 tbsp. vinegar to the marinade. Also fried coconut slices and added potatoes. My picky son said it was the best mutton curry I ever made! Letting the curry sit for 30 minutes made a huge difference in taste (and anticipation)! This will be saved in my recipe collection, and hope to try your other dishes as well. Thanks, for all your hard work and effort in putting together this recipe!

  38. Hi...your recipes are just amazing. it makes me nostalgic.i have selected mutton fry and chicken curry for my new year celebrations. will try rest of the recipes later on. i luv to read your blog on kerala and kuttanad. keep it up!

  39. i cooked this recipe, it was great!!!! i will do it again!!!!!

  40. this looks so tempting,thanks for the recipe.i am looking forward to make it.
    Just one would be easier for people if you could add a printer friendly option in your pages.I always like to take print and keep the paper in the kitchen rather than keeping my would be super useful.


  41. I tried the Kuttanaadan Chicken Roast and my mom loved it. I am gonna try this now. We used to live near Keshavadasapuram and the chicken from Chinnu's was a special treat Dad packed after work. It had loads of fried and raw onions, with the pieces covered with fried coconut masala. Yeah, your husband is right...they have magic in their hands those lungi clad blokes!

  42. I just made this curry now for dinner and it came out really well.

    Wow yummy. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  43. Hi Mishmash,
    This is the first time that I have prepared a Mutton recipe at home. I am a lover of Mutton. But, I normally have Mutton recipes from restaurants. I was expecting a guest at my home this weekend. I was looking out for some easy recipes to impress the guest when I came across this recipe. Since I am a lover of Mutton, I thought why not I give a try. Hey, it came out well. But, I do not have much gravy. How do I add gravy? I have heard that adding hot water to the dish could add gravy. Is it true? Should I do that? I do not want the flavour to be lost because of adding hot water. Please let me know ASAP.

  44. Kollamto mashe..nannayitud

  45. Well it is 2013 and your recipe is still making waves! At least in my house it did tonight. It is exactly as I remember it from one of the small restaurants in Kannur. And - I made 3 kilos. If I died eating this over the next few days - I think I might go straight to heaven. Just the smell of the onions frying in the coconut oil was heavenly....and then the pressure cooker let of a whistle. The smells mingled and I could not wait for the dish to be ready. It certainly did not disappoint. Need I also say thank you now? :-) Thank you!


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