Indian Style Mutton Stew

What I need:

  • 1.5 lb of  [bone-in ]mutton, cut into medium pieces [or lamb or beef]
  • 1.5 cups of buttermilk [slightly sour]
  • 3 fat garlic cloves, grated
  • 2″ shoot of ginger,grated
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • Salt to taste

Whole Spices :

  • 2 cups onions , thinly sliced
  • 10-12 whole dry red chillies
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 nos black cardamoms, cracked open
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1″ shoot of cinnamon
  • 1 twig mace
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil [I use mustard, you can use olive/canola]
  • 2-3 cups warm water

How I did it:


  • Wash and pat dry the mutton pieces.
  • In a ziplock plastic bag, pour in the buttermilk, grated nutmeg,grated garlic & ginger along with salt.Give it a shake to combine well.
  • Next, tip in the mutton pieces into the bag and give it a shake again to make sure that the buttermilk covers all the pieces.Lay the bag flat in a big square tray and let marinate overnight or at least 3-4 hours.

Making the Stew :

[Method 1 : Cooking in an Open pot [with lid]/Dutch oven]

  • Heat the oil in a pot/dutch oven to a smoking point on medium heat.TIP: When using mustard oil, you need to heat it up till the point it starts smoking to ensure the raw smell is gone.For 4 tbsp oil, atleast good 8-10 minutes.If using olive/canola, the heating time will be way less.
  • Once heated,reduce the heat to low and wait for 5 minutes to lower the temp a bit so that spices don’t burn.Add all the whole spices except dry red chillies to the oil and cook until the spices emit their aroma..around 3 minutes.
  • Next add the onions, raise the heat to medium and cook the onions stirring constantly untill they become translucent to light brown.
  • Add the dry red chillies then.
  • Strain the mutton pieces from the buttermilk mixture, retain the marinade.
  • Add the mutton pieces to the pot and on high heat, cook the mutton pieces for 10-12 minutes until all sides of the meat have browned.
  • Next, add the marinade & 2 cups of warm water to the pot, check the salt and cover the pot/dutch oven.
  • Let the water come to a boil on high heat and then reduce the heat to as low as possible.
  • Let the meat simmer in the pot/dutch oven for good 4-6 hours periodically checking to make sure the liquid doesn’t dissipate, and adding warm water if needed.
  • The stew is considered finished when the meat is very tender, just about to fall apart from the bones and the flavor of the gravy is intense. Adjust the salt again if needed.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro & serve with warm khamiri rotis [yeasted flatbreads] and onions.

[Method 2: Using a pressure pan/cooker]

The time taken by this popular Indian method is very less and the taste is slightly different and less intense. The cooking steps remain the same except that you need to cook the meat as per your pressure cooker.To give a rough estimate, the meat will take at least 25-30 minutes with 6-7 whistles on a low heat to become tender.


40 thoughts on “Indian Style Mutton Stew

  1. Happy New Year Tanvi. Thanks to my mishap have not been very active on the internet, I see you have raced ahead with your posts. The mutton stew really looks delicious. One problem that we seem to be facing these past few years is the near absence of good quality muttton in Bombay. My mum has some lovely recipes for mutton there is one which is a mixture of kidney, liver, muttton mince, and eggs. There are some who are not comfortable eating kidneys and liver and will probably throw up at the very mention of the same but if you like them then it is quite delicious. Unfortunately I am not able to post these recipes because I cannot post photos due to unavailability of good quality mutton and all the other items.
    By the way the western way of life is fast catching up here in India barring the old buildings the management in the new high-rises do not allow the vegetable vendors to sell their wares thanks to the heightened sense of security which seems to have caught up with the people. It is sad actually for one developed a warm relationship with these vendors, they were well versed with special needs of each household.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Indian Style Mutton Stew | Sinfully Spicy --

  3. Saturdays ans Sundays are more relaxed for me too. Although having a small child does not leave you much of a choice really, I get to rest more than the weekdays. This stew looks very comforting and hearty!

  4. The idea of ‘mutton lunches’ is so cute. I’m sure the dish is tasty too.
    As for waking up at 4 a.m…I couldn’t do it! More like stay up until 4 a.m. for me.

  5. By looking at your photo and going thru your recipe, I bet this is the most delicious stew I have came across with right blend of spices also it is beautifully presented…

  6. Happy New Year Tanvi. During the course of blogging I have come across many Mutton preparations, but today as far as I am concerned, this MUTTON PREPARATION (INDIAN STYLE) IS THE BEST I HAVE SEEN SO FAR. What a presentation. I have bookmarked it.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  7. Whoooaaa , 6pounds of meat is really something i say:-)
    Ur mutton looks amazingly delicious!
    We have something very similiar in goan cuisine and ur rite ,every home has a twist to it!
    We dont call it stew ,but different names around:-)
    I loveee when its simmered for a few hours in a mud vessel ,over wooden fire ,oh so good!
    I have similar ramekins too , super cute , but mine are smaller , i think:-)
    Also wishing u a most wonderful brite sunshine new year woth lodsa love:-)Mia.

  8. Wow, mutton, I can’t say that I’ve ever eaten it before. That experience to get the freshest and best ingredients sound amazing…The closest I’ve ever had is the same Asian supermarket experience, it’s where my family get all our meats, I felt so weird going into a regular grocery store and finding pre-wrapped meats.

    Reading Shilpi Bose’s comment has been interesting as well. I live in Toronto so it’s all I know, but it does sound neat to really form a relationship with the people who grows or raises your foods. I just need to find a nice farmer’s market or butcher in my here city 🙂

    Your stew sounds tasty.

  9. PreeOccupied – I studied English and Communications, and did Knowledge Management for a living. Now I have three sole interests: food, rock music, and books. Each is usually enjoyed seperately, but when combined they provide the most wonderful sensation ever. Oh and I am a writer of sorts too. And, if the blog name didn't give it away, this is my personal space for a creative and culinary catharsis. I am a Bengali and pride myself in replicating some traditional Bengali recipes from my family. I cook because I care. My mantra - whatever happens in my kitchen, stays on PreeOccupied!
    PreeOccupied on said:

    Looks awesome. Perfect comfort food even at four in the morning! I’d use goat meat you know, I don’t quite like lamb here. Saving your recipe for a cold, cold, day.

  10. Very Happy new year to you Tanvi and your family…the mutton curry looks luscious, its the same in our family back in India every sunday we used to have mutton for lunch …your mutton reminds me of my days…:D

  11. Hello Tanvi,

    I am so glad that you are sharing in the Hearth and Soul Blog hop. I love Indian food. We live in a community with a large Indian population. That makes it easy for us to have several Indian grocery stores and restaurants.

    This dish sound delicious. I will have to make it.



  12. Love the idea of slow cooking it to bring out the flavors—-

    it. looks. wonderful.

    Please post your biryani recipe too…would love to try it.

  13. this looks amazing haven’t made lamb curry in a while, and your right not easy to buy in the US its also a popular meat in the UK 🙂

    enjoy going to the markets in India with my mum in law


  14. I remember having mutton only on Sundays back home 🙂 I get the Halal meat where i live now but i always felt the mutton in india is much tender and less fattier! I cook only once in a year, ur dish makes me run to Halal butcher now 🙂

  15. I wake up super early every day so I totally understand! Your Saturday routine sounds fun to me. This mutton stew sounds seriously comforting, warmy and spice central. Love it.

  16. I also love waking up early on the weekend so I can have 5 minutes to myself…but my problem is that I can never go back to sleep! Thus I fall into bed on weekend nights at 9:30 – pathetic, right?

    I love this dish and I love the dish you served it in! So pretty!

  17. Hi Tanvi!!! Happy New Year to you! So glad to be getting back into the Hearth and Soul hop and thanks so much for sharing with us this week. I am the daughter of an English woman and I too adore mutton in most creations, but this stew looks so lovely! I also love how you write about your life, but seriously, 4am on a saturday? Tanvi, you crazy! 🙂 I will be sharing this on my hearth and soul hop highlights on friday at a moderate life! All the best! Alex

  18. what a coincidence I was just writing a post on best of 2010 and mutton stew was on top of it 😉 ….love mutton stews. One great advantage about living in Middle East is easy availability of all thing Indian including mutton. Touchwood! I dont thing M can survive without it 😀 Great recipe Tanvi

  19. yummy! I like to make something special on Sunday nights as well! I like that you gave 2 options for cooking the meat. I need to get a pressure cooker, it would make everything so much easier.

    I just thought you could get mutton in a halal butcher shop, that way you can get it by the pound rather than such a large piece. I’m sure there are tons of such shops in Las Vegas.

  20. It’s such fun to read more desi recipes that you grew up eating. My desi cooking is rather dismal and limited to like three items so I always love reading about other people’s cooking. Maybe I’ll be inspired to find some goat meat soon too 🙂

  21. Hello there!

    I love your goat stew/curry. The recipe reminds me of the goat curry my aunt makes when she visits me. Fortunately, goat meat is easily available here in Chicago. I do have one question though. What cut of goat meat should I ask for? Once I got a portion that was all bones/ribs and hardly any meat. Do not want to be scammed again!

    • Hi PG,
      I m glad that u liked it.Though I dont have good choice here,but I generally prefer a good mix of ribs ,pieces around the belly[because they are little fatty & less chewy] and the bone [nalli]. Even if you are using boneless, try to use those pieces which do not start falling apart quickly once heat hits them because the whole purpose of stewing is to extract the juices into the gravy and keeping the meat tender. I hope this helps!

  22. Oh my…this looks awesome. We have a great source for whole spices here in NYC and now my husband cannot get enough of making various Indian spice blends with his spice grinder!

    Definitely bookmarking this–and thanks for dropping by!

  23. Pingback: Thandai-Fragrant Milk Drink With Spices,Nuts & Mint | Sinfully Spicy

  24. Hi Tanvi

    Thank you for posting these recipes. I just made the mutton stew and it is wonderful!
    The pictures are great too, very helpful.

  25. Pingback: How to Plan an Indian Meal « One Life to Eat

Leave a Reply