I call this coconut mutton curry my East-Indian mutton masala. It is a wonderful aromatic combination of spices both from the east-Indian bottle masala as well as classic mutton masala. The coconut helps mellow and blend the spices beautifully.
This is one of our family's favorite recipes and I have been making it for family and friends for many years now. It always has given me rave reviews. The best thing about this mutton curry is that it tastes even better the next day. So, when possible go ahead and make it a day in advance. I am using mutton but lamb, beef and pork with this recipe are just as delicious.
When I make it for my non-Indian friends I do add a. tad less bottom masala because they can't handle spicy like we desi's do.
Personally, I have always cooked in my Dutch oven because it cooks evenly. I find the best flavor in this dish is developed with slow cooking for an hour or two. But, it also does work well in a pressure cooker. Whichever method you use make sure to cook the meat until it's fork-tender.
In our home, we usually have it with roti or chapati but my little Rhea loves it with simple steamed rice.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Bottle masala - this is a spice mix made by East-Indian and while there is no subsitute for this spice you can use curry powder for an equally delicious recipe
- Chilly - I am using whole Kashmiri chilies which is the secret to getting this beautiful deep color for the curry. Make sure to soak the chilies in warm water as this will soften it up and give a smooth not coarse texture for the ground masala paste.
- Sauf or Fennel seeds - you can omit this spice but it is a wonderful combination with lamb or mutton.
- Fenugreek or methi (known as bird's foot or cow's horn) is another spice with a distinct yet sharp flavor that works beautifully with red meat but if you can't it, please omit as there is no better subsitute.
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- Cast Iron Pan
- Pressure cooker
- 2 lbs (1 kg) Mutton with bones
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Bottle masala or curry powder
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 4 tbsp Cooking oil
- 2 tbsp Ghee or butter
- 1 tsp Fenugreek leaves kasoori methi
- 2 large Bay leaves
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
Ground Masala Paste
- 4 Kashmiri chillies dry
- 1 cup Onions sliced
- 10 Garlic cloves large (or 20 small)
- 3 inch Ginger fresh
- 3 tbsp Bottle masala or curry powder
- 1 tsp Coriander seeds dhania
- ½ tsp Cumin seeds jeera
- 1 tbsp Fennel seeds Sauf
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder haldi
- 1 cup Coconut grated
- 3 inch Cinnamon stick dalchini
- 4 Cloves Lavang
- 2 Cardamom green green elichi
- 2 Caradmom black black elichi
Marinate the mutton
- Clean and trim excess fat from the mutton. Cut into 2-inch pieces and pat dry to remove excess moisture. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and bottle masala Pro tip - excess moisture will prevent the marinade from sticking to the mutton.
- Cover and leave to marinate for an hour up to 8 hours in the fridge. Pro tip - Thaw the meat at least one hour before cooking because room temperature meat cooks evenly
- Dry roast the red chilies, coriander, fennel seeds, and cumin seeds along with all the garam masala like cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Remove and set aside
- Then, dry roast the onions, garlic, and ginger until onions are fairly chared but not burnt
- Next, dry roast the grated coconut until lightly golden (but not burnt)
- Add all the ground masala ingredeints to a blender and grind to a smooth paste - using a ½ cup water or more if necessary
Sear the mutton
- Add 2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp ghee - add the marinated mutton pieces. Saute on medium-high heat so it browns on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan and set it asidePro tip - we are not cooking the meat now just getting some color so keep the heat medium to high.
- To the same pan (do not clean), add the remaining oil and ghee
- Then add the ground masala and saute well for 2 to 3 minutes. You will get a nice aroma from the spices as they cook
- Return the mutton back to the pan, saute another 2 to 3 minutes until the mutton is well coated in the masala.
- Add one cup of water, fenugreek leaves, lemon juice, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper
- Cook mutton Stovetop - Reduce heat and cook on low for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until mutton is fork-tenderPressure cooker - cook on medium for 3 whistles and 15 minutes - release pressure naturallyInstant pot - Pressure cook on high for 25 minutes - release pressure naturally
- When done taste and adjust seasoning. If necessary add more water for consistency.
- Serve over rice or rotis
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