Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Mutton Kadhai or Mutton Curry

Last Saturday made for a beautiful end to our weekend even without any extravagant plans. You know the kind of weekends that seem go perfectly well even when you haven't taken time or made an effort to plan an evening or book a table at a fancy restaurant?

So husband, Little M and I, left home without deciding where to head to. After a lot of lane-swapping and mind-changing we zeroed in to visiting The Dubai Mall. It is a favourite place to hangout for us as a family even if we have no plans to eat outside food or to shop.

Sometimes the mesmerizing views of the Burj Khalifa located just outside the mall and the water fountain swaying adjacent to it to serenading music is all we need to cheer up. Little M adores loves visiting the fish aquarium.

That day as we were driving down towards the Dubai Mall we came across this bright red double-decker trolley with gold stripes and wondered if we could have a ride. So after we finished watching another of the spectacular fountain show, husband insisted to walk up to the red trolley station which was at a walking distance from the fountain. A guard greeted us at the station and told us that the next trolley is in 15 minutes and it takes you around Downtown area dotted with eateries and lounges on one side and the stunning Burj Khalifa on the other. Little M was too excited to go the trolley and husband asked the guard where we could get the tickets from and we learnt from him that the service was free of charge. :-) We waited for the next trolley to arrive patiently and when it did we were elated to be on this elegant Arabesque-designed bright red trolley and we chose to be seated on the upper deck of the trolley.
Burj Khalifa in its many shades!

The weather was perfect and the trolley which runs at a very slow speed lets you take in countless number of beautiful views all around, one at a time. That day the Burj Khalifa was lit up in a special LED lights facade that was changing to different colours, looking so eye catching. During that short ride, I wondered how beautiful could life be and thanked the Almighty for the little surprises he packs in so dearly for us to unfold each day. :-)

We walked back to the mall after our beautiful first time experience on the Dubai Trolley and decided to go towards parking as we didn't want to eat from outside as a special dish was already sitting in the kitchen prepared earlier that day.

Indeed it was Mutton Kadhai or mutton curry slowly cooked in a gravy of onion, tomatoes, spiced up with ginger-garlic and lots of green chilies.

The credit for this recipe goes to my father. I am proud of him and the other two most important men in my life - husband and brother who don't shy away from picking up a kadchi or spatula and take over the kitchen whenever they like or when its needed.

My father started cooking non-vegetarian food in his tiny kitchen in his office just for our delight a few years after I got married. My parents house is strictly vegetarian courtesy my mother, though my father, brother and I have always ordered butter chicken or tandoori chicken whenever we went out to eat at a restaurant. Two winters back when I had gone to Delhi I caught a bit of cold due to the stark difference in the weather of my two most loved cities - Delhi and Dubai. That was when my father invited me to his office (which we barely visit) to gorge on some amazing mutton kadhai. He believed the gravy of the mutton alone will take care of my running nose.

Now the gravy that my father prepares is slow-cooked for over an hour before the meat is added. And the thick curry consists of big pieces of ginger and garlic along with a mashed curry of onion-tomatoes. Surely my cold was warded off by my father's magical mutton and I slept that night breathing peacefully.

This recipe is made by me in close conversation with my father on phone at different stages of its making to make it taste as close as it can to my dad's version. The only alteration I made was chopping ginger-garlic finely while my dad likes to use big pieces of both. And I have skipped the garam masala as well just to ensure it doesn't turn up too spicy.

My dad's generosity and bigheartedness is very much evident in all of his recipes which is why he never measures the ingredients before adding to the recipe. I have tried to be as generous as him with what I put into this recipe but I know for a fact that it can never be enough if I put myself in his shoes.

Difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 20min
Cooking Time: 2-3 hrs


1-1.25 kg mutton pieces bone-in
8-10 onions, quartered
6-8 tomatoes, quartered
4-5 tbsp each of finely chopped ginger and garlic
8-10 green chilies, slit
6 tbsp oil
2 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp red chili powder
1 tbsp garam masala or all-spice powder
salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnish


1) Start by taking a big wok/pressure cooker and pour in the cooking oil. Put the finely chopped ginger. Let it brown a bit and then add the garlic.

2) After the ginger and garlic are done, add in the quartered onions. Saute on medium heat until brown.

3) Put in the chopped tomatoes and cook until mushy and the oil looks separated from the curry. Add in slit green chilies when you put in the tomatoes.

4) Now is the time to add the seasoning, put in coriander powder, salt, red chilli powder, Stir and add in the meat with a liter of water. Mix well.

5) If you are cooking in a pressure cooker, you can either give the meat a few whistles for about 20 min and your curry will be done. But I like to let the meat simmer slowly on low heat and gruadually absorb all the aromas of the spices and ginger-garlic and have the deep red hue of the mushy tomatoes. Just like my father does.

This is the step that requires the maximum patience as the mutton takes about 30-45 min to become so soft that it just leaves the bone with a whisk and just melts in the mouth. Believe me I have taken the easy route also many times by letting it whistle away in the pressure cooker, but the taste of the mutton in that case is nothing as compared to the slow-cooked succulent meat bathing in the gravy that has taken its time to thicken to perfection and reach a dark and dense consistency.

Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve it with hot chapattis or paratha or naan.

Do let me know your thoughts about my father's version of this mutton kadhai. If you try out this recipe then do share it with me on my Facebook or Instagram page with the code #DilliToDubai.

How do you like to make your mutton kadhai? Spicy and thick or a tariwala gosht to go along with herbed rice?

Share your thoughts with me in the comments below. I would love to read them!

Thanks for reading! :-)


  1. Wow, this looks so yummy, I cook mutton curry at home and let me tell you, I follow the same procedure :) My hubby loves it :)

  2. Thanks a lot Divya! It is good to know that you follow the same recipe! :-)


Please share your thoughts. I'd love to read them!