Mutton Curry

Yields: 1 Serving

Mutton Curry

Very few dishes capture the essence of the cuisine in a particular locality as accurately as Mutton Curry in the Bengal region. The story of how this dish came to be explains why it’s still to this day, regarded as food reserved for the nobility. The dish provides a snapshot of the history of Bengal and the Britishers who came to occupy it. Although Mutton refers to goats here in India, Lamb can also be used in its place.

What is Mutton Curry?

Mutton curry is a mildly spicy meat curry that has an authentic Indian flavor combination but skips on the spiciness to make the dish friendly to non-Indian aristocracy. A key difference to other meat curries is in the use of mustard oil. The characteristic effervescence adds a dimension to the meat curry that’s simply unparalleled by anything else.


The story of mutton curry starts in Kashmir. Mutton Rogan Josh is a popular dish in that region. Mutton curry is inspired from Rogan Josh but crafted to be milder in spiciness to appeal to the soft palate of the Westerners. Back when the Britishers colonized India,  the railway was the preferred method of transport for most aristocratic travelers. In the railway refreshment rooms and on the trains themselves, a variation of mutton rogan josh became a signature dish. This was the birthplace of the mutton curry that we know and love today in Bengal. Long distance trains originating from Bengal served mutton curry along with bread, dinner rolls or rice. The influence of their aristocracy made mutton curry an aspirational dish for the local common folk. And that’s how mutton curry became the meal for the nobility and grand occasions.

Notable Ingredients at a Glance

Mutton – You’ll need 1kg or 2 pounds of Mutton. You can use lamb or goat meat, whichever is easily available.


Salt – You’ll need about a teaspoon and a half of salt for this recipe. You can adjust for salt at the end if necessary. But don’t add too much salt in the very beginning.


Sugar – A half teaspoon of Sugar will brighten up the flavor.


Yogurt – This is traditionally used in the marinade process and it tenderizes the meat when left to do its thing overnight.


Mustard oil – 6 tablespoons of good quality mustard oil is necessary to give the curry an authentic taste. The oil has a characteristic effervescence that’s hard to replicate with other ingredients. You can find it in any Indo-Asian or Bangladeshi cuisine store.


Onion – You’ll need 2 medium sized onions cut in halves and 3 medium sized ones chopped into long slices.


Ground Spices

1 teaspoon turmeric powder and

1 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder for the color that they provide to the curry.


1 tablespoon red chili powder

½ teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder to add to the flavor of the curry.


25 cloves of garlic and

50 gm knob of ginger.

Whole Spices

2 bay leaves

4 cardamom pods

4 cloves

1 cm cinnamon stick

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds


How to prepare a Mutton Curry?

In a mixing bowl, place the mutton pieces. Add salt, turmeric powder, sugar, red chili powder, kashmiri chili powder, cumin powder, yogurt and 2 tablespoons of mustard oil.


In a blender, mix 2 onions, 16 cloves of garlic and blend till smooth. Pour the contents into the bowl of mutton and mix well.


Marinade for 2 hours or overnight if you have the time.


Cook the mutton only for 10 mins in a pressure cooker (1 whistle). Keep aside till it cools down.


In a pan, add 4 tablespoons of mustard oil and heat. Add chopped onions, fry till red and strain. In a mixer, blend the fried onions. Keep the onion blend aside.


In the same oil, add bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and cumin seeds. Let it crackle.


In a mixer blend the ginger and 9 garlic cloves blend it and add it to the pan.


Saute for 5 mins.


Now take the mutton out from the pressure cooker and pour it into the pan and keep mixing on low flame for 5 mins. Pour the fried onion blend in the pan and mix for 2 mins.


Now cover the pan and cook in low flame for 10 mins. Keep mixing at regular intervals.


Your mutton curry is ready to serve with parathas or rice.

Some expert tips for preparing Mutton Curry

  • You can skip the mustard oil if it’s not available to you. The dish tastes almost the same with any neutral oil.
  • You can adjust the spiciness according to your palate.



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