Thursday, 20 December 2012

Kerala Style Mutton Stew

I went to the midnight Mass on Christmas Day; not that I was too enthusiastic about it. I literally slept at church for the 2 hour Mass, especially through the sermon - could barely keep my eyes open for that. But soon after the Holy Communion I was wide awake - fresh as a daisy! And then, hastily walk to my close relatives' house in the area for a quick bite of Christmas cake and wash it down with some home-made wine. I didn't want to go to bed after that. I wanted to continue to play with crackers and sparklers with my cousins for longer. But my Mum and Aunt chides and gets us all into bed around 4.30 in the morning.


Alright! Now when I really want to sleep, the pressure cooker in my Grandma's kitchen has gone haywire blowing out its never ending whistles. Ok! It is not just in my Grandma's kitchen  - the entire neighbourhood has taken to it. Endless, listless noise of the pressure cooker. And then the spicy aroma of cinnamon, cardamon, cloves and pepper infused with the distinctive flavour of mutton fills the entire house. Oh yes! It is Christmas Day and is there a better way to start the day than by having Palappam and Mutton Stew for breakfast.
That is how I remember my childhood Christmas days in Kerala. In all the years I celebrated Christmas with my family, the scene was never distorted, the aromas the filled the house was never changed, the sounds that built up from the kitchen was never varied. I have now become different, in a far away land, with a very busy life. But Christmas will never fail to remind me about the wonderful Christmas breakfast I savoured at my Grandma's house. And of course! It was never complete without the Mutton Stew.

Makes: 4 - 5 serves
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes 

Measurements below are only approximate

To pressure cook
  • 1/2 kg mutton/ goat meat with bones, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup eschallots, whole
  • 3 - 4 green chilly (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch stick cinnamon
  • 3 - 4 green cardamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 - 6 peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 medium size potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Remaining Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup eschallots, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 - 2 green chilly (if required)
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder (adjust to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp powdered cashew (dry grind cashew in a coffee grinder)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
1. Pressure cook all ingredients under "to pressure cook" until mutton is well done. Separate mutton pieces with the stock. Add potato and carrot to the stock and pressure cook until done. Separate potato and carrot pieces from stock. Ensure remaining stock measures to 1 cup, if not add water to make it 1 cup. Keep aside cooked mutton, potato, carrot and 1 cup of mutton stock.
2. Mix powdered cashew with coconut milk and keep aside. 
3. Heat oil in a flat bottom vessel over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, green chilly and curry leaves from "remaining ingredients"  and stir for a few minutes. Add sliced eschallots and stir through until it becomes soft. Add cooked mutton, potato, carrot and 1 cup of mutton stock and stir through. Add tomato, peas, garam masala, pepper powder and salt and mix well. As soon as this boils, add coconut milk mixed with powdered cashew. As soon as it is about to boil remove from flame.

Serve hot with Palappam.


  1. Mutton stew looks very tempting...Loved your blog. Thanks to step into my blog too. Hope you loved my kitchen. I have joined your blog. I would appreciate if you would join my blog...

  2. Beautiful write-up! Yummy stew! Love all these flavors, looks wonderful!

  3. Delicious and flavorful stew..luvd it.

  4. Palappam and stew is my all time favorite breakfast. I believe nothing can beat that. The combo looks yummy!!!

  5. Thank you all..
    Sireesha.. I've never tried it with dosa but guess it shoukd be a good combo.

    Shibi.. Couldn't agree with you more

  6. I had nominated you for the 'Liebster Award'. Please grab your badge from here

  7. Happy to follow you, I would be glad, if you stop by mine too!
    Good Food Recipes
    Please send your entries to

    Good Food Recipes-Christmas Food Fair Event

  8. HI Jannet,
    This looks yummy though for the tomato which looks like a misfit because of its sour taste.

    1. Hi Abhil...
      We need some sourness for stews as with any other kerala dishes to make it complete. Tomatoes or white vinegar can be used for the purpose. The taste of the stew will be slightly different in each case and it depends on what you like the best :)

  9. thanks for sharing.