Monday, 9 June 2014

Authentic Chettinadu Mutton Gravy / Chettinadu Mutton Kuzhambu

Chettinad is a region in South India popular for its local cuisine, temples and architecture. Chettinadu Cuisine is one of the most aromatic and spicy cuisine and known for its culinary delicacies. A good friend of mine is from this region and I have been to chettinad region for her wedding. It was the best wedding I have ever witnessed. It was like a royal wedding with 3 days of pre wedding events. During this wedding trip, I got introduced to the amazing chettinad dishes. 3 days of non stop eating and each dishes they served was amazing and unique. Every single dish they prepared was with fresh aromatic spices.

This Chettinad mutton Kuzhambu recipe is shared by my friend's mom. This dish is prepared with freshly ground spices. Traditionally it is prepared in clay pots or heavy metal / brass vessels. But , friend's mom has adapted this recipe to prepare in a pressure cooker. This Gravy is not spicy at all. The rich color of the gravy is from the freshly ground spices and tomatoes. It pairs well with roti / naan / steamed rice


  • 500 Grams Mutton / Lamb pieces
  • 2 Tablespoon Sesame Seed Oil / Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Inch long Cinnamon piece
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 Green Cardamom
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 8 Garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 Sprig Curry leaf
  • 20 Shallots peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 Medium Tomato chopped finely
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger and Garlic Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Cilantro Leaves for garnish 

For Dry Roasting and Grinding : Number 1

  • 4 Red Chillies
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Clove
  • 1 Green Cardamom
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon Stick

For Dry Roasting and Griding : Number 2

  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Coconut Slices
  • 1 Teaspoon Kuskus / poppy seeds
  • 2 Tablespoon Water for Grinding


1. Dry Roast on low flame all the ingredients listed under 'Number 1' in a pan until nice aroma comes. Cool the ingredients completely and grind it to fine dry powder without adding water. Set aside. We will call this 'fresh ground masala' for easy reference in the recipe




2. Dry roast coconut and kuskus (Number 2 Items ) in a pan on low flame until the edges of the coconut are light brown. Cool completely and grind it along with 2 tablespoon water to smooth paste. Set aside


3. In a pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoon oil. Keep the flame on low through out the process. When the oil is hot, add 1 bay leaf, 1 inch cinnamon, 3 cloves, 1 green cardamom, 1 star anise and curry leaves


4. When the curry leaves splutter, add finely sliced garlic and sauté until garlic is light golden


5. Add shallots and fry until shallots are light golden


6. Add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste and sauté nicely until raw smell goes and oil leaves from the mixture
7. Add chopped tomatoes and fry until tomatoes are mushy and soft


8. Add mutton pieces , turmeric powder and increase the flame to high. Fry the mutton pieces nicely for 5 to 7 minutes on high flame and stirring continuously



9. Add coriander powder and 2 tablespoon of fresh ground masala we prepared at step number 1 and sauté nicely for 2 minutes

10. Add 1 cup water, salt to taste and close the lid of the pressure cooker. Keep the whistle on

11. After 1 whistle, reduce the flame to low and pressure cook the meat for 20 minutes on low flame and switch off the flame

12. Let the pressure cooker cool completely and let the  pressure drop

13. Now open the pressure cooker, add the coconut and kuskus paste we prepared at step number 2 and mix everything together

14. Cook for 5 minutes and switch off the flame. Add chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot with roti / naan


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