Odiya Style Mutton Curry

June 9, 2008

The aromatic smell of cooked mutton curry, the secret recipe handed down from mother to daughter, all that beautiful memories makes me nostalgic.

Ask any Odiya what makes her or him most nostalgic thinking about a lazy Sunday afternoon growing up and they would say the aromatic smell of pot cooked mutton (mansa) curry, the secret recipe handed down from mother to daughter. The sons accompanying their dads and uncles to the butcher (the local mutton vendor) arguing over the cuts and to add some liver and to hold the fat

Times have changed, places have changed and we have traded a lot to be what we are today and yet something’s never change. Like the aroma of the foods that our mother so lovingly cooked the cricket matches that went on forever and the love that warmed the hearts. This recipe originally comes from the kitchens of the Nawabs that once occupied Kalinga and perhaps this is one of their better remembered legacies.Unlike the mutton curry from the rest of India, this specialty requires the overnight marinade of the cuts and then the slow cooking of the mutton (traditionally this was done in earthen pots over wood fired cow dung plastered home made ovens in the backyard where it would not touch the vegetables in the Handishala (kitchen). With no earthen pots I have had to rather reluctantly use the non stick cookware to cook the mutton to its succulent best by preserving the traditional spices that give it the nostalgic remembrance.I have also tired to make a small variation by holding off the water to make the gravy more thick to be in times with the modern day food styles. Another important variation is not using the fat of the mutton to cook it as well one has to watch one’s heart over one’s tongue.

I recently came across a wonderful article in the reader digest that marinating meat not only enhance the taste but also helps in lowering the unhealthy cholesterol compounds that form during cooking.



  • 500gms Mutton with bones cut into pieces
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 tblsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbslp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp black whole pepper
  • 3 to 4 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 to 4 cardamom pods
  • 1tbslp cumin powder
  • 1 tbslp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 2 potatoes cut into big chinks
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste.
  • Chopped coriander

Wash and clean the mutton and trim the excess fat. Marinate it with yogurt and salt for over night in the fridge.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add slightly crushed pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. When they start splutter, add the onions, sauté till the onion is soft and tender.Now add garlic and ginger paste. Saute for few minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt. When the masala is cooked thoroughly add potatoes and marinated mutton pieces (drain the excess liquid from the mariantion).

Keep stirring it on medium fire for approx ten mins. Keep sprinkling water so that the masala doesn’t stick to the pan . Finally add 2/3 cup of water and cover with a lid that’s fits well. Cook on a slow fire for approx 45 mins. Keep checking in between and stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t get dry.

Add more warm water if the gravy is dried up. Finally check if the mutton is well cooked and add the Garam masala and chopped coriander.


Serve hot with plain rice or Jeera  rice and khajuri khatta. It is delectable.

The aromatic smell of cooked mutton curry, the secret recipe handed down from mother to daughter, all that beautiful memories makes me nostalgic.


The quickest way is to use pressure cooker and adding raw grated papaya to the marination.  It is meat tenderizer.

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  • Reply Mallugirl June 9, 2008 at 11:29 am

    what a sumptuous looking curry. u could try baking in an oven for the slow cooked result. It works well with mutton. Will surely try ur recipe. Mutton is a big fav in my house.

  • Reply Asha June 9, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Beautiful curry, looks so good.Wish I would get Mutton, which is lot better than Lamb. Good one. We call it “Mamsa” in Kannada, means meat!:))

  • Reply sowmya June 9, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    An award waiting for you in my blog!!Glad to pass it to you.

  • Reply notyet100 June 9, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    feel lik tryin…but nogoat meat here..:-(deliciou recip

  • Reply Cham June 9, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    What a gorgeous Mutton in kadai! u make me feel hungry early morning! Drooling…..

  • Reply Happy cook June 9, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Wow that muttom curry looks so delicious.
    I love muttom, but here it is difficult to get.
    Yummy dish.

  • Reply Srivalli June 9, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    pictures look great!..nice presentation!

  • Reply Sujatha June 9, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    the picture is mouth-watering! I am ready to eat your mutton curry right now 🙂 First time to your blog.. you have great recipes..

  • Reply Maheswari June 10, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Delicious perfect looking curry.Loved the platter.That tip about using papaya is helpful.

  • Reply Sia June 10, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Times have changed, places have changed and we have traded a lot to be what we are today and yet something’s never change.
    how true… and the way u have served that mutton curry is simply amazing:)

  • Reply delhibelle June 11, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Beautifully written post..thanks for sharing fond memories

  • Reply Kevin June 11, 2008 at 1:47 am

    That mutton curry looks really good! Nice photos!

  • Reply Andhra Flavors June 11, 2008 at 7:00 am

    wonderful mutton curry!! and lovely pics too..

  • Reply Sangeeth June 11, 2008 at 8:55 am

    very lovely recipe….

  • Reply ranji June 11, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    lovely dish shibani…but since we dont eat mutton i will prepare this with chicken:)….and also thank u so much for correcting me…i didnt know that 🙂

  • Reply vandana rajesh June 11, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    yummy mutton curry..thanks for visiting my blog. Would be glad to have an entry from you for the chicken event.

  • Reply Mishmash ! June 12, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    That mutton curry is too tempting….the consistency is so perfect,…I wish I could have it for my lunch today 🙂

  • Reply meeso June 13, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Awesome looking curry, the pic is so tempting!!!

  • Reply Pragyan June 22, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Hey Shibani: I was wondering what you meant by “our thoughts are so similar” I understand 🙂 We have both had similar Sundays in our growing up days, na? Your blog is so cool..If you are ever coming to DC, do let me know and we should catch up in person..:)

  • Reply What He Is Up To Lately September 22, 2008 at 12:10 am

    I love the curry dishes on your blog! I’m salivating right now!!! Mutton is definitely my favorite meat in curry dishes. There is a restaurant in my town makes the best mutton/lamb cubes in creamy spinach sauce…yummo! I’ve looked all over the internet for the recipe to make the dish, but it still came out not quite the same, 1st time was a bit on the watery side, 2nd X, the flavor wasn’t quite the same. If you have a recipe for that, that’d be fantastic! Love your blog. Hope all is well in China!

  • Reply Soma November 21, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I was just browsing ur blog & came across this mutton curry… really I felt the exact same thing when i was writing for my recent post. My daughter & me … we love mutton (esp. with the potatoes:-D )… & I cannot believe I did not eat when I was little.. after a trip to the butcher with my dad.

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