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Mom style typical Oriya mutton curry

Updated on August 20, 2010

Mom style typical Oriya mutton curry

Orissa is a state rich of culture, greenery and tradition. It has a glorious history spanning a period of over 2000 years. Whether it is the holy rathyatra of Lord Jagannath at Puri, or the vibrance of Konark's Sun temple, the caves of Jainism or the monasteries of Buddhism in Khandagiri and Udaigiri, the exquisite patachitras of Raghurajpur or the colourful handicrafts of Pipili, the weaver's magic of Sambalpur or the stone craving and silver filigree... Orissa has kept alive the richness of its gorgeous past.

Typical cuisine of Orissa is easy simple and delicious. Rice is the staple diet of the people here unlike the northern and western states where roti or chapatti is the staple diet. Vegetables are grown plentifully and form a part of Orissan diet. But the foremost part of the diet in Orissa, besides rice and vegetables, is fish and other seafood delicacies like prawns, crabs and lobsters as they are available in abundance due to the never-ending coastline of the state. Amongst them, the most prevalent diet is that of fish starting from Rohu, Bhakura (sweet water fishes) to Promfret and Hilsha. I remember my mother narrating her childhood memories about how she used to have fish in all her meals almost every day.

I was born in Orissa but was never bought up in a traditional oriya family. My father moved out of Orissa for work , n with him moved out our chances of undergoing a ‘classic’ oriya brought up. But, in spite of us being away from our oriya roots, my mother did an awesome job making us feel closer to our ‘roots’ in every way possible. She made us talk our mother tongue at home and made us celebrate every festival in the oriya calendar along with all other festivals. One thing remained unchanged in our modified oriya home though n that was out love for typical oriya delicacies. In a typical oriya family its always about good food and lots of food our family was no less. We craved for sea-food and mutton on every occasion. My mom would look for reasons to cook delicacies like crab, shrimp, fish or mutton in a mouth-watering red curry. Our ideal Sunday lunch was always mutton curry or ‘mansa tarkari’ as called it in oriya. There used to often be a debate between our parents as to who would cook the Sunday mutton curry. My mom would cook it in a traditional oriya style but my dad loved making few modifications in the same. So, the decision would often come to me and my sister as to which curry would we prefer for lunch. We no doubt loved our mom’s red curry, but sometimes we would feel for dad’s enthusiasm to cook and hence would give in.

Mutton in red-curry
Mutton in red-curry

Mutton lovers will agree with me that buying the right tender mutton is an art which was mastered by our dads. Every Sunday he would rush to the local mutton shop as early as he can get up to grab the best of ‘khasi mansa’ (the variety which was known to be the best). This mutton was deep-red, juicy and tender and was not chewy at all and would get cooked easily. Customarily he would get assorted pieces which included the liver, the marrow and the chops but one could choose from either getting only chops, or brain or liver or keema.

Mutton or goat meat can be made in more ways than we can think of, but traditionally my mom would hate trying any other recipe. I guess none of us to resist the temptation of an awesome red curry with soft mutton pieces and aaloo (potato).

I want to share with you our favorite Mutton curry recipe (mom’s style). This would go out to all those of you who were craving for a home-made mutton curry which you once had somewhere, some place in east India and didn’t know how to make it.


~ 1 kg tendor mutton cut in 1” pcs

~ 3 medium sized potato peeled and cut into halves

~ 3 tbsp Mustard Oil for cooking (can use sunflower/canola oil instead)

~ 3 medium sized onions

~ 8 -10 cloves of garlic minced

~ 1” ginger minced

~ 1 bay leaf

~ ½” cinnamon stick

~ 3 cloves

~ 1 tsp cinnamon powder

~ 1 tsp Garam Masala or meat masala

~ ½ tsp sugar

~ Salt to taste

~ ¼ tsp Haldi (turmeric)

~ ½ tsp red-chilli powder (or as desired)

~ 1 small tomato pureed or diced

~ 1 dry red chili


~ Marinate the mutton with 1 tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp salt and keep aside

~ Make a smooth paste of onion, ginger and garlic

~ Heat up a Kadhai or any heavy bottom Pan, preferably a non-stick pan which would marginally reduce the amount of oil used.

~ Add 2-3 tbsp of cooking oil

~ Add a dry red chilly, cinnamon stick, cloves and bay-leaf

~ Add sugar to it ( as it gives colour to the gravy)

~ Add the onion paste and cook it till translucent (abt 5-7 mins)

~ Add ginger-garlic paste and cook it well

~ Add turmeric, garam masala, red chili powder and salt

~ When the above paste starts to leave oil, add the tomato puree and roast well

~ Add the marinated mutton at this point and stir well so tht the masala blends in with the mutton.

~ Add cinnamon powder to the mutton

~ Cook the mutton on medium heat with occasionally stirring till oil starts to separate and you can smell the aroma

~ Add in the tomatoes (alternatively u can sauté the tomato in oil separately and add at the end)

~ Transfer the above mixture to a pressure cooker and add water till it covers the mutton. ( the amount of water depends on the thickness of the gravy preferred)

~ Cook it till the cooker blows a whistle, then lower the flame to low and let it cook for 15-20 mins or till the mutton is cooked

~ Open the cooker only when the pressure settles down and check for tenderness of the mutton, consistency of the gravy and salt.

~ Alternatively, you can take the pressure out after one whistle, remove the potatoes from the mutton, since the potatoes cook faster and re-pressure the mutton for 15-20 mins on low flame.

~ Garnish it with cilantro if desired and serve hot with steamed rice.

Hope you all try it at home and relish it. More from my oriya kitchen coming soon. Give me your feed backs or let me know if you liked/disliked it.


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      Anuja 7 years ago

      This is just an answer to my wish--my next wish is i get this served to me-hint hint! :) Well done Tiks-I love your piece--Keep it coming!!!

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      Shazia 7 years ago

      Love the recipe .. hope there was a video too ...