Go Back

The Unbeatable Pahadi Mutton and a new found love for cookbooks

A recipe for the spectacular and slow cooked Pahadi mutton which is such a star dish! While you may not end up making it often, that occasional indulgence is so worth it!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine north indian


  • 1 kg mutton preferably with bones
  • 1 cup yoghurt hung
  • 2 tbsps ginger garlic paste
  • 2 chillies dry red, crushed
  • 2 green chillies
  • salt
  • 4 onions medium finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cardamoms large black
  • 3 to 4 cardamoms green
  • 1 cinnamon piece
  • 6 to 7 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 to 7 tomatoes blended in mixie without skin
  • 3 tbsps coriander powder
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • handful coriander leaves chopped
  • 2 tsps ghee and pieces of charcoal


  • Marinate the cleaned and washed mutton for a minimum of 6 hours and if you are like me who always forgets to marinate it, clean and marinate it when you buy. Shove it in the freezer and thaw it the day you want to cook. In the marination, you will need to mix yoghurt, ginger-garlic pastes, red chillies and salt.
  • The day you are ready to cook, bring the mutton to room temperature.
  • Heat the ghee, be daring and use the 1/2 cup ghee that the recipe mentions. I am sure you the result will be even better but if you are like me use 2 tablespoons, it worked. Remember to use a heavy bottom pan since this is going to cook for a long time.
  • Add all the whole spiced and fry for 2-3 minutes till the cardamoms swell up. Add the onions and cook until they are browned.
  • Now add the mutton, stir the mutton till the onions coat the mutton. Since the marinade is curd based it will all be creamish in color. You need to keep stirring it every now and then till the whole thing turns deep brown in color. This is where your patience is help, the process can take anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour. Be patience and keep stirring every couple of minutes. If the mutton is sticking to it, add some more of the marinade water to the pan and stir.
  • Now when the mutton is deep brown in color, add the tomatoes and coriander powder. You can slow down on the stirring now since there is a lot of liquid which has gone in. Cook it till the mixture is somewhat dry, for me that took another 25 minutes or so.
  • At this point you have two choices, continue with the labour of love (yes I did) or do what Aparna does and use a pressure cooker. If you use a pressure cooker, cook on medium flame for three whistles else cook for about an hour stirring often.
  • When the mutton is cooked, add the garam masala over the dish. Yes you are almost done.
  • Now just before serving it put a piece of charcoal on fire and wait for about 10 minutes till it is well lit. Put it in a little bowl and put the bowl on top of the mutton mix in the pot and pour 1 tsp of ghee over it. You will the smoke coming out, immediately cover the pot for 2-5 minutes letting the smoke infuse in the gravy.
  • Garnish the mutton with fresh coriander leaves and serve with paranthas or rice.


"If you make this, share a picture with me on twitterinstagram or Facebook? I would love to hear what you have to say about it !"
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!