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Recipe: Bethica's Saffron Mutton Curry

June 09, 2022 12:54 IST
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Bethica Das's Saffron Mutton Curry is cooked in milk, thickened with a paste of sesame seeds and flavoured with saffron, rose water and kewra.

It can be enjoyed with steamed or jeera rice, naans or tandoori rotis.

Easy meatless versions of this curry are possible if sharing a meal with vegetarians, vegans or Jains.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Bethica Das

Mutton Curry

Serves: 3-4


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1-inch stick dalchini or cinnamon stick
  • 2 green elaichi or cardamom
  • 4 laung or cloves
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds paste
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • Few drops kewra essence
  • Pinch kesar or saffron
  • 1 tbsp chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup water

For the marination

  • 500 gm mutton with bones, curry cut
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ½ tsp haldi or turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp green chilly paste
  • 1 tsp dhania-jeera or coriander-cumin powder
  • Salt to taste


  • In a large bowl combine all the ingredients to marinate the mutton.
    Add the mutton pieces and mix well.
    Let the mutton marinate in the mixture overnight in the fridge.
  • Heat the oil in a kadhai or saucepan.
    Add half the sliced onions and fry till golden brown.
    Take off heat and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pressure cooker and saute the remaining sliced onions till light brown.
    Add the marinated mutton and cook with the lid on but not the weight till the oil separates.
    Add 1 cup water and pressure cook till tender.
    Keep aside to cool.
  • In a large kadhai or saucepan add the remaining ghee and temper with cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms.
    Saute for a few seconds.
    Now add the cooked mutton and bring it to a boil.
    Add the sesame seeds paste and the slit green chilies.
    Simmer for 2 minutes.
    Reduce the heat, add the milk and give it a stir.
    Simmer for 2 minutes.
    Add the rose water, saffron, kewra essence.
    Take off heat and serve garnished with the chopped coriander leaves, fried onions.
    Enjoy with steamed or jeera rice, naans or tandoori rotis.

Note: Kewra has a very strong flavour and add per taste.

Vegetarians, vegans and Jains might consider making this recipe by substituting the mutton with an equal amount of paneer or mushrooms.

Mushrooms would need less marination and cooking time. Paneer would not need to be pressure cooked.

Also, omit the onions and ginger-garlic paste if following a Jain diet. Also use almond milk instead of regular milk and vegan yoghurt in the recipe if vegan.

Bethica Das is a Sharjah-based food blogger.

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