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Recipe: Bethica's Zaffrani Mutton

July 04, 2024 16:29 IST
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A must-try Mughlai delicacy, Bethica Das' fragrant Zaffrani Mutton has a lovely, thick gravy and goes well served over steamed rice, biryani or a vegetable pulau.

Not a fan of rice? Relish it with naans, tandoori rotis and chapattis.

Brimming with flavour, the perfectly-cooked mutton will melt in your mouth and deserves a spot on your weekend dining table.

Bethica experiments with all sorts of regional Indian cuisine, her native Bengali, South Indian, Himachal and today she tries a Hyderbadi dish, a royal offering from the place where she grew up.

Zaffrani Mutton

Serves: 3-4


To marinate

  • 500 gm mutton, with bones, curry cut, washed and cleaned
  • ½ cup yoghurt, whisked
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tsp haldi or turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chilly powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tbsp dhania or coriander powder
  • ½ tbsp jeera or cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp crushed kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste, around 1½ tsp

For the mutton zaffrani

  • 1-inch stick dalcheeni or cinnamon
  • 2-3 green elaichi or cardamom
  • 4 lavang or cloves
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 2 pinches kesar or saffron and 1 tsp kewra or pandanus water, both mixed with ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 sprig fresh green dhania or coriander or cilantro leaves, chopped, to garnish


  • In a large bowl combine the mutton with all the marination ingredients.
    Mix well and let the mutton marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Heat the oil and the ghee in a pressure cooker over low heat.
    Add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and saute for a few seconds.
    Add the chopped onions and saute till light brown.
    Add the marinated mutton and continue to fry over low heat till the oil separates.
    Add 1 cup water and pressure cook for 20 minutes over low heat, after the first whistle.
    Let the pressure release naturally and simmer, without the cover, till the gravy becomes slightly thick.
    Add the saffron-kewra water and give it a stir.
    Simmer for a minute or 2 more and take off heat.
    Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice, biryani, naans, tandoori rotis or chapattis.

Bethica Das is a Sharjah-based food blogger. Please have a look at her recipes here.


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