Mutton Kulambu (Chettinad Mutton Curry)

5 from 6 votes

Mutton Kulambu (Mutton Kuzhambu) is a spicy village-style mutton curry famous in India’s Chettinad region. It can be made in a traditional stovetop pressure cooker or instant pot.

Here are some more mutton recipes: Railway Mutton Curry, Punjabi Mutton Curry, Kashmiri Mutton Rogan Josh, and Bhuna Gosht.

Mutton Kulambu served in a bowl.
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When I moved to Bangalore after getting married, my understanding of South Indian cuisine was established drastically. Being North Indian, we were only exposed to Dosa, Idli, and Uttapama in the name of South Indian food.

I first encountered Mutton Kulambu at a friend’s house who invited us for dinner. And I must say it was love at first bite. She served it with Ragi Mudde, which made a fabulous combination of taste and textures.

I asked for the recipe, and she obliged. Since then, I have not held back. I have made this bomb of a curry multiple times for parties and weekend meals, and it has never disappointed me.

This curry tastes the best the next day as the flavors meld very well. If you have time, try to make it sometime in advance.

About Mutton Kulambu

Mutton Kulambu Curry (Mutton Kuzhambu), pronounced koo-lum-boo in Tamil, is a popular mutton (goat meat) curry from Tamil Nadu and the Chettinad region.

This spicy mutton curry has an onion-tomato base flavored with a delicious paste made using fresh coconut and spices.

The combination of coconut and poppy seeds gives this thin curry a distinct flavor that is just too delicious.

I am sharing the methods to cook it in a traditional stovetop pressure cooker and an instant pot.

Ingredients

For The Masala Paste

This recipe uses a freshly ground paste made from white poppy seeds (khus khus), dry red chilies, cumin seeds, fennel seeds (saunf), cloves (laung), cinnamon sticks (dalchini), whole black peppercorns (kalimirch), garlic, fresh ginger, onions, and fresh coconut.

Try to use Kashmiri dry red chilies, as they give a nice red color to the curry without making it too spicy. If you like to make it spicy, use a hot variety of chili (Guntur chilies).

If white poppy seeds are unavailable, you can replace them with cashew nuts or melon seeds.

This curry tastes best when made using fresh coconut. To save time, you can buy already grated frozen fresh coconut. You will find it in the freezer section of any Indian grocery store. However, if fresh coconut is not available, use dry coconut in its place.

For The Curry

To make this Chettinad mutton gravy, you will need bone-in goat mutton (or lamb), oil, onions, curry leaves, green chilies, fresh tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, and Kashmiri red chili powder.

You can use boneless mutton, too, but I feel the bones give the curry a lot of flavor, so I highly recommend using bone-in mutton.

Use gingelly oil or peanut oil for an authentic flavor.

You can also add a teaspoon of coriander powder and other spice powders to thicken the curry.

You can add ½ cup of coconut milk once the curry is ready and bring the curry to a gentle simmer.

How To Make Mutton Kulambu

Make The Masala Paste

Add the following ingredients to a small blender jar.

  • 1 tablespoon white poppy seeds (or cashew nuts)
  • 6-8 whole dry red chilies (remove the stalk)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1-inch piece of whole cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoon chopped or grated fresh coconut
Masala paste ingredients added to a blender.

Add ½ cup of water and blend to make a smooth paste. Scrap the sides of the blender a few times while blending. Set aside.

Note – You can dry roast the spices before grinding for more robust flavors.

Fine paste made.

Make The Curry

Heat 4 tablespoon oil in a pressure cooker over high heat.

Oil heating in a pressure cooker.

Once the oil is hot, add the following ingredients.

  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 3-4 green chilies (slit into half)

Cook until the onions are softened and light golden brown, stirring regularly. This will take 6-8 minutes.

Onions, curry leaves and green chilies added to the cooker.

Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently.

Tomatoes and salt added to the cooker.

Add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and cook for another minute.

Turmeric powder and chili powder added to the cooker.

Now add the ground masala paste and 1 lb (500 g) bone-in mutton pieces (cut into 1 and ½-inch chunks) and stir well.

Clean the jar using water and add the water to the pressure cooker to prevent the masala from being wasted.

Masala paste, water and mutton added to the cooker.
Mixed well.

Add 2 cups of water to the cooker and close the lid. Pressure cook for one whistle on high heat. Then, set the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.

Lid of the cooker closed.

Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid of the cooker once the pressure is released.

Check for salt and add more required.

Adjust the gravy consistency by adding more water if needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) and serve hot.

Note – If the mutton is not tender, pressure cook for another 8-10 minutes.

Ready mutton kulambu.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a mutton kulambu recipe in Instant Pot?

Make the masala paste and set it aside.
Then, press the SAUTE button on the instant pot. Once it says HOT, add oil.
Follow the recipe until ground masala paste is added.
Add 1 cup of water and close the lid of the instant pot. Set the valve to the sealing position.
Press CANCEL and then press PRESSURE COOK. Set the timer to 25 minutes on HIGH PRESSURE.
Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid of the pot.
Check for salt and add more required.
Adjust the gravy consistency by adding more water if needed. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

What should I look for in mutton when buying it to make curries?

Try to buy the mutton from the leg or shoulder to make curries. 
When buying mutton for curry, always look for a few bone pieces, as they release a lot of flavor.
Other than that, include some liver, also known as Kaleji; it is delicious and tastes great when cooked with delicious spices.
The pieces should be 1-½ inches in size.

What can I serve this curry with?

I like to serve this flavorful curry with steamed or ghee rice. Idiyappam, appam, or ragi mudde also pairs very well with it. You can also serve Kerala parotta, phulka, naan, or any other Indian bread with it.

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Mutton Kulambu Curry (Mutton Kuzhambu) is a spicy village-style mutton curry famous in India's Chettinad region. It can be made in a traditional stovetop pressure cooker or instant pot.
5 from 6 votes

Mutton Kulambu Recipe (Mutton Kuzhambu)

Mutton Kulambu Curry (Mutton Kuzhambu) is a spicy village-style mutton curry famous in India's Chettinad region. Make it using my easy recipe.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

To Make The Masala Paste

  • 1 tablespoon white poppy seeds (replace with cashew nuts if poppy seeds are not available)
  • 6-8 whole dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 2-3 cloves (laung)
  • 1 inch piece of whole cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns (kalimirch)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped or grated fresh coconut

To Make The Curry

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 3-4 green chilies (slit into half)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 pound bone-in goat mutton (500 g, cut into 1-½ inch chunks. Use lamb if goat mutton is not available.)
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Instructions 

Make The Masala Paste

  • Add all the ingredients to make the paste to a small blender jar
  • Add ½ cup of water and blend to make a smooth paste. Scrap the sides of the blender a few times while blending. Set aside.
  • Note – You can dry roast the spices before grinding for stronger lavors.

Make The Curry

  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker over high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add onions, curry leaves, and green chilies. Cook until the onions are softened and light golden brown, stirring regularly. This will take 6-8 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Add turmeric powder and Kashmiri red chili powder and cook for another minute.
  • Now add the ground masala paste and mutton and stir well. Clean the jar using water and add the water to the pressure cooker to prevent the masala from being wasted.
  • Add 2 cups of water to the cooker and close the lid. Pressure cook for one whistle on high heat. Then, set the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid of the cooker once the pressure is released.
  • Check for salt and add more required.
  • Adjust the gravy consistency by adding more water if needed. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.
  • Note – If the mutton is not tender yet, pressure cook for another 8-10 minutes.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Try to use Kashmiri dry red chilies, as they give a nice red color to the curry without making it too spicy. If you like to make it spicy, use a hot variety of chili (Byadagi chilies or Guntur chilies).
Use gingelly oil or peanut oil for an authentic flavor.
Instant pot recipe is in the post.

Nutrition

Calories: 536kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 42g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 20g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 874mg, Potassium: 735mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1112IU, Vitamin C: 162mg, Calcium: 120mg, Iron: 4mg
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