Mutton kurma

Mutton Kurma is a South Indian coconut based curry, which is quite different from mutton khorma/korma in North India, the Mughlai dish. There are so many variations in mutton kurma itself. This time I am showing how my mother-in-law prepares at home usually served with pulav for dinner. If any kurma is left over, then it goes for breakfast with idli/dosa – this combination is too good, trust me.

For this mutton kurma, you need green chillies instead of chilli powder and the kurma is infused with mint and fresh coriander leaves. This makes the curry pale greenish or yellowish colour, which gives the kurma a very different taste, full of aroma and flavour.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 40 mins

Cuisine: Tamilnadu

Spiciness: Medium

Serves: 3 to 4


  • Mutton/lamb (with bones) – 500 gms
  • Oil – 1/3 cup
  • Onion – 2 or 200 gms
  • Tomato (big) – 1
  • Green chillies – 4
  • Mint – 1/2 cup or 10 gms
  • Coriander leaves with stalks – 1/2cup or 15 gms
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Whole spices

  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Cloves – 5
  • Green cardamom – 4
  • Cinnamon stick (2inch piece) – 3
  • Marathi moggu (java peppercorn, small) – 2
  • Fennel seeds (saunf) – 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut paste

  • Coconut (fresh and grated) – 1/2 cup
  • Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Cashew nuts – 6
  • Khus khus (poppy seeds) – 1 tsp


  • Chop onion, tomato, mint and coriander leaves. Keep them ready.
  • Soak cashewnuts and khus khus in 1/4 cup of hot water for 30 mins or more.
  • Slit the green chillies and keep them ready.
  • For coconut paste

  • Add all the ingredients with 1/4 cup water (I have used soaked water of cashew nuts) and grind to a smooth paste. Add little water in the mixer to clear any coconut paste attached, which can be used for the curry. Keep the water and coconut paste separate.
  • Cooking mutton kurma

  • Heat the vessel with oil. When hot, add the whole spices and saute for about 15 seconds.
  • Add the chopped onion and cook until soft and transparent.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste, green chillies and saute for about 2 mins.
  • Add all the mint leaves and half of the coriander leaves and saute for about 3 mins. Keep stirring. The flame can be reduced if it is burning.
  • Add mutton and cook for about 3 to 4 mins. Then add tomatoes and cook for about 3 mins.
  • Add coriander powder and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook until you see oil getting separated near the sides.
  • Add 2 cups of water and cook the meat. I have used pressure cooker and gave 3 to 4 whistles as per the meat I used. Switch off.
  • Open the lid when the meat is cooked. You can see that the colour is like dark and pale.
  • Add coconut paste and 1/2 a cup (or 150 ml) of water (including the water, which was used to clear the coconut paste from the mixer.
  • Boil for about 5 mins on a medium flame with the lid slightly closed.
  • Add coriander leaves and mix well. Close the lid and cook for about 10 to 12 mins on a low flame (simmer). Switch off.
  • Serve hot with plain rice, pulav or chapathi or parotta.


  • Mint and coriander leaves need to be sauted well to get that pale light green or yellow colour and taste for the kurma.
  • You can add a pinch of turmeric powder while adding mint leaves.
  • Spiciness will depend on how hot the chillies are. The chillies I used are medium hot.

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