Mughal Kadhai Tender Mutton……

(…fit for the one I love!)

Just over one month ago Jo, my husband, posted on his own website the story of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Arjumand Banu Begum, popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal. (see The Most Worthy Of Love (17.6.2016) – on


We talked at length about Shah Jahan and his beloved Mumtaz and this inevitably triggered off not only our own fond memory of the first time when Jo took me to see the Taj Mahal in Agra but also in the end……yes, you guessed it, to food – glorious food. To be precise to one particular Mutton dish the Chef in our favourite Indian Restaurant back on the East coast of England often made for me (at my special request) … Mughal Kadhai Mutton, a dish one frequently finds at weddings up in the North of India.


It is a dish without too much gravy and best eaten simply with either Chapattis (fresh and hot straight out of the pan) or Naan or Hoops (Arabic bread); but if you need your rice, then why not by all means go for a nice Pulao of your choice.

Although Chef eventually parted with his restaurant recipe but, as usual, I tweaked a little bit here and there to suit our own taste and that of family and friends. And proudly I confess it became sort of mini runaway success in our house at impromptu get-togethers with friends who loved Indian food – but, in order to suit their taste I often served a bowl of French beans as well, just tossed in a little bit of butter with salt, pepper and finely chopped garlic.

As with quite a number of other dishes I had not made this one for quite some time and Jo’s story reminded me to serve it once again here in Kerala.
The head butcher at my local Hypermarket here did me proud – he chose a beautiful piece of mutton, boneless (although I added 2-3 little marrow bones whilst cooking – just for taste and removed them before serving). The meat was beautiful, succulent and tender.

So again, what you can see in the photographs is just for the 2 of us.


Marinate the following over night:
½ kg x Mutton (Lamb), cut into nice bite-sized pieces
1 ½ x cup of good plain yoghurt
2 x heaped Tbsp of garlic paste
2 x Tbsp Garam Masala
3 x Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 x Tbsp Curry Powder
Salt and black pepper to suit your personal taste.

Add all the above into a large bowl (with lid) and best with your clean hands sort of massage the spices etc. into the meat. Cover bowl with lid and let it stay in the fridge over night until you are ready to cook the next day.


When you are ready to cook take your Kadhai/Wok and on medium heat only heat up 1 ½ x Tbsp of Oil, add 4-5 large green chillies, split in half, and fry those just for a couple of minutes. Be careful; avert your eyes, chillies ‘spit’!


To this add all your marinated Mutton (Lamb) WITH all the marinate , mix and fry for maybe 5-10 minutes (I do this on the lowest gas-setting!), stirring all the time.


After this add 2-3 x large tomatoes, chopped into small pieces, at least 2 x Tbsp coriander powder and 1½ x tsp of cumin powder and some fresh ginger, julienned, mix all this carefully. You might need to sprinkle some water over this mixture if you feel it starts to stick to the bottom of your Kadhai/Wok.


The near intoxicating smells from all those spices suddenly turn your kitchen into a mini-heaven for curry lovers.

Remember, this is meant to be a fairly dry dish, without too much gravy. But, having said that, since we do like this particularly delicious gravy I make sure there is always some to be ‘mopped up’ with a chapatti or naan.


Guten Appetit
Carina xx


26 thoughts on “Mughal Kadhai Tender Mutton……

  1. Jah, da gibt es wirklich einen schõnen Appetit!! Love your recipes ’cause you make them SO achievable 🙂 !! Well, I have some difficulty in finding mutton [yep, this is Australia, but most butchers sell only lamb: mutton supposedly is too ‘tough’; and too ‘smelly’!!!!] This is SO easy with everyday recipes: guess ‘Carina’s lamb’ will be on the table very soon!!! Actually love Deccan cooking . . .

    • Hi Eha – thanks! As I said before, I try to post things we either eat or have eaten in our own homes, in Restaurants/Hotels whenever we travel or/and in other homes around the world 🙂 Nothing too fancy – most of it is comfort food and/or quite “oldfashioned”. But then, heck.. I do quite like oldfashioned, dont you!? 🙂 Also I have always tried and will going on doing so, talking to Chefs – most of them are very kind and helpful if they feel one is really really interested. Re “smell”, I agree many people, maybe out of a certain ignorance? shy off certain dishes (i.e. liver and kidneys), but…….after throughly washing the meat Marination is most often the key word here – it always worked for me (cant stand the smell either). Re Deccan…so do I, but it is completely different to our Kerala cuisine (which I love). Will write to you in letter about “best cookingshow on TV – AMChef of course 🙂

    • Hm Norma, interesting question. Personally My own favourites amongst the above three are 1)-Pork (I am German, after all :)), 2)-Beef and 3) good Lamb. So, although it would not be a traditional dish anymore, Pork would be my first choice – something I now will try (as well as Beef) – just as a matter of interest. But, I still will marinate it overnight!!!

  2. A lovely story about how your husband’s post about Shah Jahan and his wife, Mumtaz triggered off your memories. It’s also interesting that this recipe, in its original form, comes from an Indian chef in England, and that the dish is often used at weddings in India. It does look a really succulent and tasty dish, full of wonderful spices. Lamb and mutton are my favourite meats, simply because they’re so tender – and I adore the flavour, of course. Like you, I’d like the meal served with chapattis or naan bread. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s