Sunday, 30 September 2007

Chettinad Aatukkari Kuzhambu (South Indian Lamb Curry)

Generally I tend to adapt recipes to my taste. This is one of a few recipes that I follow faithfully and thanks to Madhu Jaffrey. I found this wonderful recipe from a Madhu Jaffrey book in the library and copied some pages 4 years back. Unfortunately, my memory is weak and fails to find the book name. I have never even tried another recipe for lamb kuzhambu(curry) after discovering this treasure. You will have to try it to appreciate it and I promise you will not regret. It is a bit laborious, but worth every bit.

A bit of caution though – This is pure indulgence and a little heavy around the waist.

This is how it can be prepared for 1Kg lamb.

Lamb/mutton – 1 Kg

Dry grind

  • Fennel seeds – 2 Tbsp
  • Poppy seeds – 2 Tbsp
  • Corriander powder – 2 Tbsp
  • Chilli powder – 2 Tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Wet grind

  • Garlic – 8 cloves
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Coconut – 3/4th of ½ a medium size coconut


  • Fennel seeds – 1 spoon
  • Cloves – 2
  • Aniseed flower – 1
  • Cinnamon – 2 sticks
  • Curry leaves – 2 twigs


  • Onion – 1
  • Tomato – 1
  • Oil – 4 Tbsp
  • Salt

Grind the dry ingredients into a fine powder. Grind the wet ingredients into a smooth paste. Chop the onions and quarter the tomatoes.

Heat oil in a thick bottom pan and add the tempering ingredients. Once the fennel seeds change colour add the chopped onions and fry till golden. Add the powders and fry for 2 minutes. When it starts sticking to the pan add the quartered tomatoes and fry till they are slightly mushy. At this stage add the ginger-garlic-coconut paste and fry well till the raw smell disappears. The masala might need some water to stop it sticking it to the pan. When a nice aroma comes from the masala add the washed and diced lamb/mutton. There are two ways you can do it. The quickie way is to cook the meat in a cooker and add the cooked meat to the masala. The round about way is to add the lamb raw and add 4 cups of water to the masala. Close the gravy with a lid and simmer until the lamb is cooked. This might take some time and not very environmentally friendly. The guilt can be erased to some extent as it is once-in-a-while dish and it really is worth it. Once the lamb is done and the gravy reaches your desired consistency switch off the flame. The consistency I prefer is thick gravy. It is great for boiled rice and idlis. Hot steaming idilis with mutton kuzhambu is S’s favourite and mine too.


AnticiPlate said...

This looks delicious! I am making something similar tonight from a recipe I found in a Donna Hay cookbook.

Anonymous said...

The recipe was awesome... It went great with idlys... everybody loved it... Thanks a lot :)

Sangeetha Kalaji Rao said...

Writing it as am juz outta kitchen following step by step of your recipe... It is indeed kick ass!! I just wanted to marinate the Kolzhambu overnite so that i can relish this one with hot rice tomorrow afternoon...

By the way my husband is a big fan of your blogs as he dictates me in the kitchen for the step by step procedure to follow!! Happy Writing n keep up the good work :-)

uma said...

i tried it today!!Absolutey delicious!my entire family loved it...thanks for sharing this dish!!!

uma said...

i tried this dish today..Absolutely delicious!my entire family loved it..!!!thanks for sharing !!

Vasanth G.Benjamin said...

I was sitting at my home in the UK, miles away from India, thinking how I was going to spend my home alone Christmas and thought I should cook something for myself. I accidentally came across your blog on Mutton curry and I tried it. Came out awesome. Even though I had to eat it all alone.. I still loved it... Thanks mam :)