Sunday, October 24, 2010


After her last guest post Duo of Side Dishes, Dustedoff returns with a yummy looking main dish.
Mutton Curry with Ridge Gourd

When it comes to cooking, one tradition in my family is of cooking meat curries with vegetables.  Typically, that’s one type of vegetable at a time, and that too never potatoes. Both my mother and my father respectively recall their mothers (and in my Mum’s case, her grandmother too) making mutton curry with pumpkin, okra, aubergine, taro corms (arvi) – even, as Mum remembers, with beetroot (“Too sweet for my taste. None of us children wanted to eat it.”)
My father says (and this has been ratified by my sister, who’s very clued into such things) that the tradition of meat-and-vegetable curries is a hallmark of Muslim home cookery. How that became a popular item on a Christian family’s daily menus, I’m not sure, but this I do agree: these curries taste fantastic, are easy to cook, and – because you have both meat and vegetables in the same dish – are more or less a one dish meal. Just add a salad or raita, some rice or rotis, and you’re ready to feast.

The recipe, now:
  • 300 gm mutton, with bone
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp coriander seed powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seed powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ kg ridge gourd (turai/tori; I use the variety which has dark green skin and no ridges)

You can cook this curry in a normal heavy-bottomed pan (like a kadhai) or in a pressure cooker. I prefer to cook mutton in a pressure cooker, since it’s so much quicker.

  1. Heat the oil in the pan or cooker and add the chopped onions. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions turn golden brown.
  2. Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir a couple of times so that it mixes with the onions.
  3. Add the powdered spices and stir well. The masala now has to ‘bhuno’ – i.e, it must cook well before the meat is added. Allow the spice mixture to cook for at least 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t start sticking to the pan. Add a couple of teaspoons of water now and then if you see the masala beginning to dry out or starting to stick.
  4. In about 10 minutes’ time, the oil in the masala should start separating; you’ll see droplets of oil on the edges of the masala. The spices should also start smelling different: more cooked. This is when you add the meat.
  5. Put the meat – well-washed – into the pan and stir well to coat the pieces with the masala. Allow the meat to fry in the masala for 7-8 minutes. Stir frequently and add a few splashes of water if need be.
  6. When the meat has fried a bit, pour in enough water into the pan to cover the meat sufficiently. If you’re using a pressure cooker, put the lid on. After you’ve put the vent weight on and the pressure builds, turn the flame to low and allow the meat to cook for about 20 or 25 minutes. If you’re cooking in a normal, non-pressure pan, allow the curry to simmer until the meat is tender, probably about an hour and a quarter.
  7. Meanwhile, peel the ridge gourd and cut it into thin slices.
  8. When the meat is cooked, open the pan or pressure cooker and add the ridge gourd. Mix the vegetable into the mutton and cook, covered loosely, till the gourd is done. If you’re using a pressure cooker, you don’t need to seal the lid for this – the ridge gourd cooks very fast; it should be done in 5-7 minutes of normal non-pressure cooking.

That’s it. Serve hot, with either rotis or plain boiled rice. My favourite salad with this is thinly sliced onions tossed with chopped green chillies, thin strips of fresh ginger, salt and limejuice.

Serves 2.  


  1. I did not know that Lufa was also called ridge gourd.I thought ridge gourd was the one with the ridges. The dish sure looks yummy. I have eaten this variety of gourd only once in my life after coaxing my maternal grand mom to cook me some fresh gourds which used to hang from the trees in her garden. This vegetable used to grow in abundance.I had to coax my grand mom because excepting me everyone used to look down upon this vegetable mainly because for them it was not a novelty. Since it grew so easily it was often used as a scrubber.I actually quite liked the vegetable so I am sure this dish will taste real good.Now with the prices of all vegetables having hit the roof I can only look back to those days with a sense of longing.

  2. Rat gourd....mutton with husband will faint!! :)

  3. Now what is it called? Is it ridge gourd,lufa or rat gourd. Will your husband faint in antcipation of having the dish or----- ?

  4. Shilpi: Okay, I didn't know turai/tori was the same as loofah - I always thought loofah was lauki or bottle gourd. Whatever - it tastes delicious. :-)

    Sharmi: I'm seconding Shilpi's question! Why...? Does it sound so awful? ;-) Or do what my sister does: since her kids hate baingan, she cooks stuff (like Greek moussaka) which has loads of baingan in a form where you can't readily recognise it. They eat it, love it, and all despite the fact that it's baingan - because they don't know it!

  5. Thanks Shilpi for stopping by.I have never prepared mutton with turai but definetely with arbi and potatoes.This curry looks really yummy especially coz I see that there arent many spicies and the flavors of mutton & turai will be dominant.Loved your blog.

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog. The above recipe as you may have noticed is a guest post. Guest posts I feel add variety to a blog.

  7. sinfullyspicy, thank you for your appreciation of my guest post on Shilpi's blog. Yes, one of the main reasons I like this recipe is that there are so few spices in it, which really enhances the flavours of the mutton and turai. The way I make arvi and mutton, I put only red chilli powder and salt as spices (added to fried onion and ginger-garlic paste); that tastes even better!

  8. Hi,

    Nice to have guest posts...nice recipe too>>>Do visit my blog when you find time...:)


  9. Thanks for visiting my blog and am glad you liked the guest post. I welcome guest posts for, as I have already mentioned above, they add variety to a blog.

  10. Dear Shilpi
    I just landed here seeing your orissa connection at a blog friends.
    Will try this recipe soon. By the way meat dishes cooked with vegetables are called " Do Peyaja", which means with vegetables and nothing to do with onion, Like " Mutton do-Piyaja Gobi, Mutton do piyaja Karela " etc...I think the do peyaja word originated from Iran or central Asia. ANyway for us , the current meaning is relevant
    Best wishes

  11. Thanks Ushnish for visiting my blog.Glad you like the guest post. I always thought do pyaza meant cooking it with onions.