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Mutton Fry

Check out photos of mutton dishes

Mutton Fry is the key meat dish in those days before broiler chicken became famous. Even in this present day, mutton is the preferred meat during festivals or celebrations in country side.

Mutton Fry is great with rice during lunch or dinner.

Mutton is goat meat. In general in South India we do not eat Lamb. We prefer Goat. However for those living in areas where goat meat is not available, Lamb meat works good too.

Tamil cuisine style Mutton Fry is famous not only in India but also in other Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia.

Let us see tradional way of making Mutton Fry here. We use the term "fry" more commonly to denote the tamil word "varuval".

To Pressure Cook
To Temper
To Grind
To Fry

Clean the mutton pieces in water. In a pressure cooker, add mutton, 3 cups of water, ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder. Cover the cooker and cook for 5 min in high flame. Then lower the flame and cook for 15-20 min.

NOTE: The cooking time for mutton is based on the quality of meat. For meat from a tender and young goat, it takes just 15-20 min over all. For meat from a medium sized goat, it takes about 30 to 40 min. For meat from a full sized grown goat, it takes about 50-60 min in pressure cooker. So if pressure cooker is not available, it will take a very long time to cook in stove. Usually young goat meat is preferred as it is soft, delicious and grabs the flavor completely.


Grind all the ingredients in "To Grind" category to a very find paste and set aside.

Close up photo of ingredients
- peeled garlic, seeragam, cut coconut pieces

Grind them in a mixer to a thick paste

Thick paste - we call this "Masala" - Other definition of Masala


Heat oil in a large pan. Add all the ingredients in "To Temper" given above and fry till the fennel turns golden brown.

Add chopped shallots, onion and crushed garlic to the pan.
Fry till golden brown.

Add curry leaves and ground masala (from Step 2).
Btw, if you do not want much gravy in the fry, then skip the grinding.

Add chopped tomato and fry for 3-5 min.
mutton-fry-after-adding-onion-curry leaves


Add the pressure cooked mutton (from Step 1) along with broth/stock.


Add sambar podi and kara podi (chilli powder) to it and mix well.


(Optionally you can add young cashewnut as a vegetable. In country side cooking, this style is common.)
Fry till the gravy thickens and reaches a fry consistency.
After 10 mins, if you stop cooking before the gravy thickens then you get Mutton Kulambu.


Serve Mutton Fry. Mutton fry goes well with Sambar or Curry/Kuruma. In the below example, we have used Mutton curry with Mutton fry.

Popular main dish for Mutton Fry includes:

Vegetarian main dish:
Sambar, Kulambu, Kuruma.
Mutton fry goes well with almost all main dishes.

Non-Vegetarian main dish:
Chicken kuruma, Mutton Kuruma

Other dishes with Mutton as main ingredient:
Mutton Kuruma, Mutton Biriyani

Check out photos of mutton dishes.

Other names/spelling variations of Mutton Fry:
Mutton varuval, Kari varuval, Mutton masala, kari masala

Leftover tips:
If Mutton Fry made for lunch is leftover, that can be used as side dish for Idly or Dosai for dinner.

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