Mutton is a popular meat used in Indian cuisine for its deep flavour profile. When it's cooked slowly over a low heat, mutton is a tender meat that's leaner than lamb, and while not as strong as venison, it does have a gamey flavour that pairs well with warm spices, such as cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. If you're a fan of Indian cuisine and want to try something a bit more adventurous than a chicken curry, look out for these authentic mutton dishes:
Laal maas is a mutton curry that has a spicy, rich base made with garlic, cardamom, red chillies, coriander and curd, which is a dairy product similar to cottage cheese. The dish originates in Rajasthan, and chapatti flatbreads are used to scoop up the thick sauce. This is a hearty dish that can be enjoyed with pickled vegetables or seasonal root vegetables.
Awadhi is a cooking style originating in the Northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Dishes are slow cooked and include generous quantities of spices. Awadhi mutton biryani is not cooked in a single pot, which is how most biryanis are prepared. Instead, the meat and rice are cooked separately in rich, aromatic stocks before being layered in a deep dish with a spicy sauce consisting of yogurt, onion, ginger, garlic, red chillies and turmeric.
Galouti kebabs are made with seasoned ground mutton that's shaped into patties and fried in ghee, which is clarified butter, until the meat melts in your mouth. The kebabs are served with a creamy raita or spicy tomato sauce, chillies, fresh salad and paratha, which is a thick, chewy flatbread with a slightly sweet aftertaste. This North Indian dish is ideal as a filling lunch, and if you want to order a few dishes to share with dinner companions, galouti kebabs can easily be split and enjoyed with seasonal vegetables and rice dishes.
Made with minced mutton, keema is a classic Indian street food dish that's popular in the South-Central state of Hyderabad. The mutton is cooked with a number of spices, including cloves, cardamom and cumin, before being added to a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, green chillies, lemon juice and a little milk. Just before serving, mutton keema is garnished with fresh coriander and slices of boiled egg. This dish is traditionally eaten with pav, which is a soft bread roll, but it's also delicious with rice.
These are just a few examples of authentic Indian mutton dishes that are available. Next time you visit an Indian restaurant, give the chicken a miss and ask your server to recommend a mutton dish from their menu.