Moplah Mutton Ishtew

This Moplah Mutton Ishtew (Stew) is easy to make. Especially, if you have a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, it’s still easy. It just takes longer.

Like all stews, this is classic comfort food. But, unlike other stews, this Moplah Mutton Stew has an exceptional depth of flavour. Where does that depth come from? It comes from the subtle art of blending spices to perfectly suit the main ingredients.

Our friend Abida Rasheed is the masala (spice mixture) master behind this recipe. Abida is the queen of a cuisine called Malabar Moplah.

Moplahs are a community of Muslims who settled in North Kerala as far back as the 7th century C.E. As a Moplah food ambassador, Abida travels throughout India to introduce others to the food and to draw people’s attention to her lesser known part of Kerala – the North Coast between Kozhikode and Kunnar.

She is a great candidate for this job as she radiates hospitality. We loved spending an evening in her home learning a few of her recipes. She’s relaxed but in charge and her home is comfortable. Plus her kitchen is huge, well-equipped and very welcoming.

Abida says, “Cooking should be about taste, smell, and feel.” As you make this recipe, taste it for seasoning, smell it for aroma, and feel it for doneness.

We hope you love it as much as we do. And, here’s a pro tip: Look for our recipe for pathiri bread to sop up all the delicious gravy.

Moplah Mutton Stew Recipe

4 - 5 servings


1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon ghee
4 large shallots, sliced lengthwise
3 long green chillies, sliced lengthwise
2 Tablespoons ginger sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 lb (500 grams) fresh goat or lamb with bones
2 potatoes, peeled and cut in small pieces
2 teaspoons rock salt or kosher salt
1 Tablespoons freshly ground pepper
2 cups coconut milk

2 Tablespoons finely cut coriander

Fresh lime, halved and squeezed into dish.


  1. Heat the oil and ghee in a pressure cooker on medium heat and add the shallots, green chillies and ginger and cook until the shallots are tender but not brown.
  2. Stir in the fenugreek and coriander followed by the meat. Brown the meat on all sides and then add the potatoes, salt and water stirring to distribute.
  3. Lock the lid on the pot and pressure cook for 20 – 30 minutes (2 to 3 whistles). If cooking in an open vessel – cook about 40 minutes. Tip: Abida says, Smell it! It should smell cooked.
  4. Release the pressure and check that the meat is fork tender and falling away from the bones. If not, cook it longer. If cooked, stir in the pepper and lastly the coconut milk.
  5. Transfer to a serving vessel and garnish with the coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime juice
  6. Enjoy with bread or pathiri.


Thank you for trying this recipe.

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