Lamb Coconut Curry (Kerala Mutton Stew)

dsc_0329Mutton ‘Ishtew’ is a mildly spiced but rich mutton/lamb stew cooked in coconut milk and garnished often with cashew nuts and raisins.  This curry is really mildly spiced – The mutton pieces are slowly cooked with whole black peppers, cloves, cinnamon along with some fresh ginger and green chillies.  There is no red chili used in this curry at all and hence it has this pale color.  Turmeric is not usually added but by habit I added a pinch when I pressure cooked the meat.

Growing up I enjoyed this curry in our neighbor’s house often and especially on Christmas or Easter where aunty cooked this rich and yummy curry. Its perfect for kids since its not spicy and overpowering. The coconut milk makes it creamy and rich and the potatoes in the stew are so delicious since they soak up all the fat from the meat.

dsc_0335I thought of making this curry today since I am on a Paleo diet (PAI – Paleo autoimmune version) since last two weeks. It has been hard without any grains. I miss my rice and my potatoes even more. I also cannot have any red chillies. However since coconut and coconut milk are welcome in this diet , I thought of this curry.  I decided to use taro root instead of the potatoes.  I also avoided the cashew nuts and raisins this time because nuts are not included in the PAI diet. In any case, this stew ended up being a perfect meal for me 🙂 Do try this – of course you can use potatoes instead of taro root although the taro root also was so creamy and tasty in this stew.

Bringing this rich and creamy stew to Throwback Thursdays and also to Fiesta Friday where the co-hosts this week are Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking and Tânia @ Iwanttobeacook

Lamb Coconut Curry (Kerala Mutton Stew)

  • Servings: Makes about 2-3 servings when served with rice or 2 servings as a meal
  • Time: 30 minutes preparation time and 15 minutes cooking time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 lb of lamb/mutton pieces cut into small pieces (include bone pieces too)
  • whole spices – 4-6 whole black peppers, 2 bay leaves, 1 half inch piece of cinnamon stick, 4-5 cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 medium size red onion sliced thinly
  • 2 medium taro root peeled and cubed (or potatoes, peeled and cubed)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 green chillies, slit length wise
  • 1 cup coconut milk (fresh* or canned)
  • 4-6 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Optional garnish: cashew nuts and raisins toasted in some coconut oil or ghee


In a pressure cooker, add the mutton pieces along with the whole spices , sea salt, turmeric (if adding) and water.  Pressure cook on medium heat for 3 whistles. Turn heat off and let cool. (Alternatively you can cook the meta in a large cooking pot with a lid on low heat slowly for 30 minutes or so)

To the same pressure cooker or cooking pot, add the taro root (or potatoes), onions, ginger and green chillies. Cover with lid (no whistle) and let cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until the taro root (or potatoes) are well cooked. Open and add the coconut milk and let simmer for 1 minute. Add the curry leaves and coconut oil. Turn heat off.

*: To make fresh coconut milk

Take 3/4 cup of freshly grated coconut or frozen grated coconut that has been thawed and grind with 1 cup of warm water. Pass the ground mixture through a fine mesh sieve to get fresh coconut milk.



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