Mutton Curry, Dum Style


Well-Known Member
All of a sudden we decided to have mutton on Diwali day. The decision was taken during lunch, hence there was not much time left.

Mutton was bought at quarter to three and marinated by three. All the frying started around six, and as I write the mutton is in its pot, estimated to come out around 10PM.

A few work in Progress photographs

The starting point


Start frying the mutton


All fried up


Ready for the Dum treatment


Well-Known Member
before I start, here is the "Gyan" on Dum cooking.
Most of the popular stuff we cook requires time rather than heat to cook thoroughly and be soft or assimilated in the curry. Some of them are
. Cartilage
. Beans, especially the husk
. Stems of some vegetables
. Arbi, Kachaloo etc

So in order to have super soft, yet absolutely firm body, the cooking time is increased from less than one hour to three or more. Meat is cooked in three, beans in ten and cartilage in upto fifteen. As food will burn and liquid evaporate during prolonged cooking at normal heat, we seal the raw materials in a pot and cook it with absolutely minimal heat. This is Dum cooking.

The difference between cooking in a pressure cooker and Dum is that in a pressure cooker the temperatures are elevated to 150 degrees or more, while in Dum, the temperatures hover around boiling point. Hence you do not get a mash if you over cook. The meat remains firm, while the cartilage softens up, and the meat may part from bones.

OK here is the full report.
• Marinate the Mutton
• Fry Potatoes at medium heat
• Fry Onions at high heat
• Add mutton to onions and fry on low heat
• Cook in Dum
• Mutton 2 kg
• Ghee 1/4 kg
• Onions around 1 1/2 kg
• Potatoes, medium sized : 6-7
• Garlic 3 large pods
• Spices
• Whole small cardamom : 8
• Cloves : 12
• Cinnamon : 1/4" x 3" piece
• Sugar " 2-3 tea spoons
• Salt to taste
Optional - if you want more taste and heat.
• Red Chilies : 10-20 medium sized.
Marinade for Mutton
• Curd : 200 g
• Ginger & Garlic Paste : about 2 table spoons each
• Nutmeg : 1/2
• Kashmiri Red Chilly powder : 1/2 tea spoon
• Basil and Tulsi leaves : 20 big ones. I used what was growing in the Garden.
• Salt to taste. That is mix enough salt so that the marinade has tastes normal.
Optional - if you want more taste and heat.
• Green Chilies : 10-15 small narrow ones, preferably deseeded
• Chop the leaves
• Mix all the marinade ingredients thoroughly with a fork or a whisk.
• Wash mutton to get rid of the blood and other foreign matter
• Put the mutton in a vessel and add marinade.
• Mix thoroughly with hand.
• This time I marinated for around 3 hours.
• Into heated oil fry potatoes cut in half. NOTE : This time initially no one wanted to have potatoes. Once the aroma of frying onions permeated through the house, all wanted potatoes. So instead of frying them in the beginning, I fried them at the end. After the mutton was thoroughly fried, I transferred the mutton to the Dum Pot, and fried the potatoes in the ghee left. I added the mutton marinade once the potatoes were fried, and cooked it for five minutes.
• Into heated oil put the whole spices, after 30 seconds add onions
• Fry onions in Ghee. When half done add chopped garlic, after five minutes add sugar to caramelize the onions. This gives a rich brown colour.
• Once onions are cooked, the oil separates. Now add the mutton. I separate the mutton from the marinade at this stage.
• Keep frying on a low heat. The mutton has to be turned over every minute, else some parts will stick and others will remain unfried
• Once water is expelled from the mutton, the mutton is ready for Dum cooking. At this stage add the excess marinade and cook it for five minuets. (This time as the demand for potatoes came late, I fried the potatoes and added the marinade and cooked it).
• Make a long rope with kneaded Atta and line the lid outer portion with it. This is the seal of the Dum pot.
• Pour the fried mutton into the cooking pot. There should be plenty of liquid between the marinade and the water expelled from mutton while frying. If you want more curry add water to make up to required quantity. Taste the resultant curry and add salt, if required. NOTE : very little water evaporates in Dum cooking, so the salt should be marginally less than in the final product.
• Put the lid on and press lightly. Most of the lid will seal, put there will be small opening left.
• Wait for the steam to start starts escaping from the gaps in atta seal, indicating that the mutton is boiling. Reduce the gas to minimum. Steam will then stop escaping indicating that the Dum is maintaining correct temperature. No press the lid firmly and all gaps will get sealed.
• Wait for three hours. The long time ensures that all the onions and spices dissolve into the water giving you a heavenly curry.
• .Though the potatoes are traditionally fried first, this time I fried them in the end. Frying them first ensures that the residual onions are not over fried.
• I started with the medium Kadahi while frying onions. Then I realized that the Kadahi will not have room to turn the mutton over, so I changed to a larger size after frying onions. The transfer meant that some ghee was left, which I recovered by putting the marinated mutton in it. This soaked up all the residual ghee.
• The marinating time can vary from two days to one hour. The longer the better, as the salt gets time to infuse in the mutton, making it soft and juicy. As Dum cooking is a long slow cooking process, the mutton remains soft, but extra marinating time tastes better.



Raw mutton, washed and drained


Ingredients for marinade. The whole nutmeg is next to the shredded one. Kasturi Methi, Nutmeg, Basil, Tulsi (start from bottom clock wise)


Leaves chopped. This is what goes in the marinade.


Marinade mixed with mutton.


Whole onions


Sugar and Spices for the Mutton


Chopped onions, with three pieces of Garlic


Ghee, with onions for comparison


Another view to show how much ghee is used


Ghee in Kadahi


Ghee heated, time to add the spices


Add onions


Chop Garlic while onions fry


Onions half done, note that the onions at the edge have started browning


Add chopped garlic and stir


Now add the sugar. Keep stirring, else the onions will not brown uniformly and the sugar will caramelize the pan instead of onions.


Onions over. Realized the Kadahi was too small, change to a larger size!


Onions in larger kadahi, onions properly browned


Add Mutton. Keep stirring every minute. Reduce heat after five minutes.


Mutton done. Take it out and put it in cooking pot. Leave the ghee.


Potatoes frying


Frying over, all ingredients in the pot. Time to start Dum


Lid seal.


The final outcome. This is what all the labour was for.

Cooking Log - to get the total cooking time
1500 : Start Marinating
1740 : Start Frying Onion
1750 : Onions half done, add chopped garlic, mix
1755 : Add sugar
1805 : Onion Finished, add mutton
1830 : Finished frying Mutton, put it back to the vessel, leaving the oil in the frying vessel
1830 : Fry potatoes in the oil left
1840 : Finished frying potatoes, pour in excess marinade and cook for five minutes
1845 : Put potatoes and cooked marinade in the Dum Vessel
1845 : Start Dum
1910 : Steam starts escaping from the gap in atta seal. Lower the heat and close the gap in seal.
2200 : Cooking over. Time to eat.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
Looks divine! :)
Nice to see another aloo lover! I have a weakness for aloo cooked in mutton curry! :cool:


Active Member
Mutton is my favourite meat, but will definitely try cooking it the dum way! Amazing colors and amazing method! I can almost smell it from the monitor.

High uric acid means no red meat and sea food for some time now :(