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Kerala Mutton Stew, Mutton Ishtu, How to make Mutton Stew

Mutton Stew – The perfect partner for idiyappam and appam. Its called as Ishtu, the local word for stew. This is a very mild gravy / curry flavored with a lot of ginger and coconut milk. Here is how to do simple Mutton stew.

  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x



Prepwork 1 – Cook the mutton

  • 250 grams mutton (cut into small pieces)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder

Prepwork 2 – cook potatoes and tomatoes

  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 2 country tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup water

Prepwork 3 – For homemade coconut milk

  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 1.5 cups water + 1 cup water

For making the stew

  • 3 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 small piece cinnamon
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1 clove
  • 1 inch piece ginger, minced
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 onion, sliced (1/3 cup)
  • 3 green chillies, slit
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Corn starch slurry

  • 2 teaspoon corn flour (corn starch)
  • 1/4 cup water

Final Tempering

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 5 small onions (Indian Shallots), sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder


Prep Work

  1. Cook the mutton with 1.5 cups water along with pepper and salt in a pressure cooker for 8-10 whistles and wait for the pressure to release naturally. Set aside.
  2. Cook the potatoes and tomatoes with half a cup water in a pressure cooker for two whistles. Set aside.
  3. Prepare coconut milk – first pressed coconut milk and second pressed coconut milk. Set aside.
  4. Here is the recipe for preparing coconut milk

Making the stew

  1. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add in the cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Add in the ginger, curry leaves and sliced onion. Saute for a few minutes till the onions are soft.
  2. Add in the green chillies, black pepper and the salt. Saute for a few seconds.
  3. Add in the cooked potato tomato mixture. Simmer for a minute.
  4. Add in the second pressed coconut milk.
  5. Add in the cooked mutton along with the mutton water used for cooking.
  6. Make a slurry with cornflour and water and add it to the pan.
  7. Finally add in the first pressed coconut milk. Simmer for just a minute.

Final Tempering

  1. Heat ghee in a pan and add in the sliced small onions. Saute the small onions until golden. Add in the black pepper powder to the pan. Immediately add the tempering to the stew.
  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Kerala
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