Wednesday 31 October 2012

Aatu Kaal Kulambu / Mutton Leg Curry - Using Drumsticks & Brinjals

Traditional recipe is something that I adore a lot, I try to gather all traditional and authentic recipes from my mom and store it up in my mind or I jot it down in my hand books to preserve the divine flavor. It should not get extinct among this fast food era, that has always been my strongest aim. I will definitely pass it on to the next generation these flavors are worth surviving. Today's recipe prepared with mutton legs is one such curry which has a very smooth and creamy texture and has wonderful flavors in it, this is my grand mom's special which she adapted from her mom, think of this how authentic and old this recipe must be. Old is gold right? My mom prepares this same curry whenever I visit her because I love this curry, I have learnt it from her and here am presenting this authentic dish for you. It is not spicy but still you can alter the spicy level according to your taste. You can also use lamb legs but it will get cooked faster than the mutton legs so in case you want to use them just reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes and check the pieces if they have got cooked, if cooked then fine, if not just extend the period of cooking. Some mutton (goat) legs may be too hard and will not get cooked soon in such case pressure cook for another 10 minutes. Earlier days they did not use pressure cooker to make this curry, but without pressure cooking it will take a lot of time to get the mutton lambs get cooked well. Instead they cooked the mutton legs the previous night and left it aside then make curry with them  the next day morning in a normal pan. Am amazed at how they have managed the time. Apart from this they had to grind masala manually with stones, they did not have mixer grinders or blenders, but how lucky are we, we have facilities that makes our work so easy and comfortable, but still we grumble and keep complaining about cooking as the most tedious job, how grumpy are we? Wonder how they would have managed!! Okay lets not get way too far from the topic, now coming back to the curry I have prepared the curry version in which brinjals and drumsticks are used, there is also another version using mochai payaru (kind of field beans) which I will discuss soon. 

Check out my Aatu Kaal soup / Mutton Leg Soup recipe here!!

You can prepare soup first with these mutton legs and then prepare the curry or make the curry directly without preparing the soup either way it tastes good. I have discussed both the preparation methods here, its almost the same but differs slightly. Now lets see whats needed and how to prepare this authentic mutton leg curry. 


Serves 4 to 5 people 
Total Preparation Time - 30 minutes 

  1. Aatu kaal / Mutton legs - 4 (Chopped into long pieces equal to the length of a finger)
  2. Tomato - 1/2 of a tomato 
  3. Big onion - 1 onion for tempering + 1/2 of an onion for making paste
  4. Coconut - Pieces from 3/4th of a  coconut
  5. Brinjal / Egg plants - 2 
  6. Drumsticks - 2 
  7. Curry leaves - Few 
  8. Ginger - 2 inch long piece 
  9. Garlic - 2 pods 
  10. Red chilli powder - 2 spoons 
  11. Coriander powder - 3 spoons 
  12. Turmeric powder - 1/4 spoon 
  13. Salt - As per taste
  14. Fennel seeds - 1 spoon + 1/2 spoon
  15. Star anise (Annachipoo) - 1 
  16. Oil - 10 spoons 


(I have prepared this curry after making soup from it; but I have explained both the methods here you can follow any of the recipe method it will still taste good) 

Preparation Method 1 : Making curry without making soup with the mutton legs
  • Take the chopped mutton legs and wash well and set aside. (If you get mutton legs with hair on it then you must show it directly in flame first until it gets burnt well, then remove all the hair by scraping it using a knife, then wash it well in water. We get this done in the butcher shop itself)
  • Wash and chop drumsticks into longer pieces, similarly wash and chop brinjal or eggplants into medium sized cubes and leave it immersed in water to prevent discoloring and set aside. 
  • Now to a blender add the following and make a fine paste out of it and set aside. 
(Coconut masala)
1. Coconut - 3/4th of a coconut
2. Fennel seeds - 1 spoon
3. Ginger - 2 inch long piece
4. Garlic - 2 pods
5. Star Anise - 1
  • Also make a fine paste of the following ingredients and set aside. You can skip this part this paste enhances the flavor and texture of the curry, but still you can avoid it.
(Onion and tomato paste)
1. Big onion - 1/2 of a big onion 
2. Tomatoes - 1/2 of a tomato
  • Now take a pressure cooker of bigger volume or capacity (5 litres cooker or more will do) and add the washed mutton legs into it then add the coconut paste, onion tomato paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and mix well.
  • Then pour a litre of water into it and mix well. 
  • Place the cooker on flame and and close the cooker with its lid and wait until the steam oozes out of the nozzle. Then place the regulator or weight and switch to low flame. 
  • Cook on low flame for another 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from flame then and wait until all the pressure releases on its own. 
  • Open the cooker and add the chopped drumsticks and brinjal pieces (strain off the water that you have used to immerse brinjals) into it. Cook opened (i.e. without using the lid) for another 5 minutes on low flame or until the vegetables gets cooked well. 
  • Meanwhile take a pan or wok and place on flame, add 10 spoons of oil into it and after it heats up add 1/2 a spoon of fennel seeds and let it splutter, then add curry leaves and chopped onions (1 big onion) and saute well until it turns slightly brownish. Remove from flame.
  • Immediately pour this tempering mixture into the prepared curry and remove from flame. Set aside for 5 minutes
  • Serve!!

Preparation Method 2: Making curry after making soup with the mutton legs

To know how to prepare mutton legs soup click here.
  • Strain the soup and keep the cooked mutton legs aside. Add these cooked mutton leg pieces into a cooker pan and add the coconut paste, onion tomato paste, salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and 5 to 6 glasses of water and stir well.
  • Close the cooker and place the pan on flame and wait for the steam to ooze out of the cooker's nozzle.
  • Then place the weight or whistle or regulator and cook for another 10 minutes on low flame. 
  • Remove from flame and set aside until the pressure gets released. 
  • Then open the cooker add the chopped drumsticks and brinjals into the curry and place on flame again. Cook opened (i.e. without using the lid) for another 5 to 10 minutes on low flame or until the vegetables gets cooked well. 
  • Meanwhile take a pan or wok and place on flame, add 10 spoons of oil into it and after it heats up add 1/2 a spoon of fennel seeds and let it splutter, then add curry leaves and chopped onions (1 big onion) and saute well until it turns slightly brownish. Remove from flame.
  • Immediately pour this tempering mixture into the prepared curry and remove from flame. Set aside for 5 minutes
  • Serve!!
The only difference between the curry will be about the fat level, the curry in which you have added legs directly without making soup will have more fat or oil content and the legs will be more juicy and succulent, whereas the other curry in which you have used legs from which soup has already been extracted, the fat content will be less. 

TIP 1: You can avoid drumsticks if you wish. But adding them gives a real authentic touch and enhances the curry of the flavor. 

TIP 2: You can also add coconut milk instead of coconut pieces. Add coconut milk from a whole coconut dilute it with water and add it. But the masala preparation is the same just avoid the addition of coconut pieces. 

TIP 3: Use shallots instead of big onions to get the best flavor. 

TIP 4: In case if you find that the curry has more oil content floating on its top then you can reduce the amount of oil used for tempering the curry. 

TIP 5: Some mutton legs may be too hard and wont get cooked soon in such cases check again and pressure cook again if needed. Whereas some legs like the lamb legs may be too soft and may get cooked soon in such cases cook initially for 15 minutes and then check if it has softened and cooked well, or else pressure cook for some more time. 

Authentic and Delicious Aatu Kaal Kulambu / Mutton Leg Curry is now ready!! Serve with Rice and Omellete!! 

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  1. i never tried it..heard its good for health..this looks tempting divs

  2. have never tried cooking mutton leg... but looks so tempting and delicious..

  3. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS wow this is my favorite... love it :) and what lovely clicks dear too good

    60 Days to Christmas
    Cook like Priya

  4. wow............oh looks sooooooooo tempting..

  5. Interesting combination, never used drumsticks in non - veg!

  6. that looks like a celebration in a bowl....good work

  7. Sounds new with brinjal n drumsticks, healthy n delicious combo to go with rice!!!
    Today's recipe - Pumpkin Shaped Cookies

  8. Yummy!!! i love this dish :)

  9. mutton leg are my fav.. love the soup made from it..

  10. love this kulambhu with chapathis.. yummy platter

  11. DROOLING......... I am coming to ur place Divs:) Love the lunch platter... Tempting n mouthwatering!!!

  12. looks yum...i too am a fan of traditional dishes like this...happy following u :)

    Home Made Recipes

  13. Never tried this looks yummy

  14. Never tried kuzhambu with aatu kaal, fabulous looking dish.

  15. Yummy yummy,gravy looks so tempting,love it

  16. Mouthwatering dear... Just love it... Missing all here... Event: Dish name starts with P

  17. HI Divya!am new to blogging world.I am a food blogger.Will u support me in this world.Your recipe is awsome one and i like it.very traditional also.

    1. Will definitely support you dear :) Welcome to blogging :) Visited your space and following you now!!

  18. Hi Divya this is so mouth watering...i love it!!

  19. hi divya
    i tried with channa with some extra ingredients turned awesome.

    it is a keeper.tnxs


    1. Thanks you so much Meena for all the comments and appreciations :) btw its really interesting to try with Channa....Great work :) Thanks dear!!

  20. hi divya ,

    have u tried making fruit cake (plum cake) , if u have a receipe pls do a post .


    1. Thanks for the request..

      Yeah I have tried using both pressure cooker and an oven earlier...
      Will definitely post as soon as possible :)


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