Friday 29 March 2013

Dalcha | Mutton Dalcha | Mutton Toor Dal Curry

Mutton Dalcha is a very famous mutton curry from Hyderabad with appetizing flavors and aroma that is very often accompanied with either biryani or brinji. Mutton is cooked along with toor dal and flavored with spices, ginger and garlic, it is a royal treat to the taste-buds and makes good sides with rice. I was searching for a good recipe and finally found it in one of my favorite books "The Pondicherry Kitchen" by Lourdes Tirouvanziam. Usually I do not tend to post recipes from recipe books here in my space, but I loved this book to the core and the recipe was too good so thought of posting and sharing it with you all. I have heard that Dalcha is made with chana dal (kadalai paruppu) but here she had made it with toor dal but it still tasted too good. I was so initiated by the pic that she had added in her book and so I gave it a try. My first attempt was tasty but the mutton pieces were not cooked to tender. That was pretty understandable as the recipe called for lamb pieces but as I used mutton instead it, so the pieces were under-done, obviously lamb pieces are more tender than mutton and gets cooked faster. But I had some trouble with dal too, it was under-cooked, so I gave a second attempt with a few changes altering cooking time and techniques according to my preferences and instinct and I found it perfect. The mutton pieces were cooked to tender and were incorporated with the flavors very well. So I have shared with you the same recipe with very few alterations. This is a tasty recipe that must be given a try sometime also if you find the book purchase it for some drool-worthy Veg and Non-Veg Indo-French or Pondicherrian recipes.  The book is well written and complied, beautifully organised, costs around 300 Rupees, and is worth purchasing. Now lets get to know the recipe.


Serves 2 to 3 people
Total Preparation Method - 45 minutes
  1. Mutton - 1/4 kg (boneless pieces preferred; cut into small pieces) 
  2. Toor dal / Thuvaram paruppu - 1/2 cup  
  3. Big onion - 1 (Sliced)
  4. Ginger - 1 inch piece (crushed) 
  5. Garlic - 8 (5 crushed and 3 chopped finely)
  6. Red chilli powder - 1 spoon 
  7. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp 
  8. Tamarind pulp / paste - 1 spoon 
  9. Cumin seeds - 1/4 spoon 
  10. Dry red chillies - 1 (torn into 2, discard seeds) 
  11. Curry leaves - Few 
  12. Cinnamon - 1 small stick 
  13. Cardamom pods - 3 
  14. Salt - As per taste
  15. Ghee - 2 spoons 
  16. Oil - 1 tsp
  17. Hot water - 2 cups 


  • Wash the mutton or lamb pieces well in water and set aside. 
  • In pressure cooker add 2 cups of water (room temperature), toor dal, turmeric powder, salt, 1 tsp oil and pressure cook for 10 minutes on low flame. Set aside until pressure drops. 
  • Place another pressure cooker pan on flame and add 1 spoon ghee into it, then add cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, sliced onions and saute until the onions turns brown. 
  • Now add the lamb or mutton pieces and saute well until the lamb pieces turn golden brown.
  • Now add the crushed ginger and crushed garlic pods, red chilli powder, required salt and saute well. 
  • Now add 2 cups of hot water into it stir well and close the pressure cooker with its lid, place the regulator or whistle once the steam/pressure oozes out and pressure cook for 15 minutes on low flame. (If the you are using mutton with bones pressure cook for 10 more minutes)
  • Remove from flame and set aside until the pressure drops. Then open the cooker and add the cooked dal into it and stir well. 
  • Now place again on flame and add the tamarind paste and stir well. Cook on low flame until the curry turns creamy. 
  • Prepare seasoning as follows; Heat a tadka pan or a normal frying pan and add 1 spoon of ghee, cumin seeds, curry leaves, dry red chillies (remember to remove the seeds) and saute until the red chillies turn brown. Now add the chopped garlic and fry until it turns brown. Add this into the cooked mutton mixture and remove from flame. 
  • Serve hot with plain rice or biryani. 

TIP 1: You can add chana dal instead of toor dal but as per the book instructions I used toor dal and there was no compromise in taste. It was equally good. 

TIP 2: Do not add too much water while making the curry, it should be thick not runny. The time taken to cook mutton and lamb will differ according to the toughness of the meat, so check if it has got cooked or else cook until it is tender. 

TIP 3: The curry had a dominant garlic flavor but I loved it. You can reduce the amount of garlic used if you wish. 

TIP 4: To extract tamarind paste or pulp soak a small marble size in 1/2 cup of water for 10 minutes. Then squeeze and extract pulp from the soaked tamarind. Gives 2 spoons of tamarind pulp. 

Delicious and flavorful Mughal influenced Mutton Curry is now ready!! Serve with Biryani or Brinji or plain rice and enjoy!!
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  1. Looks so yummy!! Wonderful snaps!! :)

  2. Very unique recipe sis :) never heard of it. R is curious how it will taste :P... will sure try this sometime

  3. Next time chennai varapo...kandipa veetuku vara poraen divs... Am drooling here.... Feel like tasting this:)

  4. Can't stop myself from salivating here dear! Just had lunch but still hungry ;)

  5. I have eaten this in Muslim weddings.. very delicious.

  6. This is quite famous here in hyderabad Divs...lovely clicks as always :)
    Paala Taalikalu / Rice Noodles Sweet (My Grandmom's Recipe)

  7. This looks absolutely delicious!!

  8. New to me looks yummy. will try

  9. Mutton with toor dal, never heard that before!!
    But look at the creaminess of the meat, the picture tells it all! I think, you don't need biriyani with this recipe, can have just have with plain rice or even curd rice for that matter.
    Love it. Your book review makes me want to buy "The Pondicherry Kitchen". Will do that duly! Thanks Dhivya.

  10. I tasted this dalcha long back at one of my dad's friend's home and love it, very tempting click sis, looks fabulous and you have done prefectly.

  11. Super clicks. Never tried with toor dal, bookmarked and want to try this.

  12. lovely... the combination would be awesome... yum...

  13. i know dis recipe..came through vth news paper n kept e paper cut safely in my book.but sad part is here difficult 2 find mutton..hehee n dis is just awesum n perfecty done.
    BTW Iam back n vl regular 2 blog world.Hope u vl in contact vth my Mahaslovelyhome dear...

  14. Delicious. In gujarat it is known as Dal Gosht. This is served in marriages in muslim community with rice(cooked with little chana dal). In all this dish is called Dal Pulav.


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