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Cooking My Secret Indian Recipe in the Kitchens of Renaissance Mumbai: Kolhapuri Mutton Masala



I was absolutely thrilled when I was approached by a couple of weeks ago, inviting me to a wonderful event at the Renaissance Mumbai convention center. The focus of the event being  a series of cook offs promoting home chefs at the hotel kitchens. It kicked off on Mothers Day in May this year and was proposed for a period for six weeks thereafter .This would mean each participant would have to submit their secret indian recipe that they would like to cook at the hotel kitchen.

I knew exactly what my secret recipe was and how I would go about it. It would have to be the Mutton Kolhapuri that I learned from my Grandmothers kitchen. A fiery and aromatic curry and certainly not for the faint hearted. This curry is a lovely coconut based curry with a mix of special spices that are dry roasted and ground together to give it the essence of an authentic Kolhapuri flavor.The thrill of cooking in a hotel kitchen was certainly going to be an experience to remember for years to come. And so I excitedly submitted my recipe for approval.

The last few weeks saw a couple of trials  in my own home kitchen getting the exact proportions of the masala right. This being the key ingredient in making the Kolhapuri mutton a hit recipe.



D-day arrived on June 14th. My chauffeur driven car arrives at 8 am sharp and I soon arrive at the Renaissance. I’m greeted by  Executive chef Bijoy and settle down chatting with him over coffee at one of their coffee shops Fratelli.

I’m pretty confident that I would be able to handle the day of events as I’m assigned a lovely assistant Chef Pranali who is very helpful indeed. I quickly run through the list of ingredients just to ensure all is in order and get cooking with  my recipe for the lunch buffet to be served at The Lake View Café.

Ingredients collage


It’s smooth sailing in the kitchen and in a period of about 3 hours I have a delicious Kolhapuri Mutton ready to be served and sufficient for about 60-70 guests.

The guest soon start arriving and my dish has now been set up at a special work station. The restaurant has even printed the recipe sheets for guests so that may want to follow it at home. Many of the guests come and applaud me on the effort and the dish. I’m thrilled to bits when a family that are from Kolhapur taste the dish and give it their seal of approval.


It was a brilliant experience cooking in the kitchen at Renaissance Mumbai Convention Center. A big round of thanks to Chef Bijoy, Chef Udit and Chef Pranali for all their assistance. Of course  a big thank you to SecretIndianRecipe for making this event possible.


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Kolhapuri Mutton Masala (Tambda Rassa) Serves 7-8 people

Kolhapuri Masala (Makes 1 cup this recipe needs 4-5 teaspoons)


  • 1 cup dry red chilies (preferably Bedgi)
  • 1/2 cup grated dry coconut
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper corns
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Oil

For the Mutton

The Mutton should be cooked in advance as follows

  • 750 grams Mutton (Bone and boneless, cooked as follows)
  • 6-7 garlic pods
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 medium Onions (chopped finely)
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  1. Make a paste of the ginger and garlic.
  2. Marinate the mutton in ginger garlic paste and turmeric and keep for half an hour.
  3. Fry the finely chopped onions in half cup oil for about 15 minutes till brown. Next add the marinated mutton to the onions and fry further for 15 minutes. Add water to just about cover the mutton and let it cook for 1 hour or till the mutton is cooked and tender.(May take about a little longer too)


    • 2 teaspoons Poppy seeds
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 30 grams dry grated Coconut (grated and toasted till medium brown)
    • 30 grams fresh coconut (grated and toasted till medium brown
    • 1/3 Cup chopped Coriander


  • Brown Onion Paste of 3 medium Onions (sliced finely, browned in a bit of oil and made into a paste)
  • 5 medium Tomatoes ( Blanched and pureed)
  • 4-5 teaspoons Kolhapuri masala (depending on spice tolerance)
  • 4 tablespoons Tomato paste/puree (ready pack-optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup oil
  • Chopped Coriander (To Garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (to add at last)



  • To make the Kolhapuri Masala:

(This makes 1 cup .Recipe needs 4 tablespoons, rest can be stored)

1) Take a Pan. Add all the spices except red chili powder and nutmeg powder. 2) Heat 1 tsp oil and coat all the spices by mixing well. Roast the spices over medium high heat. Stir continuously to avoid burning. 3) After 5 to 8 minutes, edges of red chilies will blacken, mustard seeds will crackle, coriander-cumin seeds will change color Once you get an aroma of these spices these are done. Do not over roast too much, else the spices will burn. 4) Transfer roasted spices to a big plate. Let them cool completely. Grind it to a fine powder. Add nutmeg and red chili powder. Mix well. 5) Store the masala in an airtight container.

Directions to make the Mutton Masala:

  1. For the Mutton Masala: Wash the mutton well and keep aside. Ensure all the water has completely been drained.
  2. Firstly grind the ginger and garlic to a paste and mix it with the turmeric and marinate the mutton with this paste for half an hour. Next heat about half cup of oil in a pan and brown the finely chopped onions. Add the marinated mutton and sufficient water to cover the mutton and let this cook covered for about an hour or pressure cook for 23 minutes.
  3. PASTE A: Next dry roast the Poppy seeds, cumin and sesame seeds separately and then mix together. Remove and keep aside. In the same pan dry roast the dry grated coconut till medium brown. And then dry roast the fresh coconut till medium brown. Mix with the seeds and dry grind both the coconut (dry and fresh) and seeds mixture and add a handful of chopped coriander and grind well to a smooth paste. You may add a teaspoon of water to this while grinding.
  4. PASTE B: Next dry roast the sliced onions and fry till reddish brown in color. Add a tablespoon of oil in the end. Grind the fried onions to a paste.
  5. Next Blanch the tomatoes for about 20 minutes. Peel the skin off and puree them.
  6. Heat the remaining half cup of oil. Add the fired Onion paste and fry for a minute or two Next add the fresh tomato Puree and cook till it combines well with the onion mix and it releases the oil. Add a teaspoon of the Kolhapuri masala and fry further. Lastly add the Coconut and seeds paste and mix well. Add some water and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Now add the above entire curry mixture to the cooked Mutton. Add 4 more teaspoons of Kolhapuri masala. (Add more if you want it spicy) Season with salt. Add a little water if the curry is too thick Sprinkle a teaspoon of garam masala and garnish with chopped coriander.
  8. Serve with Chappati’s , Bhakris or rice


  1. It must have been an amazing experience to cook in the hotel kitchen 🙂 The dish looks scrumptious! I can have lots of rice to go with it 🙂

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