This Kerala Style Mutton Stew or Ishtu as its popularly known is light on your stomach while making a really hearty meal. With simple whole spices enhancing the flavour and a mild coconut milk broth, this stew is like a warm hug in a bowl.
This Mutton Stew is unlike any that you’ve tasted before. Its mild and spiced just right, without being extra hot. And that turmeric stained coconut broth is so slurp worthy!
Hello there! This warm bowl of sunshine and comfort can be yours in under an hour. This has been one of our favourite Sunday meals in forever. Because we love how mild and light it is. Plus a big bowl of this gives covers all the bases – protein, carbs, fiber.
Fastest way to cook lamb or mutton
The fastest way to cook lamb or mutton for this stew is by pressure cooking it. Add the marinated mutton along with some water to a pressure cooker and cook for 4-5 whistles, or use an Instant Pot and cook for 20 minutes. We want the meat to be tender but not fall apart, because it will continue to cook with all the other ingredients later.
Spices in the Mutton Stew (Ishtu)
You just need a handful of spices for this stew. Don’t skip these because they add all the flavour here. Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Turmeric and ground Black Pepper make up the spice list. In addition to this, we are using aromatics like ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. For an Indian recipe, this will seem like a really short list, but trust me, you will taste them in every bite!
Best cut of meat for Mutton Stew
Personally, we think the best cut of meat for mutton stew is the shoulder. It has more flavour and becomes really tender as it cooks. It also has some amount of fat in it, which makes the stock gelatinous and adds so much taste to this Kerala style coconut mutton stew.
Serve this Kerala lamb stew with appams, idiyappam, dinner rolls or pav or malabar parotta. Basically anything that you can use to soak up that coconutty broth!
I like to make enough for two meals. Because it’s so tasty and hearty that we always want to eat this for lunch and dinner.
Watch how to make Kerala Mutton Stew (Ishtu) Recipe
Mutton Stew (Ishtu) with Coconut
- Pressure Cooker
- Dutch Oven
- 1 kg Mutton or Lamb 2.2 pounds (shoulder cut into 2 inch pieces)
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Paste
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/2 cups Water
For the Stew
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 3-4 Cloves whole
- 3 Cardamom pods
- 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Green Chillies
- 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
- 1 large Onion thickly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Ginger finely chopped
- 1 large Carrot diced
- 2 medium Potatoes peeled and halved
- 8 Green Beans cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground Black Pepper
- 1 cup thin Coconut Milk
- 1/2 cup thick Coconut Milk
- Mix together mutton, turmeric, ginger paste, salt and marinate for 30 minutes
- Pressure cook the mutton till its 90% done. This will take 4-5 whistles if using a traditional pressure cooker or 20 minutes in the Instant Pot. Set aside once cooked and reserve all the stock.
- Heat coconut oil in a large pot or dutch oven and add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for a minute or two till fragrant. Add onions and saute for two more minutes.
- Add carrots, potatoes, beans, cooked mutton and stock, salt, pepper and thin coconut milk. Add a little more water if necessary. Bring this to a boil and cover and cook for 15-20 minutes till the meat and vegetables are fork tender. Stir in the thin coconut milk. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.
- Mutton or Lamb: Mutton refers to goat meat and lamb comes from sheep. They can be used interchangeably in this recipe.
- Cut of Meat: The best cut of meat for stew comes from the shoulder. Make sure you have enough bone when you buy the meat because bone adds flavour
- Vegetables: You can choose your favourite veggies to use in this recipe. We love the combination of carrots, beans, onions and potatoes. I wouldn’t recommend strong flavoured vegetables such as broccoli or brussel sprouts here which will overpower the dish
- Consistency: Add more coconut milk, stock or water to adjust the consistency