Go Back
+ servings
Mutton stew with coconut served in a bowl with naan bread

Kerala Mutton Stew (Ishtu) With Coconut

This Kerala Style Mutton Stew or Ishtu has simple whole spices enhancing the flavour and a mild coconut milk broth. This stew is like a warm hug in a bowl.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Diet Gluten Free, Halal
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 Portions
Calories 542kcal
Author Richa



  • 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 ½ cups Water

For the Stew

  • 1 ½ 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 ½ teaspoons ground Black Pepper
  • 1 cup thin Coconut Milk
  • ½ 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.



  1. Mutton or Lamb: Mutton refers to goat meat and lamb comes from sheep. They can be used interchangeably in this recipe. 
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Consistency: Add more coconut milk, stock or water to adjust the consistency


Calories: 542kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 713mg | Potassium: 708mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1560IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg