Tamil Nadu's culinary delights: Must-try mutton-based traditional recipes - Hindustan Times

Tamil Nadu's culinary delights: Must-try mutton-based traditional recipes showcasing rich heritage

By, New Delhi
Feb 23, 2024 01:50 PM IST

Discover the essence of South Indian cuisine through traditional mutton delicacies like Kola Urundai and Mutton Chettinad Biryani. Check out the recipes inside.

In South India, particularly in Chennai, savouring mutton dishes on weekends is a cultural hallmark. There is much more to Tamil cuisine than dosas and sambars. Its culinary diversity is a reflection of the intermingling of cultures. Whether it's food from Kongunadu or Arcot, Chettiars or the Iyengar community, it takes on different qualities in different cultures. From the flavorful Mutton Chettinad Biryani to the delectable Kola Urundai, these special recipes embody the region's culinary heritage. These recipes are carefully curated to showcase the richness of South Indian flavours, invite families and friends to come together, relish the essence of weekends, and create cherished culinary memories. (Also read: Kofta magic: From shahi lauki to malai kofta; 4 must-try recipes that will leave you craving more )

Savour South Indian culinary heritage with delectable mutton dishes from Tamil Nadu.(Pinterest)
Savour South Indian culinary heritage with delectable mutton dishes from Tamil Nadu.(Pinterest)

Chef Joseph Manavalan, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Licious shared with HT Lifestyle two quintessential meat-based South Indian recipes that epitomize this tradition and are sure to make your weekend better. So put on your chef's hat and let's get cooking.

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Delicious meat-based South Indian recipes

1. Kola Urundai

Kola Urundai, a delectable South Indian treat, is crafted from finely minced mutton mixed with an array of aromatic spices and herbs. The seasoned mixture is then shaped into small balls before being cooked to perfection. These savoury meatballs are either deep-fried until golden and crispy or simmered in a spicy gravy, imparting flavour with each bite. A beloved dish in Tamil Nadu, Kola Urundai showcases the rich culinary heritage of the region.


● Rich Goat Mince Meat - 1kg

● Chilli Powder - 12gms

● Turmeric Powder - 4gms

● Salt - to taste

● Green Chillies Chopped - 10gms

● Garlic Chopped - 20gms

● Coriander Chopped - 30gms

● Lemon juice - 5ml

● Oil - 225 gms


● Grated Coconut - 25gms

● Cinnamon - 2gm

● Cloves - 1gm

● Poppy seeds - 10gms

● Roasted gram - 15gms


● Coriander Leaves with stem - 50gms

● Green chillies - 15gm

● Red Chillies - 7.5gms

● Tamarind pulp - 15gms

● Mustard seeds - 5gms

● Tomato - 30gms

● Jaggery - 5gms

● Salt - to taste

Grind all the chutney ingredients into a fine paste


1. Take a mixer jar, and add in the minced meat to make it even more fine. Add in the finely minced meat along with chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, green chilies, chopped garlic, chopped coriander, and lemon juice into a bowl and mix the same

2. Again take a mixer jar, grind grated coconut, cinnamon, cloves, poppy seeds, and roasted gram

3. Add the coconut mixture to the meat and mix well

4. Make lemon-sized balls and deep fry them in hot oil until golden brown

5. Serve hot with chutney


Kindly note the minced meat is mixed evenly with the masala. Fat can also be added to increase the juiciness of the meatballs while mincing.

2. Mutton Chettinad Biryani

Mutton Chettinad Biryani is a tantalising South Indian rice dish originating from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. This biryani features succulent mutton marinated in a blend of aromatic spices, layered with fragrant basmati rice infused with saffron and fried onions. Slow-cooked to perfection, it offers a harmonious fusion of flavours and textures, showcasing the rich culinary heritage of Chettinad cuisine. This biryani is a delightful indulgence for lovers of spicy and aromatic dishes.


● Basmati rice - 300gms

● Salt - 15gms

● Oil - 72.6gms

● Ghee - 30gms

● Cardamom pods - 3nos

● Cinnamon - 1gm

● Bayleaf - 1no

● Green chilli - 2gms

● Onion chopped - 80gms

● Turmeric - 3.5gms

● Garlic chopped - 12.5gms

● Ginger Chopped - 12.5gms

● Kashmiri red chilli powder - 15gms

● Tomato Chopped - 100gms

● Mint leaves - 15gms

● Coriander chopped - 30gms

● Rich Goat Curry cut - 300gms

● Yoghurt - 15gm

● Sugar - 2.5gm

● Lime juice - 2ml

● Ghee - 15ml (to drizzle)


1. Place rice in a bowl and wash under running water. Then soak in fresh water for 1 hour. Drain

2. Place a saucepan over medium heat, add rice and 450ml water. Bring to a boil, add 5 gms of salt and cook for 10 mins, rice should be soft but not overcooked

3. Pour oil and ghee into a large saucepan or open pressure cooker over medium heat. When hot, add cardamom and cinnamon. Add bayleaf and green chillies and stir. Follow by adding onion into the pan and sauteing till translucent.

4. Add turmeric, garlic and ginger. Stir in chilli powder and tomato. Continue to saute, scraping the bottom of the pan often so that the masala does not stick

5. Squeeze out most of the water from mint and coriander leaves and add to masala. Once the oil separates from the masala, add the mutton pieces, stirring to coat well. Saute the meat for 2-3 minutes. Brown the meat

6. Once the meat has browned slightly, add 400ml of water and salt. Pressure cook the meat for 5 whistles. One whistle on high flame and 4 on low flame.

7. Take off from the heat and let it cool a bit. Mix sugar and yoghurt, add to the mutton mixture and stir. Add lime juice

8. Layer the rice and then mutton mixture. Repeat the step and the top layer should be covered with rice

9. Drizzle ghee onto the biryani. Cover pot tightly, return to low heat to give dum for 5 mins. Serve hot.

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