A popular everyday item in Hyderabad, Kulfa mutton is served on the side in most meals.
When in the City of Pearls, you are bound to find the most intriguing stories about the Nizams and their eccentricities. Right from what they dressed like to their hobbies, behavior and food habits. The royal kitchen is replete with tons of tales revolving around the origins of particular dishes, be it the famous Hyderabadi biryani or the soft and fluffy kulcha. Oh yes, if you didn’t know then we’ll tell you that the kulcha was actually a symbol of the flag of Nizams back in the day. Due to several indigenous experiments and foreign influences, Hyderabad’s luscious fare shaped to its present form. However, not all dishes find a story for themselves.
We discovered an interesting dish from the Hyderabadi fare that got us thinking. The meaty and rich curries from this cuisine are no stranger to us. Most of those who rule the city, were hard-core non-vegetarian lovers and the effect has remained on the traditional cuisine ever since. Not meant for special occasions but instead an everyday affair, the kulfa mutton is a quintessential Hyderabadi Muslim delicacy. Usually prepared in Muslim households in Hyderabad, this curry-like dish is made from mutton and kulfa. Kulfa, for the uninitiated, refers to purslane leaves.
A water-based plant, the kulfa has a very high nutrient-profile, containing great amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids. The small, tiny leaves of this plant are utilized in cooking. Native to India as well as Persia, it doesn’t come as a surprise that like many other Hyderabadi dishes, kulfa mutton too has a Persian touch to it. Now you’d be wondering how a leafy plant would match up to the taste of flavourful meat. Well, it doesn’t really that much to the taste as to the nutrition of the meat dish.
Mutton is cooked with the purslane leaves and this becomes a rich and delicious curry-like preparation. However, it is usually eaten as a side dish in the region and rarely features into the main course. A perfect accompaniment to dry dishes, this helps to wash down the subzi while dipping your roti in a bowl of this stew. It can also be paired with fried food and works really well.
To prepare Kulfa Mutton at home, start by cleaning and washing the purslane leaves carefully. Meanwhile, toss some garlic in a pan with oil and cook it till it turns slightly brown. To this, throw in the purslane leaves or kulfa and let it all cook together with in a covered pan. Simultaneously, start preparing your mutton by tossing it in a pan full of golden-brown onion and garlic. Once the mutton is roasted, sprinkle spices like garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric powder and ginger powder.
Throw in some chopped tomatoes and let this entire cook together with some water. Finally, add in salt and red chillies to turn up the heat. Cook it on a low flame for half an hour after adding the purslane mixture to it. Once the flavours are infused together, you’ll get your kulfa mutton hot and tasty.
Serve this with a side of saffron-scented rice or chapattis.
Here’s a detailed recipe that you can follow.