Easy Nagpuri Saoji Mutton Recipe For Spicy Food Lovers
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If you love all things hot and spicy, then you must know that some of the spiciest Indian dishes come from the state of Maharashtra. In fact, both Kolhapuri and Malwani cuisines are famously spicy and can literally blow your mind and taste buds. However, many are unaware of another hyperlocal Maharashtrian cuisine that is famed for hot, hot dishes: Saoji cuisine

Saoji cuisine basically refers to the food prepared by the Halba Koshti community of Nagpur. This community of weavers settled in Nagpur in the 1870s and brought their distinct Saoji Masala blend to the region. Today, Saoji food is a mainstay of Nagpur, and if you love spicy food then you should try Saoji dishes too. One of the most traditional dishes to start with is Saoji Mutton. 

Saoji Mutton is a true representative of this cuisine because of two main reasons. The Halba Koshtis are known to prefer non-vegetarian food, especially mutton, which is why making Saoji Mutton will give you the most authentic taste of the cuisine. Secondly, Saoji Masala, which is a wet masala blend that is really hot, needs a protein that can inculcate the flavours and intensify it too. With its fat content and meaty flavours, mutton is the perfect carrier for Saoji Masala. 

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Wondering how to cook up this brilliant Saoji Mutton curry? Here’s the recipe. 


500g mutton 

3 tbsp jute oil 

4 onions, sliced 

3 cups water 

Salt, to taste 

For the Saoji Masala:- 

5 tbsp dry coconut 

4-6 cloves 

2 star anise 

3 green cardamoms 

4 black cardamoms 

1 large cinnamon stick 

4 bay leaves 

8-10 dry red chillies 

1 tbsp poppy seeds 

1 tbsp stone flower  

2 tbsp black peppercorns 

1 tbsp coriander seeds 

1 tsp caraway seeds 

½ tsp nutmeg powder 

2 tbsp ginger garlic paste 

Image credit: Google Images/Sawaifoods


1. Heat the jute oil in a pressure cooker, then add the onions. 

2. Fry the onions until golden brown, then drain them out. 

3. Place the fried onions in a mixie jar and grind to a fine paste. 

4. To make the Saoji Masala, reheat the jute oil and add the dry coconut, cloves, star anise, cardamoms, cinnamon, bay leaves, dry red chillies, stone flower, black peppercorns, coriander seeds and poppy seeds. 

5. Saute the whole spices until brown, then drain out of the oil and transfer into a grinding jar. 

6. Add the nutmeg powder and ginger garlic paste. 

7. Grind everything into a fine paste. Add a little water if needed. 

8. Heat the jute oil in the pressure cooker again. 

9. Add the mutton pieces and saute for 10 minutes or until the pieces have browned properly. 

10. Add the ground Saoji masala, ground onions and salt to taste. 

11. Mix well and saute for a minute, then add the water. 

12. Pressure-cook the Saoji Mutton until done—which should be within 4-5 whistles depending on the size of the mutton. 

13. Serve the Saoji Mutton hot with pav, roti or rice.