Think Maharashtrian flavours and the very thought of Vada pao, Bharleli Vangi, Puran Poli or so on. For the uninitiated let’s understand that Maharashtra is divided into 5 main regions Konkan, Paschim Maharashtra (Pune Division), Khandesh - (Nashik Division), Marathwada - (Aurangabad Division) and Vidarbha - (Nagpur and Amravati divisions) and the state also sees a great coastline. With different cultures across the food too sees wide variety and one such unique dish from the state is kala mutton. 

The kala mutton or the black muton curry which is a regional favourite from Maharastra get’s it’s name from the very fact that is black/dark brown gravy in colour and the speciality is that it is made without using any Haldi or red chilli powder. The gravy gets it’s texture from charred onions and coconut. 

In a recent food festival at Courtyard by Marriott Mahabaleshwar, there was an array of Maharastrain dishes from Konkan, Kolhapur and Malvan specialty dishes with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Immerse your taste buds in a mélange of flavors with delicacies like Bharli Vangi, Pitla, Mutton Sukka, Batata Chi Bhaji, Kombdi Cha Rassa, Indrani Bhaat, and much more that is been cooked by Chef Chanda Rajendra Shelar. 

Talking about the dish she says “Kala mutton, commonly referred to as kala ghost, is a famous mutton delicacy from Maharashtra. The curry will be known for its black or dark brown gravy. This is a traditional recipe that belongs to the natives of rural Maharashtra. Because the gravy is rich, you can eat this dish with steamed rice orchapati. It’s a delightful treat, for all spice enthusiasts.


    Mutton cut into bite sized pieces 750 gms

    Turmeric powder ½ tsp

    Onion sliced 01 medium

    Oil 05 tbsp

    Coriander seeds 01 tbsp

    Poppy seeds (khuskhus/posto) 01 tbsp

    Green cardamoms 3 – 4 nos

    Cinnamon 01 inch

    Cloves 04 – 05 nos

    Black peppercorns 04 – 05 nos

    Fennel seeds (saunf) 01 tbsp

    Dried red chilies broken 03 – 04 nos

    Dried coconut ( khopra) grated ½ cup

    Bay leaf 01 no

    Caraway seeds (shahi jeera) 01 tsp

    Garlic chopped 02 tbsp

    Ginger chopped 01 tbsp

    Onions finely chopped 02 medium


    Put mutton in a bowl, add turmeric powder, salt and green chilly set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.

    Put mutton with the marinade in a pressure cooker. Add ½ the sliced onion and mix well.

    Add 1 cup water, mix, cover and cook on high heat for 1 whistle. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a shallow non-stick pan. Add coriander seeds, poppy seeds, cardamoms,

    cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, fennel seeds and dried red chilies and sauté till fragrant.

    Add remaining sliced onion and sauté till onion turns a dark brown. Add dried coconut and sauté till brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

    Grind the roasted mixture with some water to a coarse paste.

    Heat remaining oil in a deep non-stick pan. Add bay leaf and caraway seeds and sauté till fragrant.

    Add garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute. Add chopped onion and sauté till light brown.

    Add some water, mix, cover and cook on low heat for 2 minutes. Add cooked mutton, mix,

    cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.

    Add the ground paste and mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 minutes, mix well, cover and cook for 2 minutes.