Mutton Xacuti: Brings Alive the Warm Sands and Breezy Coconut Trees of Goa

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Here’s a dish that brings alive the ambiance of the coastal state, Goa. Its food usually has ingredients like coconut and dry red chili. Mutton Xacuti uses Kashmiri Chilli, which adds a new dimension to the whole dish. One mouthful of it and you can feel the warmth of the sand and the breeze of the coconut trees, says, Anumita, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.

Mutton (goat meat) is the most favorite non-vegetarian dish in my house. During my childhood, Sunday was the day Ma cooked mutton. It felt like a celebration every weekend. My husband and both sons love mutton dishes. This gives me the opportunity to learn mutton recipes of different places.

My Goan friend Barbara is an excellent cook. She is meticulous and very systematic in her cooking. In other words, whatever she makes, it is just delicious. I tasted Mutton Xacuti in her house for the first time. My whole family fell in love with it. I had to learn it from her. But, Barbara being the meticulous cook she is, decided to make the basic spice mix for me. Now, Barbara lives in Cleveland that is a good two and half hour drive from my house. So I had to get the recipe.

The first time it did not turn out as good as hers, but soon I got the hang of it. I had cooked for my friends during a party few weeks ago, and they all loved it. Food of Goa (India) usually has ingredients like coconut and dry red chilli. The Xacuti uses Kashmiri Chilli, which adds a new dimension to the whole dish. One mouthful of Mutton Xacuti and you can feel the warmth of the sand and the breeze of the coconut trees.

Here is the recipe of this Goan delight, hope you all enjoy it as we do.

Mutton Xacuti

Prep time: 25 mins.                                         Cooking time: 2 hours

Cuisine: Goan (India)                                      Purpose: Main Dish


Mutton 1kg

Onion 1 large (for frying) (Chopped)

Green Chilies 4 (for frying) (Sliced)

Tomato 1 (for frying) (chopped)

Tamarind concentrate ¼ tsp

Ginger paste 1tsp

Salt to taste

Turmeric 1tsp

Spice Paste Ingredients: (Roast and grind)

Red Kashmiri Chilies 8

Cumin seeds ½ tsp

Caraway Seeds ½ tsp

Poppy Seeds 2tsps

Aniseeds ½ tsp

Cloves 6

Peppercorn 12

Piece of Cinnamon 1”

Cardamom 4

Coriander seeds 2tsps

Garlic 6cloves

Stone Flower 3 petals

Onion chopped 1

Grated coconut fried 80 gms.

Bay leaves ¾

Ginger 2”


Roast and grind the ingredients in the second half of the ingredients list. Grind the tamarind and ginger from the first half of the ingredient list. In deep set pan pour oil and roast the chopped onions. When slightly brown add the chopped tomato. When they both become soft and mixed, add the green chilies. Incorporate the tamarind and ginger mix, turmeric and salt.

Then add the ground spices paste and fry till all the ingredients get well mixed. Add the mutton and stir in the spices. Cook on medium heat stirring constantly for 10mins. Then lower the heat to the least and cover the pan. Let it simmer till the meat is tender.

Open the pan and check the liquid. If too much liquid remains, let it simmer open for few minutes. Serve with hot white rice and enjoy.

©Anumita Chatterjee Roy

Pix by the author.

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