In our family, Mutton Rezala, paired with parathas, is reserved for celebratory meals. An absolute favourite in Kolkata, the Rezala – meat cooked in a yoghurt sauce – has its roots in Mughal cuisine, but the dish is a far cry from the unctuous and rich gravies we tend to associate Mughlai food with. It is light and subtle. And in Kolkata, you have not had a rezala if you haven’t tasted the one at Sabir, a 70-year-old eatery on Biplabi Anukul Chandra Street, Chandni Chowk Metro Station.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time

    01h 30m


  • 500 gm mutton

For Marinade

  • 300 ml yoghurt
  • ¼ cup onion paste
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp salt

For Tempering

  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp green cardamom
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3-4 dry red chillies
  • 2 one-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves

Other Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds paste
  • 2 tbsp cashew nut paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • ½ tsp crushed mace
  • 2 onions, ground into a paste


  1. In a bowl, marinate the mutton with curd, onion paste, garlic, ginger and salt. Cover the bowl and refrigerate.
  2. Heat two tablespoons of ghee in a pressure cooker, and add the whole spices meant for tempering.
  3. Once the spices are fragrant, add the mutton pieces, without the marinade (shake of any excess marinade coating the meat). Reserve the marinade.
  4. Fry the meat for 2-3 mins on medium high flame.
  5. Add 2 cups of warm water to the reserved marinade and mix well.
  6. Once the mutton begins to change colour, add the watered-down marinade into the cooker.
  7. Bring it to boil, close the lid and cook until the meat is half done (should take about 4-5 whistles).
  8. Heat rest of the ghee in a large wok or pan. Stir in the onion paste and sauté for 1-2 mins or until the onion turns golden.
  9. Pour in the poppy seed paste and cashew paste and continue to sauté for another 2-3 mins.
  10. Add nutmeg powder and crushed mace.
  11. When ghee separates from the masala, add the mutton pieces and fry for 4-5 mins.
  12. Now pour in the spiced mutton stock to the pan.
  13. Cover and continue cooking until mutton is nicely done.
  14. At this point, add salt and sugar. Check and adjust seasoning to taste.
  15. Once the mutton is cooked through, switch off the flame and transfer the dish to the serving bowl immediately.
  16. Top it with a dollop of ghee. Serve hot.

Sabyasachi Gorai

Sabyasachi Gorai

Chef Saby is the only recipient of the coveted National Tourism Award for Best Chef of India, awarded by the President of India. Chef Saby quit his high-flying job as the Culinary Director of Olive Bar and Kitchen in 2012 and started his culinary academy to nurture and mentor young chefs. His biggest international achievement came when was adjudged the Best Chef of India at Varli Awards, New York. He was also honoured with the prestigious Golden Hat Award by the Indian Culinary Forum. Currently, he is involved in shaping the culinary path of BYG Ventures Pvt Ltd Bengaluru in addition to his three restaurants – Lavaash by Saby in Delhi, Mineority by Saby in Pune and Poppins Hotal in Gurugram – and with his pan-India hospitality consulting firm Fabrica.

See more