Railway Mutton Curry 2


As its very name suggests, this very popular and tasty dish was prepared and served in Railway Refreshment Rooms and only in First Class Cabins on long distance trains, with Bread or Dinner Rolls. The curry was not too spicy keeping in mind the delicate palates of the British. It was prepared with tender pieces of lamb or mutton, potatoes and other Indian condiments along with the addition of either vinegar, tamarind juice. The dish was left to simmer on low heat for more than an hour, so as to absorb all the flavours making it truly a dish fit for a connoisseur! It was also popular with the Anglo-Indian Railway staff who had to be on duty for long periods at a stretch. The vinegar or Tamarind juice used in its preparation ensured that the curry would last for quite a few days and was an ideal accompaniment with rice as well.


Serves 6

1kg mutton or lamb cut into medium size pieces

2 potatoes boiled, peeled and quartered

2 big onions sliced

6 to 8 peppercorns

2 pieces of cinnamon bark about 1 inch each

2 or 3 cloves

2 cardamoms

4 dry red chilies broken into bits

1 teaspoon chillie powder

1teaspoon ginger and garlic paste

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons vinegar or ½ cup of tamarind juice (extracted from a marble size ball of tamarind and water )

Mix the meat with the ginger garlic paste, salt and the chillie powder.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions, red chillies and spices till golden brown.

Add the meat and mix well.  Fry for a few minutes.

Add sufficient water and cook on medium heat till the meat is tender

Now add the vinegar / Tamarind juice and potatoes and mix well.

Keep frying till the gravy is thick and dark brown.

Serve with Bread or Dinner rolls, mash potatoes or steamed vegetables



I have just finished a culinary training session in Colonial Anglo-Indian Dishes for the chefs and staff at THE OBEROI Mumbai. The Oberoi Mumbai is holding a Food Promotional Event showcasing the culinary legacy of the Colonial Past. With my knowledge and expertise in Colonial Cuisine, we recreated and brought to life forgotten foods and simple dishes of yore that were innovated and invented by the khansamas and cooks in those early days of the Colonial period. The rustic and robust flavours of dishes that were served by the cooks at the Dak Bungalows and Inspection Bungalows to the British Officers while on their official tours across the country such as the Dak Bungalow Chicken Curry, the Dak Bungalow Chicken Stew, Junglee Pilaf, Etc. The hearty Army Camp Soups and Curries that came out of the innovation and efforts of The Bengal Lancers Unit made famous by Col Skinner and Maj. Grey. The delicious Railway Lamb and Chicken Curries and the Cutlets that were first served on the Great Indian Peninsular Railway also known as The Blue Train that began its three day journey from Bombay’s Victoria Rail Terminus to Calcutta via Allahabad for the first time on 7th March 1870 covering a total distance of almost 4000 miles. Then the East India legacies of mulligatawny soup, lamb chops, roasts and bakes, Bread and Butter pudding and steamed ginger pudding, besides other dishes associated with British colonial cooking such as Kedegeree (the anglicised version of kichidi, a rice dish cooked with pulses then mixed with smoked or fried haddock and quartered hard boiled eggs), Fish Cakes and Rissoles, Potato Chops and Pantras, Cutlets and Croquettes (pronounced Cutlas and Crockit by the Colonial Servants). The Portuguese legacies of Vindaloo and Tangy Curries and Sweets, the Dutch Fish and lamb Mince Friccadels and not forgetting the French connection of Chicken in red wine, crumbed fried stuffed crepes and many, many more old dishes such as Grandma’s Country Captain Chicken, Hussainy Curries, Glassy, etc. The very names of these ‘Dishes with History’ evoke nostalgia and a longing for the old Colonial way of life. The recipes for all these dishes are featured in my Recipe Books. This is a small explanation on Colonial Cuisine. Sharing a few of the dishes and many happy moments. My sincere Thanks to Chef Parvinder Singh Bali, Chef Satbir Bakshi and all the staff. I had an awesome experience with all of you. I wish your event every success