goat curry

Goat Curry Recipe (Chettinad Goat Kulambu)

Updated: May 8, 2024, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Goat Curry is a traditional one pot Indian dish of goat chunks simmered to perfection in an aromatic curry sauce. This Chettinad Goat Kulambu features big and bold flavours that is not for the faint hearted! Bone-in goat meat slow cooked with plenty of spices and herbs for a flavor-explosion and fall-apart perfection!

Goat Curry served in a white blue bowl



This Goat Curry is best served with plain steamed rice, Chapati, Tandoori Roti or Naan. In Tamil Nadu, this is also eaten with Idli, Dosa, Appam and Idiyappam. Elsewhere in India, it is also served with healthier options like ragi mudde and Bhakri (millet or multigrain flatbreads).

About the dish

It is believed that Curried Goat originated in the Indian sub-continent and is a staple not only here but also in Southeast Asian and Caribbean cuisines. So it is prepared in many regional styles with locally available ingredients. This recipe is from one of the most popular regional Indian cuisines known as Chettinad. Visit any Indian restaurant serving South Indian foods, you are likely to be introduced to a Chettinad curry as the top-selling or most-ordered dish.

This recipe helps you make the best Chettinad goat curry reflecting the traditional flavors of authentic Chettinad cuisine. Bone-in meat is simmered with fresh ground spice paste and optionally finished with a touch of coconut.

For the 100% authentic taste you need to use whole spices which are briefly fried in oil before making the paste. However if you don’t have them or do not own a spice grinder, you may use store bought ground spices or a meat masala. The dish will still turn out good & call it an “Indian Goat Curry” instead of Goat Chettinad Kulambu.

In traditional Indian curry recipes like this Mutton Curry or Mutton Korma, bone-in meat is widely used for flavor and a thicker mouthfeel that comes from the marrow. We don’t use any stock for added flavor. However if you want you may use boneless meat and use stock. This also cuts down the cook time.

Goat Vs Lamb

Goat meat though not very popular across the world, is the most consumed red meat in India. The term “Mutton” refers to both goat and sheep (or lamb) & is not used to mention other kinds of red meat.

But the most common mutton eaten in India is goat & a lot of times the meat sold/served as lamb is actually from a young goat. It is believed that goat meat is a better choice than sheep or lamb because it is lower in calories, cholesterol and higher in iron & protein than the other kinds of red meat.

Lamb meat is richer in flavor and gamey tasting while goat meat is sweet & mild in flavor.

More Mutton Recipes
Mutton Soup (Marag)
Lamb Karahi
Mutton Nihari
Rogan Josh
Lamb Vindaloo

Chettinad Curried Goat in a white bowl

How to make Goat Curry (Stepwise Photos)

Make Chettinad Masala (curry paste)

1. To make this curry, first let us gather the spices to make the spice paste. If you don’t have a blender use any store bought meat masala, biryani masala or garam masala, coriander powder & cumin powder. It turns out good but it won’t be Chettinad curry. Here are the ingredients you need:

  • 4 to 8 dried red chilies (use low to spicy kind as per preference, deseed if preferred, or 1 to 1.5 tsp chili powder)
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 star anise (small)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 4 to 5 cloves
  • 2 two inch cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon pepper corn
  • 1 to 2 small portions kalpasi / stone flower/ dagad phool (optional)
  • 3 sprigs of curry leaves
ingredients for chettinad paste

2. Heat half a tablespoon oil in a pan on a low heat. Add red chilies, coriander seeds, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and cardamoms. Roast for a minute and then add the fennel seeds, cumin and curry leaves. Roast until crunchy and aromatic but not burnt.

roasting spices

3. Cool and transfer them to a grinder jar. Save some of the crispy fried curry leaves (about 10) for the last step.

make spice powder

4. Grind to a powder.

chettinad masala for goat

5. Pour half cup water and make a slightly coarse paste. If required add more water.

chettinad masala paste for goat curry

Make the curry

6. For the curry prepare the following ingredients

  • 600 grams (1.1 pound) Bone-in goat ( excess fat trimmed, ± 100 grams/ 4 ounces is okay)
  • 1 cup (105 grams) onions sliced
  • ¼ cup shallots (substitute with onions)
  • 2 large garlic cloves sliced
  • 1½ tablespoons (28 grams) ginger garlic paste (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup (125 grams) tomatoes deseeded & fine chopped (2 medium)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon piece
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to adjust later)
ingredients for the curry

7. Pour 2 tablespoons oil to a heavy bottom pan or Dutch oven & heat in on a low to medium flame. Add the whole spices and garlic.

temper the spices

8. Add the onions and regulate the heat to medium. Saute until transparent, for 5 to 6 mins. Turn down the heat and add the ginger garlic. Saute for a minute.

saute onions ginger and garlic

9. Add the tomatoes, turmeric and salt. If the pan is too dry, add a splash of water.

saute tomatoes with salt

10. Saute until the tomatoes break down and turn soft.

sautéed onions and tomatoes in a pan

11. Add the goat.

bone-in goat meat

12. Saute the meat for 3 to 4 mins on a medium high heat until the color changes slightly.

seared goat meat

13. Pour 2 cups hot water and add the ground masala.

addition of curry paste

14. Mix well and bring it a gentle boil on a medium heat.

pour water and simmer the curry

15. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 1 hour 30 minutes. Keep stirring every 15 to 20 mins and add more hot water as required. I had to add another 1 cup after 1 hour.

simmering

Make Coconut Paste

16. While the goat curry cooks, add the following ingredients to a grinder. You can also use the same grinder jar you used earlier. If you are using canned coconut milk, leave out this step and use the substitutes mentioned below.

  • ⅓ cup (35 grams) raw coconut (or use coconut milk)
  • 1½ teaspoon fennel (or 1¼ tsp ground fennel)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (saved from the first step)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (to adjust heat levels)
spices in a grinder jar

17. Grind to a very smooth paste with ¼ to ⅓ cup water.

fresh raw coconut paste

18. Lastly, when the goat meat is tender and fully cooked, add the coconut paste. If using coconut milk, pour it along with the curry leaves, black pepper and fennel powder. Do not add very cold coconut from the refrigerator, bring it close to room temp before you do so.

add coconut paste

19. Mix well. If your curry is too thick, pour ¼ to ⅓ cup hot water and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Turn off once done and rest for at least 15 to 20 mins before serving. The gravy will thicken a bit after cooling so turn off accordingly. Taste test and add more salt.

simmering goat curry in a ditch oven

Serve Goat Curry hot with plain steamed rice or with Chapati, Tandoori Roti or Naan. Here are some easy vegetarian sides Carrot Poriyal, Beans Poriyal, Sauteed Okra and Mushroom Pepper Fry. A Onion Raita or a Cucumber raita goes well with this.

Goat Curry Recipe

Pro Tips

  • Adjust heat levels: This dish is made hot and spicy but my recipe makes for a low heat dish if you use 4 red chilies. To make the dish hot without losing the flavor balance, you can start with lesser number of chilies like the way I did, taste test once the dish is done and add more fried red chilies while you make the coconut paste.
  • Coconut (Optional): You can also leave out the coconut from the recipe. But I always feel using it especially at the last stage, makes the meat more tender, juicy and keeps it moist. The flavor balance is lost if you use a lot of coconut.
  • Trim the fats: Trimming the excess fat is essential or you need to discard the excess fats floating over the curry before you add the coconut.
  • This goat curry is not onion tomato based like many other Indian curries. They are used in this dish to balance the flavor profile. Onions and shallots add sweetness and tomatoes add tang.
  • Liquid/ Water: Add only hot water or stock and avoid using cold liquid or coconut. Use only as required and add it in batches. I use a total of 3.5 cups for this recipe, you may need lesser or more depending on the age of the goat.
  • Stone Flower/ kalpasi is an essential spice in Chettinad Curry, but feel free to leave it if you don’t find.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

goat curry recipe

Goat Curry Recipe (Chettinad Goat Kulambu)

5 from 28 votes
Make this delicious Goat curry under 2 hours. Bone-in goat cooked with plenty of spices, herbs, onions and tomatoes, lastly finished with coconut. Serve it over steamed rice or with any flatbreads like Chapati, Tandoori Roti or Naan.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Servings4
AuthorSwasthi
Diet : Gluten Free

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 600 grams (1.1 pound) bone-in goat (curry-cut leg/shoulder, excess fat trimmed)
  • tablespoons oil (peanut oil or refined coconut oil)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 cup (105 grams) onions sliced
  • ¼ cup shallots (substitute with onions)
  • 1½ tablespoon (28 grams) ginger garlic paste at room temperature
  • 1 cup (125 grams) tomatoes deseeded & fine chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt (+ more to adjust)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 to 3½ cups hot water divided

For the spice paste (or use 1½ tbsp meat masala or 1 tbsp garam masala)

  • 4 to 8 dried red chilies (deseeded if needed, substitute – 1 to 1½ tsp red chili powder)
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon pepper corn
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 5 green cardamoms (elaichi)
  • 4 to 5 cloves
  • 2 two inch cinnamon piece
  • 1 small star anise
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves (divide 2+ 1)
  • 1 to 2 small portions kalpasi / stone flower/ dagad phool (leave out if you don't have)

To make Coconut Paste (or use canned coconut)

  • ⅓ cup (35 grams) raw coconut ( optional or canned coconut milk)
  • teaspoon fennel (or 1¼ tsp ground fennel)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (to adjust heat levels)
  • curry leaves (1 sprig from fried masala)


Instructions

Make the Spice Paste

  • Heat half a tablespoon oil in a pan on a low heat. Add red chilies, coriander seeds, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and cardamoms.
  • Roast for a minute and then add the fennel seeds, cumin and curry leaves. Roast until crunchy and aromatic but not burnt.
  • Cool completely and transfer them to a grinder jar. Save half of the curry leaves for the last step. Make a coarse powder and grind with half cup water to make a thick paste. Add more water as required.

How to make Goat Curry

  • On a low to medium flame, heat oil in a heavy bottom pan or Dutch oven. Add the whole spices and garlic.
  • When they begin to sizzle, add the shallots and sliced onions. Regulate the heat to medium and sauté until transparent, for 5 to 6 mins.
  • Turn down the heat to low and add the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute until aromatic.
  • Add the tomatoes, turmeric and salt. If the pan is too dry, add a splash of water. Saute until the tomatoes break down and turn soft.
  • Add the goat and saute for 3 to 4 minutes until the color of the meat changes slightly.
  • Pour hot water (start with lesser if using boneless) and add the ground masala. Mix well and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Cover and simmer until the meat is tender and almost cooked, for 1 hour 30 minutes. During this time, stir every 15 to 20 min and add more hot water in batches as required.
  • Leave out this step if using canned coconut milk or prefer not to use coconut. To make the coconut paste, grind together raw coconut, fennel, crisp fried curry leaves & black pepper with ¼ to ⅓ water to a very smooth paste. Keep this aside.
  • When the goat meat is fully cooked & tender, stir in the coconut paste. If using coconut milk add it here along with the curry leaves, black pepper and fennel powder. Avoid cold coconut at this stage.
  • If your curry is too thick, pour ¼ to ⅓ cup hot water and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Turn off once done and rest for at least 15 to 20 mins before serving. The gravy will thicken a bit after cooling so turn off accordingly. Taste test and add more salt as needed.
  • Serve goat curry with rice, Chapati, Tandoori Roti, Naan or Ragi Mudde. You can also serve with Dosa, idli, Idiyappam or appam.


Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Goat Curry Recipe (Chettinad Goat Kulambu)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 597 Calories from Fat 432
% Daily Value*
Fat 48g74%
Saturated Fat 19g119%
Trans Fat 0.04g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 21g
Cholesterol 110mg37%
Sodium 700mg30%
Potassium 662mg19%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin A 347IU7%
Vitamin C 41mg50%
Calcium 114mg11%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Goat Curry Recipe (Chettinad Goat Kulambu)

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Delicious!!!! I love Indian food, eating it and cooking it. My first visit to this website. The recipe was easy to follow, and the result was as good as any goat “curry” I’ve ever had.

This looks delish and I am looking forward to make it. But don’t have any whole or Indian ground spices except mutton masala. Can I use that and what kind of coconut milk would you advice? Canned or from the carton? Please advice

5 stars
hi, if i wanted to add potato, how would you recommend doing so? thanks 🙂

5 stars
I made this today and it’s absolutely delicious! Thank you for all you do to provide these wonderful recipes.

5 stars
I was looking for something different with goat and google brought me here. I think I haven’t eaten anything as delicious as this goat curry. All I knew was Indian garam masala but this curry paste changed my perspective. I would love a raan recipe from you. Thanks for bringing authentic Indian food to our table.

Making this with my son today, who has been requesting an Indian goat dish for some time. This looks great, and I have kalpasi! I notice in the pictures that an Indian bay leaf is included in the dry spices but it isn’t mentioned in the recipe, or if it is, I missed it. I’m going to put one in, but for future reference, should it be included? Thanks for your recipes!

It was so amazing! I advise anyone making this to take the time to make the masala paste as described in the recipe. I got my kalpasi (black stone moss) from Amazon some time ago. I’ve used it in other things, but I now can’t imagine this dish without it. My son (he’s 18) and I had a lot of fun doing this together. It’s not a “quick” dish — you have to make a little time for it — but it’s really good. And the addition of the coconut paste really brings it together at the end. The gravy was already very tasty, but the coconut took it to a different level. This was voted a do-it-again in our house. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

This recipe looks amazing. I will be using garam masala and canned coconut milk. But with the substitutes you have not included the quantities of chili powder or cayenne. Can you help?

5 stars
Flavor blast! I had all the whole spices that I use for my biryani. Didn’t have curry leaves so used dried. Still it was fantastic. Next time will try out with fresh curry leaves.

5 stars
My husband said this is the best Indian goat curry he ever ate. I used shahi meat masala and little canned coconut milk. Turned out perfect!

5 stars
Love this goat curry. I have made it for the first time and blown away with the flavors. Had all the spices except kalpasi and raw coconut isn’t available easily. So used coconut milk and followed everything else exactly as written. I love your recipes and have been trying a lot of them since early this year. Thank you for the great recipes

5 stars
Turned out delicious! I think this is the best goat curry I have made in my life. The whole spices are amazing and the ground masala is divine. My house smells amazing! Thank you for another fantastic recipe