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Mutton chops with gongura (Ambada gosht)

Updated: Mar 22

Gongura, also called ambada or roselle leaves, is a typical green across India. It is prized for its very tart flavour and nutrition. It is cooked in a number of ways, including stir-fry, dals, curries, and with meat, as in this dish.

This is a classic Hyderabadi recipe that borrows spices from the Andhra kitchens. Like most Hyderabadi cuisine, this dish has a complex flavour profile. The super-tender meat is cooked with tons of roselle leaves that melt into the dish and form a lovely thick sauce. The dish plays with tart and spicy flavours in balance. Although this version is made with mutton chops, you can substitute chicken or paneer for a vegetarian version.

Pratibha Karan started her career as an IAS officer and, after a successful career, migrated to authoring cookbooks. She has published a couple of cookbooks, and her work as the Secretary of the Ministry of Food Processing prepared her for this new role. This cookbook is her opus on Nawabi Hyderabadi cuisine. She brings to your table the distinct dishes of the era and culture. From the classic Dum ka biryani to the other lesser-known dishes she has resurrected, this book is filled with recipes that shine on the table.

For more recipes from this book, click here.

2 tablespoons oil

3 onions, thinly sliced

3/4 tablespoon ginger paste

3/4 tablespoon ginger paste

5-6 green chillies, minced, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Salt, to taste

1 lb thin mutton chops

4 cups water

4 cups roselle leaves, minced

Heat the oil in a pot and add the onions. Fry on medium heat until the onions are well browned. Turn the heat down to low and add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute till the ginger no longer smells raw and is very aromatic. Add the turmeric, green chillies and salt and toss well.

Add the meat and fry on low heat with the spices for 4-5 minutes until the meat is well coated with the spices and sealed. Add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer on the stove for 75 minutes, cook in an Instapot on the meat setting, or pressure cook until the meat is very soft.

Meanwhile, stem the gongura leaves and chop them fine. Add them to the curry and mix in well. Adjust the water if needed, and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. The final dish should be very thick, with the sauce almost dry and clinging to the meat heavily. There should be small pools of oil around the meat.

Serve hot with rice or chapattis.

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