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  • Writer's pictureSheena Philipose

Mutton Pepper Fry (Nagarjuna style)

Updated: Aug 7, 2021

During my spinster days when I was working in Bangalore, some of the restaurants I'd frequent were Andhra style restaurants. I absolutely loved them; the three course meals, dum biryanis, a wide ranging selection of non-vegetarian sides, and all at reasonable prices. My favorite chain was Nagarjuna and the one dish I would order every time I went was their mutton pepper fry- just thinking about it now makes my mouth water! Over the years and many trials later I've managed to recreate it to the best of my ability; succulent pieces of mutton in a spicy, peppery and lemony gravy that goes well with rice and bread alike.

Mutton Pepper Fry
Mutton Pepper Fry


  • If you don't have or don't eat mutton, you can make this recipe with chicken. Be sure to use bone-in chicken pieces as it will be juicer, while using boneless breast tends to dry the chicken.

  • I like to marinate the meat overnight in the fridge, but if you are short for time, try for at least one hour.

Here's a short video showing how I make this delicious dish


Andhra-style Mutton Pepper Fry


For the marinade:

  • 1 kg mutton or chicken, cleaned and cut into medium sized pieces

  • 1 medium sized red onion, sliced

  • 1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste

  • 5-6 green chilies, chopped fine or smashed

  • One cinnamon stick

  • Few sprigs of curry leaves, washed

  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar

  • 1 Tsp salt

  • 1 Tsp pepper

For the curry:

  • 3 medium sized red onions, sliced

  • 5-6 green chilies, slit

  • 1 medium tomato, chopped small

  • 1 Tbsp ginger-garlic paste

  • 1 Tsp coriander powder

  • 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri red chili powder

  • 1/2 Tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 Tsp peppercorns or 1 Tsp black pepper powder

  • 1/2 Tsp of fennel seeds or powder

  • Few sprigs of curry leaves

  • Juice of half a lemon


  1. Mix the mutton pieces with all of the marinating ingredients and leave in the fridge overnight or for one hour at least.

  2. Cook the marinated mutton with a cup of water in the Instapot for 15 minutes, then let the pressure release manually. Alternately, pressure cook the mutton in the pressure cooker till cooked.

  3. In a kadai/large pan, add a tablespoon of oil. Add the curry leaves and sliced onions and sauté for a few minutes.

  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook until the raw smell disappears. Add the chopped tomato, cook for few minutes, then add the spices except the pepper and fennel powders.

  5. Add in the cooked mutton pieces and all the liquid and cook on medium to high flame until the liquid is mostly gone. If you like it dry, cook for longer until all the liquid dries up.

  6. If using peppercorns and fennel seeds, grind them to a powder and add it to the meat else add the pepper and fennel powder now. Mix in the lemon juice and turn off the heat.

  7. Add some fresh curry leaves and serve hot with rice/chapatis/parottas. Enjoy!

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