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Calcutta Mutton Chaap

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Mutton chaap or more precisely Kolkata mutton chaap is a highly venerated Mughlai dish from the city of food and culture.  Mutton ribs or chaap, are slathered generously in rich and fragrant spices , which is then cooked slowly over languorous flame till nicely charred and braised, soft and tender enough to fall off the bones.  This mutton chaap is  perfect soulmate of cotton soft rumali roti or as a side with mutton biryani or Bengali pulao.

Every Bengali meal ends with a sweet note and so the series on Bengali cuisine too as expected, but this year we are doing it differently. A sweet rossogolla or a mango sandesh should be the fitting finale to grand poila baisakh luncheon, but we are concluding the series with Calcutta’s Mutton chaap.  Chaap is no traditional Bengali cuisine, it is more Mughlai in origin with an undeniable Anglo influence. And Calcutta has welcomed it with open arms, give it a special place in their heart, and through time it acquired a cult image.

mutton chaap poila baisakh

My introduction  to “Chaap” was in late 90’s during my college days. Having spent much of my time in and around Park Circus, the hub of Mughlai cuisine, Chaap slowly wins me over with its rich taste and aroma, that is distinctly Mughlai in nature. Rehmania in those days was quite good, but when Shiraz opened its door, with its legendary biryani, we knew this should be the mecca for all Mughlai dishes. Aminia is more akin to chicken chaap, it used to be pretty good, but when it comes to mutton chaap, the only name that surfaced was always “Shiraz” and its legendary rezala.

Many would love to differ from it, and should be, when it comes to food, every food corner in the streets of Kolkata should be given a fair chance. If you think Royal at Chitpur serves the best mutton chaap, so be it, the warmth and pleasure of enjoying food without edible ideologies are like eating food without spices ! The year when I left Kolkata “Arsalan”, the new destination for all Mughlai lovers opened its door.

The old name faded into oblivion and the new was taking its place. The change of guard was obvious, and Arsalan becomes the new destination in the town for all mughlai food lovers.

Calcutta Mutton chaap


The tender rib chops of young lamb or goat slowly bhuno (braising will be a very faint word to describe the process) in ghee, slathered in rich and fragrant juices dripping from the bones, and an equally delectable biryani on a side is perhaps the best match made in heaven.

This recipe of “mutton chaap” is a derived one, adapted from the printed recipe published long back in Statesman by the chef’s of “Saffron” at HHI and at place I have followed my own instincts . At restaurants, cooks does use posto /or poppy-seed paste to thicken the gravy, it is no longer a secret and they also use sattu (gram flour) too, I perceived these additions as a fillers. Papaya and chickpea flour helps to absorb the spices and make it clings to the tender meat pieces. And the result is juicy and tender rib chops bathed in the Mughlai spices with lots of fat or oil dripping down the bones.

rib chops



Calcutta Mutton Chaap / ribs

A highly fragrant dish in a nutty sauce or a clingy gravy, slow cooked, slightly charred if you prefer and braised till you get that color - chaap or mutton ribs are every meat lover's dream.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Bengali
Keyword: Mutton Chaap recipe
Servings: 3
Author: Sukanya Ghosh


  • 8 Rib chops, mutton - lamb or goat. I have used goat here

Marinade -

  • 3 tbsp Raw Papaya, grated
  • ½ cup Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Ginger - garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Garam masala, check the note
  • 1 tsp Red chilli

Curry / sauce / gravy -

  • 1 Red onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Minced ginger and garlic
  • 3-4 Green chillies
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp Chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp Almond paste
  • 2 tbsp Melon seed, charmagaz paste
  • 2-3 tbsp Ghee
  • Few threads of Saffron soaked in warm water
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • One or two Bay Leaf
  • Few drops of kewra water, Screw pine essence
  • Few drops of Rose water


Preparing the meat :

  • Wash and cut the ribs into half. With a meat tenderiser, beat the meat to make it more tender. But do not over do it. If you do not have the meat mallet then you can use the back of your steel spoon too. But this step is important and this ensures the even cooking of meat and it will be able to absorb all the flavours and spices.


  • Mix the marinade in a bowl, apply the marinade generously over the ribs and refrigerate it for at least 3-4 hours. I wrap it with a cling film and refrigerate overnight.
  • Bring the ribs / chaap to room temperature and sprinkle some salt over it. You will find that the ribs absorb all the marinades.


  • In a flat fry pan, add one teaspoon of ghee and heat it. Fry the sliced onions till it becomes translucent, also add the green chillies, minced ginger and garlic. Do not brown it. Cool it and make a paste in the mixer.
  • In the same pan, add another tablespoon of ghee, warm it and slowly add the rib chops along with the marinade (which clinges to the rib chops )
  • Braise (bhuno) it on high flame for 5 minutes.
  • Add the Onion, ginger-garlic paste now and keep braising it on medium flame. Add the chickpea flour too.
  • Next add the spices (garam masala and make a paste of turmeric powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder) and keep braising on medium flame.
  • Sprinkle salt over it and few dashes of sugar. It will add nice caramel color to the meat. By this time meat should leave enough fat. If it is not, then add few drops of ghee.
  • Once you are satisfied with the color of the meat and braising (bhuno) is done, check the seasonings and add the almond and melon seed paste.
  • Mix it well. Stir in the saffron water, bay leaves, Kewra water, rose water, cover the pan tightly and simmer the chaap on low heat till done.
  • Once it is cooked, remove the bay leafs and close the lid for sometime before serving.
  • Serve the mutton chaap with rumali roti or saffron rice or with mughlai biryani.


Garam masala - few shah mirch (white pepper) + 1/4 tsp shah jeera (caraway seed) + few black pepper + 1 mace (jayitri) + 1/2 tsp coarsely pounded nutmeg (jayphal) + one black cardamom + one inch cinnamon sticks + one star anise (phool chakra) .


Chaap was perfect to the core, the meat was absolutely tender and juicy, we prefer it slightly charred, the gravy was highly aromatic with garam masala and kewra essence  playing the magic and was most delectable meat dishes I have ever made. I prefer it with biryani like many others, but that day we happen to make some mishti pulao / saffron rice, we enjoyed it with that. You can serve it with biryani or rumali roti or anything you prefers to.

Those who sighed by the whiff of chicken chaap, Bongmom Sandeepa of Bong Mom’s Cookbook has posted her special chicken chaap recipe.

Some of the most amazing Mutton Curries that you must try are-

1. Mutton Do Pyaza

2. Bengali Kosha mangsho

3. Manglorean Mutton Gassi


Have a blessed year ahead !



  • Reply
    April 15, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Shubho Noboborsho to you and your family Sukanya. Mutton Chaap looks so delicious and mouthwatering. Awesome preparation.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Your recipe is most scrumptious and very tempting. Loved reading your post.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Subho nobo borsho….. Ae manso ta dekhte darun lagche….. Amar khete peygelo 🙂

  • Reply
    neelabh banerjee
    June 30, 2013 at 5:35 am

    5 stars
    Great recipe…but too many steps. Will try this with printout in hand. Happy cooking happy eating

    • Reply
      July 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Recipe like chaap comes with elaborate process, however if you make ahead few things, it would be more easier. Thanks Neelabh and hope you will enjoy this as much as we did


  • Reply
    May 2, 2015 at 9:58 am

    I made the chaap yesterday … followed the process to the hilt and the result came out amazing and delicious. Taste, colour, texture and flavours were all excellent and was greatly appreciated by mny guests who are all foodies. I am a foodie myself but this was my first go at cooking !!! Thank you very much !!

    • Reply
      May 5, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your review on mutton chaap. Its a great pleasure to know that you have tried the recipe and has loved it.

    • Reply
      December 27, 2020 at 8:07 pm

      Wish I had found your recipe earlier. I followed the steps to the letter and it was just an amazing dinner. Fantastic recipe. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

      • Reply
        Sukanya Ghosh
        December 30, 2020 at 7:11 am

        Thank you so much Suman for trying out our recipe.

  • Reply
    September 18, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Thank you so much… Very well written, easy to understand, thoroughly explained! Hope l will manage to make it successfully!

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