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Tambda Rassa of Kolhapur

Most people have the notion that Maharashtrians are either vegetarian or only consume fish and even their savory dishes consist of loads of sugar. But that is far from the truth. In Maharashtra there are quite a few spicy non-vegetarian dishes that can compete with any other spicy cuisine of India. Much of the non-vegetarian dishes have originated from the popular region of Kolhapur region of the state of Maharashtra. 

One of the most popular and spiciest dishes is the Kolhapuri Tambda Rassa. The name of the dish is derived from the way it looks as in Marathi, Tambda means Copper, which is almost red in color and Rassa refers to Curry. If translated to English, the dish may be referred to as the Copper Red Curry of Kolhapur. This dish is generally prepared with Mutton, but it can be substituted with chicken as well, depending on your preference. 

Now let’s find out how to make this amazingly spicy Kolhapuri dish at home. 

Recipe of Kolhapuri Tambda Rassa
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes in case of Mutton but if it is chicken then it will be around 20-25 minutes

Ingredients of Tambda Rassa
Mutton Pieces (1 kg)
Finely Chopped Onion (1/2 cup)
Ginger and Garlic Paste (1 teaspoon)
Diced Tomato (1)
Coconut Flakes (2 tablespoons)
Chopped Garlic (1 tablespoon)
Sliced Onion (1 big)
Turmeric Powder (1/4 teaspoon)
Garam Masala (1/2 teaspoon)
Kashmiri Chilli Powder or Degi Mirch Powder (1 tablespoon)
Cumin Seeds (1 teaspoon)
Coriander Powder (1 teaspoon)
Cinnamon Stick (1)
Bay Leaf (1)
Star Anise (1)
Black Peppercorns (3)
Cloves (2)
Oil (4 tablespoons)
Salt (To Taste)

Tambda Rassa-Red Mutton Curry of Kolhapuri

Method of Cooking Tambda Rassa

The mutton should be washed properly and then kept aside after draining the water. Take a pressure cooker and heat 1 tablespoon of oil in it and then add the finely chopped onions which are to be cooked till it turns light golden. 

Following this add ginger and garlic paste and turmeric powder, mix and fry well. Then add the cleansed mutton pieces and mix them with the fried masala. Once the mutton is mixed well with the mixture, add salt and enough water so that the pieces are submerged in water. Cover it with the pressure cooker lid and let it cook until the cooker blows 6-8 whistles. 

Once the mutton is cooked, take the pieces out from the stock and keep them aside.
Now heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a separate wok or pan and add cumin seeds, whole garam masala including cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, bay leaf, black peppercorns and cook it till they start splattering. It should take about a minute for the whole spices to cook. 

Then add the sliced onions and cook till they turn golden brown. Add the coconut flakes and fry for a couple of minutes. You can even add whole dried red chillies to add a little more spice to the dish. Turn the heat off after the mixture is fried and allow it cool down for some time. 

After this pour the diced tomatoes in a grinder, add the whole spices, coriander powder and the onion and coconut fried mixture with a few teaspoons of water and grind them well. The whole mixture should turn in to a smooth paste. Once this mixture is ready, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan or skillet and add the Masala Paste to it and toss it with a ladle for some time. Lower the heat to low so that the paste doesn’t get burnt and cover it with a lid leaving a little bit of gap for the steam to escape. Let it cook for 7-10 minutes, after which add the Kashmiri Chilli or Degi Mirch powder and keep mixing it till the oil separates from the Masala

Now pour in the mutton stock that was prepared earlier, then add the mutton pieces and salt as per your taste, cover it and let it simmer till it comes to a boil. 

You can serve this with steamed rice, Chapatis or Jwarichi Bhakri which is the Marathi style Chapati, made with a special kind of flour which we refer to as Jowar in Marathi and Hindi and Maize in English.

This dish is typically served in Maharastrian homes during occasions or when guests visit. It is quite a rich and spicy form of their cuisine which is easy to make with very easily available ingredients.

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