Is there a more common name for the dish "flaming mutton"?
February 27, 2019 9:27 PM   Subscribe

I went to the Royal Indian Curry House in Makati, Metro Manila late last year. They sell a dish called "flaming mutton". I want more, but I'm on the wrong side of the Pacific. Is there a different name for this dish?

I'm going to admit up front that my knowledge of Indian food is poor. Last fall I went to Manila on a work trip, and I went to a restaurant called the Royal Indian Curry House in Makati. They have a dish there called "Flaming Mutton". The menu has no description, only the name and a price. From what I remember, it was a kind of shredded lamb with curry spices, and on the spicy side of food we had ordered, which included a couple of curries, tandoori chicken, butter chicken, etc. The meat was definitely shredded, not in chunks. The dish was saucy, but not like other dishes (it was served on a flat platter, not in a pot or saucepan). After searching through photos of the restaurant's food, this picture is the only one I could find of the dish (Google images link, low quality pic).

I had this dish twice, and foolishly thought to myself "huh, maybe this is something I can find elsewhere," but instead found approximately 0 results for "flaming mutton" as being any sort of Indian dish. Lamb curries that I have had here in Portland typically haven't matched what I had at this particular restaurant, instead being chunks of lamb in sauce.

What I'm trying to figure out is this: is there a real name for this dish so that I could order it at other Indian restaurants? Or is this more likely a house dish that really doesn't exist outside of this one restaurant?

Thank you MeFi!
posted by Mister Fabulous to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

The dish isn't on their online menu, only on the printed menu. You can see it here on Zomato (page 6, Tandoori)
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:53 PM on February 27, 2019

Hmm. Maybe it was Sukha Mutton, which is usually in chunks but may be shredded in Manila? This is a dry mutton which is still a little saucey. Or that picture looks like kheema. Data point: I live in western India and have not heard of flaming mutton.
posted by athirstforsalt at 10:10 PM on February 27, 2019

Aw, dang it -- sorry, Mister Fabulous. (FWIW, your picture looks like minced meat (keema) to me, rather than shredded.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:10 PM on February 27, 2019

"Flaming mutton" - as an internet search term - brings up almost nothing other than a link to this question (good band name maybe?). I think the term to search for is Gosht - in this case this refers to slow cooked meat called "mutton" that is more likely to be goat in India - but which is probably sheep in the west.
posted by rongorongo at 10:13 PM on February 27, 2019

Substituting "fiery" for "flaming" gets more results, like this Dhabhe Ka Keema recipe.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:19 PM on February 27, 2019

Are those slices of ginger on the top, with coriander I assume?

That looks honestly a bit tricky—my instinct would be look in the world of "Indian Chinese"? Which would be basically a very chili-forward sauce with shredded meat. Sometimes you see dishes like Chili lamb in Chinese restaurants in India; this could be heading in the right direction.

This could also be something that would be listed in Indian restaurants as a "fry" dish or a "kadhai" (which is a big frying pan so...) dish. To be honest I've never understood why they call it that. Sukha also looks about right, qua athirstforsalt.

I've spent a few years in India if you add it all up, and eaten at many a restaurant across the country, and I too have never seen a "flaming" anything—sizzling, sure, but flaming?

This is the first thing I find when I search for "Indian Chinese chili lamb," and it definitely is kinda-sort of what I'm thinking of. But this is a very tricky dish, since it's not very traditional, so it can vary a lot from little restaurant to little restaurant. Also, never discount that whatever you had in Manila may have been adapted to the local tastes, as is wont to happen.

Good luck finding something that scratches the itch? This just occurred to me: if you want a flavor profile that might be similar (spicy, not very sweet, chili- and tomato-sauces, a bit sour), you could try Chettinad or Andhra cuisine, which is available in more and more cities in the US.
posted by Stilling Still Dreaming at 10:48 PM on February 27, 2019

I know that's a low-res picture, but that looks really like an Mutton Qorma from Afghanistan. Not to be confused with the creamy korma, it's closer to chili con carne but made with lamb/goat. Slightly more curry spices than chili would have. I've had some qormas that were close to soup, others served on a flat plate. There are a couple of other Afghani dishes in the menu.

If you're looking for Indian Chinese, that's quite often known as Hakka. I've never seen a dish like it in the Toronto hakka restaurants I frequent, but most of those are hakka via Guyana.
posted by scruss at 7:28 AM on February 28, 2019

Thank you all for the suggestions! At the very least I have a list of dishes to try to fill that void.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 8:22 AM on March 1, 2019

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