Mutton stew is prepared with meat from sheep older than one year old. Mutton is combined with a variety of vegetables and spices. The types of vegetables and spices in the mutton stew varies depending on who is making it. Mutton stew is a popular dish in Native American culture, India, and Norway. Mutton tends to be a tough meat and responds well to the long, slow cooking commonly associated with stews.
As a traditional Native American dish, mutton stew is prepared with potatoes, onion, tomatoes, celery, and carrots. Other seasonal vegetables, such as yellow squash are added. A gravy is then prepared with flour added to a bit of the broth. This gravy is added to the stew to thicken it, but only after the meat has cooked for hours, making it tender.
In India, mutton is a very common meat and mutton stew is a popular dish. The Indian version is filled with spices and includes coconut milk, ginger, green chilli, poppy seeds paste, in addition to the vegetables found in the Native American variety. The spice jaggery, which is a type of sugar, can be added, depending upon the cook. Another spice, cumin, is often added to Indian dishes, including mutton stew. Some parts of India, particularly Kerala, prepare a slightly blander stew that contains fewer spices, resulting in a dish that is not as hot as the version prepared in other parts of India.
The people of Norway often enjoy a simple dish of mutton stew called farikal as a Sunday dinner during the cool months. This variety includes cabbage and mutton. Another variation consumed in Norway is the classic mutton and meatballs, along with potatoes and carrots. This variation of mutton stew is called sod and is a thinner, more soupy dish than the Native American dish.
The Pakistani version of mutton stew contains ingredients similar to the version found in India. Spices include cloves, cardamons, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, tumeric, ginger, and garlic. Red and green chillies are used for a garnish. Yogurt adds flavor and thickens the stew. Other ingredients include onions and tomatoes.
Mutton was often consumed during colonial times in America. The mutton would be slowly cooked in water over an open flame until it was almost tender. Seasonal vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions are then added. Most any type of seasonal vegetable may be added to create a filling meal.