Thakkadi: Plump Dumplings in Meat Gravy

A 200-year-old recipe from the Tamil Muslim community that features the much beloved combination of meat with dumplings. Read more about it here.

thakkadi recipe Tamil Muslim
thakkadi recipe Tamil Muslim

Recipe for Thakkadi


1 kg mutton that has a good mix of meat and bones, cut into medium pieces
2 big onions, finely sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
A fistful of finely chopped coriander
3 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2 green chilies
1 tbsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
2 cups of thakkadi flour which is a mix of finely ground rice flour and coconut pieces (plain, ground rice flour can also be used as a substitute)


To Make the Mutton Gravy
In a wide pressure cooker add some oil. Once it warms up, add the whole spices — cinnamon, clove, cardamom and bay leaf.
Add the thinly sliced onions and fry on medium heat until the onions develop a golden-brown colour.
After the onions are done, add the meat, green chillies and ginger-garlic paste.
Cook on medium heat until the meat changes colour.
Add the powdered masalas and salt.
Cook on a medium heat for ten minutes.
Add 3 or 4 cups of water and put the lid onto the pressure cooker.
Cook the mutton for 5 whistles.

To Make the Dumplings
After the pressure reduces, open the pressure cooker and remove one cup of the gravy.
In a bowl add 2 cups of the thakkadi flour, the finely chopped onions, chopped green chilies and chopped coriander.
Pour the mutton broth into the same bowl and bind the ingredients together using your hands.
If the flour is stiff and isn't coming together, add as much hot water as needed to form a batter that is not too sticky but is able to hold its shape when formed into balls.
Shape the batter into small or fist-sized dumplings as per your preference.
After all the dumplings are formed, bring the mutton gravy to a boil. If there isn’t enough broth, add some hot water.
In a small bowl, dissolve one dumpling with some broth and add it to the cooker.
Keep the mutton gravy on a low flame and slowly add the dumplings into the gravy.
Close the pressure cooker and let the thakkadi simmer on a low flame for about ten minutes or more depending on the size of the dumplings.
Turn the stove off and let the thakkadi sit for a few minutes before digging in.