Mutton Kola Urundai Recipe - Chettinad Mutton Keema Balls by Archana's  Kitchen

How to make Mutton Kola Urundai

Mutton Kola Urundai is a cherished delicacy hailing from the rich culinary traditions of Tamil Nadu, a state in Southern India known for its diverse and aromatic cuisine. This dish embodies the essence of Tamil culture, offering a unique taste experience that is both indulgent and deeply flavorful.

At its core, Mutton Kola Urundai consists of finely minced mutton (goat meat) that is mixed with a blend of freshly ground spices, herbs, and grated coconut, creating a mixture that is then shaped into small balls. These seasoned meatballs are traditionally deep-fried until they attain a golden-brown crust that conceals the succulent and spicy flavors within.

The preparation of this dish is an art form, requiring precision in balancing the spices such as coriander, cumin, black pepper, and fennel seeds, along with local ingredients like curry leaves and ginger-garlic paste to enhance the meat’s natural flavors. The inclusion of grated coconut adds a subtle sweetness and texture to the meatballs, making them even more delectable.

Mutton Kola Urundai can be enjoyed in various ways – as a standalone snack accompanied by mint or coriander chutney, as a rich addition to biryanis or curries, or even served as a festive delicacy during special occasions and family gatherings. Its versatility and the depth of flavors make it a favorite among both locals and those exploring Tamil Nadu’s gastronomy.

Mutton Kola Urundai Recipe

Mutton Kola Urundai Recipe - Chettinad Mutton Keema Balls by Archana's  Kitchen

Mutton Kola Urundai

Mutton kola urundai is the South Indian version of meatballs made with ground lamb. Kola urundai means “round balls,” and there are many varieties. This version is quite famous around the Madurai and Chettinadu regions of Tamil Nadu. Ground spices and chiles give these meatballs a great burst of flavor. You can serve them as a snack or as part of a meal with biryani.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 985 kcal


  • 1 large skillet
  • 1 blender


  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup roasted split chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1 green chile stemmed and seeded
  • Handful curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh coconut or frozen, thawed to room temperature
  • 4 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Vegetable or corn oil for greasing hands and frying


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground lamb for 6 to 8 minutes, until browned, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a spoon. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • While the meat cooks, in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, grind the roasted split chickpeas into a fine powder. Add the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom and grind into a fine powder. Transfer the spice mix to a small bowl and stir in the turmeric, chile powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the onion, green chile, and curry leaves. Pulse until they’re coarsely ground. Add the cooked lamb, cilantro, coconut, garlic, and ginger and process until mixed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  • Add the roasted split chickpea-spice mixture and mix well to combine.
  • Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
  • Coat your hands with a little oil to prevent sticking and form the mixture into small 11⁄2-inch balls, pressing them firmly with your hands to form.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil until it shimmers.
  • Carefully add the meatballs to the hot oil in a single layer. Fry them for 2 to 3 minutes, on all sides, flipping until golden brown all around. Transfer the cooked meatballs to the paper towel–lined plate to drain.


When you grind the onion, chile, and curry leaves in step 3, process until they
are uniformly ground. You don’t want any large pieces in the final mixture, as they will break away during frying and can cause the meatballs to fall apart.
Keyword chickpeas, lamb

Cooking Tips about Mutton Kola Urundai

Mutton Kola Urundai- Mutton Meat Balls/ Spicy Mutton Keema Balls

  • Selection of Meat: For Mutton Kola Urundai, choosing the right cut of meat is crucial. Opt for leg or shoulder cuts of mutton that are relatively lean but have a small amount of fat. The fat content is important for moistness and flavor. Ensure the mutton is finely minced to allow for a smoother blend with spices and other ingredients.
  • Spice Blend: The essence of Mutton Kola Urundai comes from its aromatic spice mix. Toasting spices such as coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and black peppercorns before grinding them releases their oils and enhances their flavors. A blend of these freshly ground spices will significantly impact the overall taste of your kola urundai.
  • Herbs and Flavorings: Fresh herbs like mint and cilantro (coriander leaves), along with finely chopped green chilies and ginger-garlic paste, are key to achieving the characteristic flavor of this dish. These should be finely minced or ground to integrate well with the minced mutton.
  • Binding Ingredients: To help bind the mixture together and give it structure, incorporate soaked and drained chana dal (split chickpeas) or roasted gram flour into the minced meat mixture. This also adds a subtle nuttiness to the kola urundai.
  • Marinating: Let the spiced meat mixture marinate for at least an hour, or preferably longer in the refrigerator. Marination time allows the meat to absorb all the spices and herbs’ flavors, resulting in more flavorful kola urundai.
  • Shaping and Frying: When shaping the kola urundai, aim for uniform size balls to ensure even cooking. Fry them in medium-hot oil to achieve a crispy exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender. Do not overcrowd the pan during frying, as this can lower the oil’s temperature, resulting in greasy meatballs.
  • Temperature Control: Maintain a consistent temperature when frying the kola urundai. If the oil is too hot, the outside will cook too quickly, leaving the inside raw. Too cool, and they will absorb excess oil, becoming greasy.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve Mutton Kola Urundai as an appetizer with a side of chutney or raita. They also make a great addition to South Indian meals and can even be served as a savory snack at get-togethers.

Serving suggestions about Mutton Kola Urundai

Mutton Kola Urundai - Picture of Konaar's, Tambaram - Tripadvisor

  • As an Appetizer with Chutneys: Serve Mutton Kola Urundai as a standalone appetizer alongside a selection of chutneys such as mint-coriander chutney or tamarind sauce. The tanginess of the chutneys complements the spices within the meatballs, making for a delightful start to any meal.
  • With South Indian Staples: Pair Mutton Kola Urundai with traditional South Indian staples like dosas, idlis, or appams. The rich flavors of the meatballs contrast beautifully with these mild, fermented breads, creating a satisfyingly complex flavor profile.
  • In a Curry: Incorporate Mutton Kola Urundai into a curry sauce to make a more substantial dish. The meatballs soaked in a spicy and aromatic gravy can then be served with rice or flatbreads, offering a hearty meal that’s sure to satisfy.
  • As Part of a Mixed Rice Dish: Crumble the Mutton Kola Urundai and mix it with rice dishes such as biryani, pulao, or even a simple lemon rice. This allows the meatballs to distribute their flavor throughout the dish, providing pockets of spice and texture.
  • With Salad: For a lighter option, serve Mutton Kola Urundai with a fresh salad. The contrast between the warm, spicy meatballs and the cool, crisp vegetables makes for a refreshing meal, especially during warmer weather.
  • As a Side Dish During Festive Occasions: Mutton Kola Urundai can serve as an excellent side dish during special occasions or festive meals. It pairs well with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian main courses, adding richness and flair to the feast.
  • With Varied Dips for Snacking: Offer Mutton Kola Urundai as a snack at parties or gatherings, accompanied by various dips like yogurt dip, spicy mayo, or even a cheese sauce. This enables guests to enjoy a burst of flavors in each bite.

Top 5 FAQs about Mutton Kola Urundai

Kola Urundai | Mutton Kola Urundai | Mutton Keema Balls - Ginger Skillet

  • What is Mutton Kola Urundai? Mutton Kola Urundai is a traditional dish from Tamil Nadu, Southern India, consisting of deep-fried meatballs made from finely minced mutton blended with a variety of freshly ground spices, herbs, and grated coconut. This dish is celebrated for its rich flavors and unique preparation method, making it a beloved snack and an essential component of festive meals in Tamil cuisine.
  • Which part of mutton is best for making Mutton Kola Urundai? The best cuts of mutton for Kola Urundai are the leg or shoulder parts, as they provide a good balance of meat and fat. The fat content is crucial for ensuring the meatballs are juicy and flavorful. It’s recommended to mince the mutton finely to achieve a smooth blend with the spices and binding ingredients.
  • How important are the spices in Mutton Kola Urundai? Spices play a pivotal role in creating the distinct taste of Mutton Kola Urundai. Aromatic spices such as coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and black peppercorns are toasted and freshly ground to release their essential oils and aroma. A proper balance of these spices, along with curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, and green chilies, enhances the natural flavor of the mutton and imparts richness to the meatballs.
  • Can Mutton Kola Urundai be served as a main course? While traditionally served as a snack or appetizer, Mutton Kola Urundai can also be a rich addition to main courses. They can be crumbled and mixed into rice dishes like biryani, added to curries to enrich the gravy, or served alongside other main dishes as a protein-rich complement. Their versatility makes them suitable for both standalone consumption and as part of larger meals.
  • Are there any vegetarian alternatives to Mutton Kola Urundai? Yes, a vegetarian version can be created using substitutes like finely chopped vegetables, paneer (Indian cottage cheese), or even legumes like chickpeas or lentils. The key is to maintain a similar texture by finely processing the alternative ingredients and blending them with the same aromatic spice mix used for the mutton version. This ensures the vegetarian balls maintain a taste profile reminiscent of the traditional Mutton Kola Urundai.

Mutton Kola Urundai, a distinguished delicacy from Tamil Nadu, stands as a monumental representation of the region’s rich culinary heritage. Its intricate preparation and profound flavors encapsulate the essence of traditional South Indian cooking, inviting one to explore the depths of this cuisine’s gastronomic excellence. The meticulous blend of finely minced mutton with an array of freshly ground spices, herbs, and grated coconut, deep-fried to perfection, yields a dish that is irresistibly crisp on the outside yet succulently tender within.


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