There are a few signature Bengali dishes like the Prawn Malai curry and the Sorshe Ilish. The Kosha Mangsho (Mutton) is definitely part of that select few. Most Bengalis irrespective of where they are in the world will be able to relate to this delectable goat meat dish which is often prepared to celebrate joyous occasions like Poila Boishak and shared with friends and family. I have fond memories of attending the wedding ceremonies with my parents where Kosha Mangsho was an integral part of the menu. Not to mention the close family weddings where the local cooks (thakur) would make this dish in their humungous “kadhais” at our place. As one can imagine with such a popular dish there are bound to be variations to the recipe. I have used the one that I have grown up with in my childhood. Now, my non-bengali readers may be wondering what the word “Kosha” means. Well, it is a type of cooking style which is nothing but cooking and stirring frequently over high heat ensuring the spices do not stick to the bottom of the pan or get burnt. The original way of cooking the meat is to do it without using a pressure cooker. So, you have to keep stirring and tossing the meat for a long time for the meat to cook well. This gives the dish the deep brown colour, authentic aroma and taste. I have used grated papaya to marinate the meat to make it tender. A minimum of four hours is required. This helps reduce cooking time. The Mutton Kosha can be served with steamed rice, pulao or luchi (Puri). So, add an authentic Bengali twist to your celebrations with the Kosha Mangsho. You cannot miss it for anything.Print
Classic Bengali Mutton Curry
Ingredients for the Curry :
- 1 Kg Mutton (Goat Meat)
- 1 cup sliced Onion
- 3–4 Green Chillies, finely chopped (can reduce or increase according to spice intake)
- 2 Tsp Ginger paste
- 1 Tsp Garlic Paste
- 1 ½ Tsp Coriander powder
- 1 ½ Tsp Cumin powder
- 5 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
- ½ Cup Oil (preferably Mustard Oil)
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Ghee (Clarified butter)
- Salt as required
Ingredients for the Marination :
- 3 Medium sized Onion (ground to a paste)
- 1 ½ Tsp Garlic paste
- 1 heaped Tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 Tsp Red Chilli powder
- 2 Tbsp Mustard Oil
- 4 –5 Tbsp Curd
- ½ cup grated raw Papaya (Optional – helps to tenderize and soften the meat. Also lessens over all cooking time)
- 1 tsp Salt
Ingredients for Temepring :
- 3 to 4 Bay leaves
- 3 to 4 dry Red Chillies
- 6 Green Cardamom
- 1 ½ inch stick Cinnamon
- 5 Cloves
- 1 Black Cardamom
- Wash the mutton pieces thoroughly and pat them dry. In a large bowl marinate the mutton pieces with onion paste (made of 3 Onions), 1 ½ Tsp Garlic paste, 1 heaped Tsp Turmeric powder, 1 Tsp Red Chilli powder, 2 Tbsp Mustard Oil, 4 – 5 Tbsp Curd, ½ cup grated raw Papaya (to tenderize and soften the meat) and 1 tsp Salt.
- Rub and massage all the ingredients for marination into the mutton pieces. Cover and marinate for at least 4-6 hours in the refrigerator. It is even better if you can marinate it overnight.
- Take out the marinated mutton at least 30 -40 mins before you start cooking to bring the marinated mutton to room temperature.
- In a deep heavy bottom pan or wok heat ½ cup Mustard oil over medium flame. When hot (we don’t want smoking hot) temper with bay leaf, red chilli, cardamom, cloves, cinnamons. Wait for the spices to turn light brown in colour and starts releasing aroma.
- Next add 1 Tbsp sugar. Stir continuously and allow it to get dissolved and caramelized.
- Now add 1 cup chopped Onion along with 3 -4 finely chopped green Chillies and cook till they turn deep golden brown in colour. Stir frequently for over-all even browning of the onions. Add 2 Tsp Ginger paste and 2 Tsp Garlic paste. Keeping the heat to a medium keep stirring frequently and cooking for another 4 -5 mins or till oil separates.
- Now add 1.5 Tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, 1.5 Tsp Cumin powder, 1.5 Tsp Coriander powder. Mix well and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the marinated meat to the pan along with the marination.
- The next step is very important as this is where the Mutton dish gets its name from “Kosha” as this step is called “Koshano”, which is nothing but cooking and stirring frequently over high heat.
- Cook over high flame for a good 15 -20 minutes stirring often. Normally the marinated mutton should release enough water. But if you require, add very little hot water from time to time to make sure the spices do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Check the gravy for salt and other spices. Adjust according to your requirement.
- Now bring down the flame to a low, cover and cook the mutton on a sim. Simmer the mutton for another 50 – 60 min, stirring from time to time. Try not to use any water to cook as the mutton will release moisture.
However add a few tablespoon full of hot water occasionally if need be, just to prevent the spices from sticking to the sides or bottom of the pan.
- Cook till the Mutton is Soft, But Not Over-Done. The meat should retain its shape and not fall off the bone.
- Before talking off add 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) and some slit green chillies if you like. Cook for 1 -2 mins before turning off the heat.
- Your Mutton Kosha is ready! Cover and let it rest for 2 mins before serving. The Mutton Kosha goes well with pulao, steamed rice, luchis, poories and even parathas too.
I always feel mutton tastes lots better when served a day later. So it’s a common practice with me to cook this dish a day before I entertain my guests or some kind of celebration. This helps the curry to seep into the mutton pieces making it even more succulent, delicious and irresistible.
- Serving Size: 4