We have always loved eating Kosha Mangsho (Bengali Mutton Curry). Sunday meal was special as it was all part of a routine to cook kosha mangsho in our paternal home. During our growing up years, especially during summer vacation, we would go to visit our paternal homeland. Whole house would start bustling with laughter and contentment of togetherness.
We would be playing with our cousins and our fathers and uncles and aunties would end up chatting with each other or on rare occasion cooking Kosha Mangsho all together.
Making mutton curry/kosha mangsho was one thing when male members in our joint family would find it a way to showcase ones culinary skills and even giving directions to the ladies of the home .Sometimes often giving lectures on the correct amount of spices and onions or ginger or garlic. After all the big hotels have male chef not female chef. Isn’t?
Perhaps that’s why females in our home-Ma, Kakima and Thakuma would then used to ask our all kakus and Baba (My father is the eldest of all brothers) to help out in making Kosha mangsho.
We would then gather round our mother and kakimas to help them out in peeling, chopping, cutting, marinating but not frying the mutton. There were no short- cuts for Freshly Prepared masala paste on Sheel Nora ( a type of Mortar/ Pestle -Sheel nora – grinding stone flab of about 16 inches * 10 inches , and a stone roller of 9 inches, roller is slide into time to time to make a smooth paste of masala over Sheel/Stone flab).
Making Kasha Mangsho, includes grinding onion, garlic and ginger into a smooth paste over Sheel Nora and then deep frying mutton in Kadai or Dekchi at med till the oil separates out, stirring in between and cooking it in at low like a slow pot cooker .Everything used to be slow and smooth, and the taste incomparable, probably there is no substitute for Hard work and the end result smooth gravy and juicy mutton pieces cooked to perfect with spices. One bite and the taste burst into the mouth, whole lot of chemical reactions and salivations makes the dish so relish.
Recipe below is my vague captivation of the vivid memories that I have on my part while growing up.
And I would say I have seen my Ma-in-law making Kosha mangsho this way. Adding potatoes as some of you would say is not part of making Kosha mangsho, but this is how I have seen my Baap’er Bari (Paternal Side) and my Shoshur Bari ( In-laws Side) making Kosha Mangsho.
With the invention of pressure cooker and Mixer grinder , things becomes far easy for us .This recipe is little bit short and time saving as mutton is being cooked in Pressure cooker after deep frying it in kadai , but the originality of taste still is maintained .
Bengali Mutton curry
750 gms of mutton
3-4 medium size potato cut into half
1-2 tbs of mustard oil for frying potato
For Marinating the mutton
garlic 10- 1ginger-1 ½ inch
2 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
1 ½ tsp of salt
4 heaped tbs of yogurt
1tsp of garam masala
10- 12 black pepper
3 bay leaf
4 whole cardamom ( Gota elaich)
5 cloves (long)
½ inch long cinnamon stick
1 tsp of sugar
½ cup of mustard oil
How To Proceed
Marinating the mutton
Fisrt make a smooth paste of Garlic and Ginger by grinding in Mixer , add little bit of water also.Do the same with onions .
Marinate the mutton with Turmeric powder ,salt ,Coriander powder, Red pepper powder , Yogurt and 1-2 tbs of mustard oil and the garlic /ginger paste and half of the onion paste .Let it sit there for 1-2 hrs.It could be even great, if this marination is done overnight.
Heat up a kadai/ heavy bottom Pan ,add 1-2 tbs of mustard oil and fry the potatoes till brown on every side .Take out and keep aside .
Tempering The oil and
Add rest of mustard oil and temper it with Black pepper, Cinnamon stick,Bay leaf , whole Cardamom ,Cloves and sugar .Caramelization Of sugar gives a nice Red color to the Mutton gravy .Fry at low for 1 mints . Add the rest of the onion paste, and fry for 3-4 mints till the rawness of the onions is gone.
Add the marinated mutton at this point , Stir/fry at medium to low flame for 15-25 mints, TIP-.If the oil comes out by the side of kadai , Mutton is fried well .If the mutton is "Kochi mangsho" it may take few minutes less to fry it.
Add fried potatoes and 2 cups of water ( it depends on the gravy you want , if you want a thick gravy don’t add much water)
Transfer the entire fried mutton to Pressure Cooker, add 1tsp of garam masala at this point, one whistle at high and then lower the flame and cook for about 15-17 mints .
Alternately you can cook the entire thing in a deep bottom pan or kadhai at low for 1hrs and make sure it's covered,the gravy will be very dry or makho-makho.
Let it cool and open the pressure cooker pan and sprinkle fresh chopped coriander leaves .
Serve with rice or Loochi /luchi of your choice .
You May want to look some variation of kosha mangsho and some steps in making Kosha Mangsho then go here-- Mutton Curry
Happy Cooking . And Thanks for visiting Spice and Curry.