Saturday, October 5, 2013

Niramish Mangsho- Lamb curry without Onion and Garlic

The story of lamb mutton that was cooked without onion and garlic.
It has never occurred to me that mutton I mean “mangsho” can also be cooked like a “niramish” preparation until few of my fellow food bloggers mentioned in their food blogs. There was even a time while living in Kolkata, I happen to hear an interesting mention on one of those radio FM channels, where you get to hear new filmy songs. The Radio jockey, as usual was so enthusiastic that every word seemed to be more than epitome of perfection. It was like ringing a bell in my ear, he said loud and clear – a famous cine artist makes “manghsor chorchori”, and I don’t know on which I should smile first – that artist cooking or mangsho being made into a mushy chorchori.No, don’t take me wrong I really admire his acting skills, very few are gifted persons like Charlie Chaplin, who can make us laugh even when they feel miserable and that is not every one’s cup of tea. How I wish my daughter can also see those old Bengali movies in which he was a major part. Although I must confess, deep down I am even inclined to try “mangshor chorchori” as well, such is the effect of this recipe for "niramish mangsho".

 I was also having a conversation with a Bengali friend over here, she also referred to some of her family sources, that there is definitely a recipe for “proshadi mangsho” which is made in many Bengali homes. This whole conversation was very intriguing, and it started a sudden urge or more profoundly a “craving” to have “proshadi mangsho” or “Niramish mangsho “in comfort of my home. A recipe which is up till now, was totally elusive to me.
 It was on my mind, how can one, makes red –meat in a “niramish” way and also sometimes may call it “prashadi mangsho” .Two things that never went well with me either. But then I do have heard about “boli protha” animal sacrifices on Kali Puja or Durga Puja,an age –old traditions, and a tradition which something personally don’t give me much happiness. Anyhow, I think it has stopped for good and may be the origin of this recipe, is somewhere related to this practice.
After having many judgmental thoughts and having sleepless nights...Err last one is exaggeration, here is a mutton recipe where for the very first time I have not used onion or garlic, and which makes it a “niramish” way of making food. When I started cooking this recipe, I was not sure where it will end up,as I have never tasted “niramish mangsho” myself. So, I told my husband and daughter that don’t expect this time it’s going to be a restaurant quality meat preparation, to which they gave me astonishing glances. But then thankfully this turned out nice and even got a mention over here. The recipe I referred to can be found here.

The basic thing as I have always seen my mother and my ma-in-law doing for “niramish” preparation of vegetables is using ada-dhone-bata or ada-jeerey bata- translation- ginger-coriander wet paste or cumin-ginger wet paste or most of the times using both coriander+cumin powder.

Since the gravy turns out very spicy so the usual “jhal” , but then it still has ample gravy making it more like “jhol”.I don’t know if there is a term in between – a kind of hybrid of “jhal” and “jhol” .But if it do really exists, I want to use that term which makes it -Niramish mangshor jhaal-jhol.

My thakuma/grandmother used to tell me that Tulsi leaves are very sacred. If you add tulsi leaves to any preparation, the sacred quotient automatically gets adhered to it; makes it ‘shud-dho”. Since this is a niramish way of making mangsho, I wished to use Tulsi leaves, but then we don’t get Tulsi leaves over here, as an alternative I used dried basil leaves, not up to the mark but still it was worth it. And I am really intrigued about the use of Tulsi leaves in ‘niramish mangsho”..
Almonds, cardamom and hing lift up the simplicity of ‘proshadi mangsho” or “niramish mangsho” up to the next level………read on for the recipe now

Niramish Mangshor Jhal-Jhol- Lamb mutton cooked without onion and garlic
Recipe requirements (Recipe adapted from Cooking and Recipes-Ushnish Da)

  • 500-600 gm of lamb meat or mutton
  • 2 inch fresh ginger root
  • 3-5 hot green chilies
  • 18-20 blanched almonds
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1 tsp of crushed chilly flakes
  • 2-3 tbs of desiccated coconut or fresh scraped coconut
  • 3-4 big Tulsi leaves or 1 tsp of dried basil leaves (as an alternative)
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 6-7 heaped tbs of whole coriander seeds
  • 15 green cardamoms
  • Two generous pinch of hing/asafetida
  •  1-2 potatoes cut into half
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 4-5 bay leaves or tej patta
  • 4-5 whole black peppers
  • 3-4 cloves- lobongo
  • 1 small strand of mace- javitri
  • 1 black cardamom –boro elaich
  •  5-6 tbs of mustard oil or any other cooking oil
  • 1 tsp of desi ghee 


  1. Dry roast coriander seeds over low flame. Then dry grind roasted coriander seeds and green cardamoms together to make fresh coriander+cardamom powder.
  2. Soak almond in warm water for 10-15 mints. Many times we keep the skin of almonds, however if you don’t like then peel off the skin.
  3. Now wet grind fresh ginger roots, green chilies (resrve one green chilly to be used later on),  coconut, tulsi leaves and almond with 2 tbs of yogurt and 1 tsp of mustard oil. I used dried basil leaves as a substitute of Tulsi leaves.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add in curd/yogurt, crushed red chilly flakes, salt, lemon juice. Coat this paste well over lamb pieces.
  5. Use half of the wet masala paste to coat the marinated pieces of lamb well. Add in about 2 tsp of coriander+cardamom powder now mixing it well. I have used lamb cutlets for this recipe which were roughly 300-400 gms leaving behind lots of gravy. Alternately use more mutton to get a semi dry gravy kind of “makha-makha “in Bengali. Please reserve left-over cardamom and coriander powder in an air tight container to be used later on in other preparations.
  6. Keep lamb pieces marinating for about 1-2 hrs.
  7. Now heat up pressure cooker as that is what I have used to make this jhal-jhol. Alternately you may make it over stove-top for about 45-50 mints depending on the kind and the cut of mutton. Lamb takes less time to cook as compared to mutton pieces. Similarly goat mutton takes more time especially if this is “khasir mangsho”.
  8. After the pressure cooker has heated up well, add in mustard oil and let it come to smoking point.Add in big chunks of potatoes and fry well.take them out.You can even make niramish jhol with ghee or other cooking oil, what ever suits; you can go ahead with it.
  9. Now add in bay leaf, whole black pepper, crushed mace, cloves,cardamom, let it crackle a bit.Add one green chilly slit in between. Add in sugar and asfoetida.Stir/fry for 1 mint.
  10. Now add in the left-over wet paste of fresh ginger roots, almonds, coconut and Tulsi leaves.Add in 1 tsp of coriander+cardamom powder and turmeric powder.
  11. Keep on frying the wet paste till oil separates out about 7-10 mints at med-high flame.
  12. Now add marinated lamb pieces and keep on stir/fry for about 10-15 mints. Adjust salt and sugar to this if required.
  13. Now add in about 3-4 large cups of water to it. Let it come to one rapid boil at high flame.
  14. Cover with lid and put to pressure cook it. One whistle at high flame and then lower the flame let it cook further 10-15 mints.
  15. Take the pressure cooker off, and let the pressure subside. Lastly add in about half a tsp of coriander+cardamom powder and 1 tsp of ghee to it. You may add finely chopped Tulsi leaves to it as garnishing.
  16. Cover the lid again and let it rest for 3-4 hrs before you serve it. Mishti Pulao or plain ghee-bhaat goes very well with this mutton curry.

Please use freshly churned spices for best result. There are other ways of making niramish mangsho- .You may refer here- and here.
Please adjust spice levels according to personal levels and use this above recipe as mere guidelines. I don’t claim this recipe to be traditional either.The gravy is very spicy and rich in texture, unlike a 'patla jhol" .....
If you want to make vegetables or meat niramish way and like "patla jhol" then this is archived post for that-
Niramish Jhol with Vegetables

Happy Cooking Friends 


  1. Mutton dekhei jibe jol asche jaya, Ei astami te kobji dubiye khabo.

    1. Nischoyi ...khub anando koro Pujo te ...sabar Pujo khub Bhalo katok....hugs

  2. Dear Jaya
    How are you ?
    Simply awesome and very innovative. Thank you very much for giving a reference to my basic recipe ... You have taken the basic one to a great level with judicious use of other spices. And it becomes another unique " Prasadi magsho" recipe and a keeper . I am going to try your recipe As soon as possible ...I can get the aroma and taste right now
    Bhalo theko

    1. Thanks Dada for encouraging words...regards

  3. Dear Jaya, Have a wonderful pujo this year. Pujor kena kata hoye gecche? Such a different recipe for mangsho. Bookmark kore rakhlam try korbo.

    1. You too have a lovely Pujo Mandira ...ki kena kata korbo eyikhane ..nothing special as such ..actually we don't buy meat often,very rarely ..tai eyi bhabhe ekto alada korey try korlaam just to innovate ...besh ekta alada gravy hoye chilo ..banale bolo kemon laglo ..chicken diye eyi baar korey dekhbo..hugs

  4. Ami kokhono khai ni, dekhte to khub bhalo hoyechee Jaya :-)

    1. Suchismita...thanks ..amra prothom khelaam niramish mangsho and besh bhalo he laglo ...hugs

  5. I cant imagine making a lamb curry without garlic and onions.. Very delicious and seriously love the colour of the curry.

    1. :-) me neither did Priya until I read Ushnish da's prashadi mangsho and it has not disappointed me ...hugs

  6. It is dinner time and i am so hungry and now with this dish you have made me double hungry and i only have soup to eat here at home :-(

    1. Finla,
      Oh! soups are really healthy but then if compared to soup and this mutton curry..I think I don't have to play the guessing games here :-)...thanks for coming ..hugs


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