Kosha Mangsho! Chunks of goat meat slow-cooked in a rich gravy with whole spices to a dark and soft texture that falls off the bones and melts in your mouth is indeed a labour of love. A finger-licking delicious Bengali mutton curry from the state of West Bengal that the world now relishes in so many versions.
Mutton Kosha is a very popular goat meat curry from the City of Joy, Kolkata. The word ‘Kosha’ means dry so the gravy is quite thick, perfect with paratha, luchi or any Indian flatbreads. For South Indians, this curry is superb with dosa, appam and idlis too 🙂 I have tried all three.
With a lot of goat meat in the freezer that we got during Bakrid, I wanted to try something out of my comfort and regional cuisine. I remembered this goat meat curry I had in Calcutta at a friend's wedding. I quickly pinged her and she was more than happy to share the recipe.
My bong friend, Rajasree's recipe
So here her text message of recipe:
- Make a paste of onion, garlic, ginger and green chillies
- Wash the meat and drain the water
- To the meat, add the paste, cumin powder, red chilli powder, and turmeric powder
- add a whole bay leaf
- some chopped onion
- add 2-3 tablespoons of mustard oil and mix all of this
- In a pressure cooker, add oil and heat it till it's very hot
- add some chopped onion for flavour
- add the meat with the marinade
- cook till all the water evaporates
- then add some salt and a pinch of sugar
- add water
- also, add some big potatoes before you close the lid
- pressure cook until meat is done
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Meat: Goat meat or mutton is the bomb, but lamb works too if that's what you've got.
- veggies: You will need red onion, garlic pods, ginger-garlic, green chillies and potatoes.
- Ground spices: You'll need some ground spices like cumin, turmeric, garam masala powder, coriander, and red chilli to spice things up.
- mustard oil: Mustard oil in bong cuisine is like coconut oil in Kerala cuisine, it is best not to be replaced. That said, I am guilty of not using mustard oil in all my previous bong food preparations but I will never make that compromise again! If you do not have mustard oil or are not a fan, you can use any cooking oil as a substitute. But don't forget to add a tomato to get the zing factor.
- whole spices: You will need dried red chillies, bay leaves, black cardamom, green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick.
- fresh cilantro (coriander leaves)
Labour of love
Did you notice the kosha mangsho recipepost title? A labour of love is when you do something out of love for it and so you don't expect anything in return. The three odd hours of slow cooking the mutton does need your attention every 10 minutes so unfortunately, it is not shut and cook and serve. You will truly be amazed at the transformation of the mutton meat to a dark shade that has dropped off the bones and simply melted in your mouth! And if you nailed it, then trust me, appreciation will start to pour!
I have tried both pot cooking and pressure cooking methods and I prefer the pot for flavour. When I made the Kosha Mangsho recipe in a pressure cooker, I saved around 45 minutes but it took more time to darken the meat. So, I would still suggest that you make sure you have 3 hours before you attempt this dish.
In the pictures below, I have used my pressure cooker pan but did not use "pressure cook".
Grind together the marinade ingredients - onion, cumin and turmeric powder, yoghurt, garam masala and garlic pods into a smooth paste.
Marinate the goat meat pieces with prepared marinade paste. Keep aside for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.
Heat mustard oil in a heavy-bottomed kadai or a pressure cooker on low to medium flame. Add all the tempering ingredients - dried red chillies, bay leaves, black and green cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves. Saute until fragrant.
Add the thinly sliced red onions and fry on medium flame until browned. It can take about 7 to 10 minutes.
Add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.
Add all the ground spices - coriander powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder. Saute for another 10 minutes.
Add marinated meat along with the whisked yoghurt and cook covered for 10 minutes.
Add a cup of hot water and salt to taste. Cover and cook the meat on low to medium flame.
Keep stirring in between to prevent burning from the bottom of the pan until there is no visible liquid floating.
For the next 1 to 2 hours, splash water, cover and cook on low flame, stir, scrape the bottom and sides, and cook until the meat is completely cooked and starts to become dark in colour.
You may add a large potato cut into large chunks towards the last 15 minutes and continue cooking so that the potato stays in shape by the end of the cooking.
When the mutton pieces are fully cooked, and soft and dark, then add hot water per your desired consistency and bring to a boil before switching off. Stir in some slit green chillies and ghee. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve mutton kosha mangsho hot with rice or roti
A perfectly cooked lamb that falls off the bones easily, soft, juicy and melting in the mouth...the cumin flavour and all those whole spices and onions fried in oil...it was yummy! .. so close to what I had at her wedding. F loved this mutton curry and left a clean pot after dinner. If you haven't had this, I suggest you try this and I am very sure you will love it.
Protein: While traditional Kosha Mangsho uses goat meat, you can experiment with other meats like chicken, beef, or even paneer for a vegetarian twist.
Heat Level: Adjust the green chillies and red chilli powder to your taste. If you like it hot, bring on the spice; if not, tone it down.
Creamy: Instead of yoghurt, I would love to try coconut milk for a creamy, tropical twist.
- You may use a Pressure cooker to cook the meat quicker
- Heavy-Bottomed Pot or Dutch Oven with a tight-fitting lid to slow-cook or slow-roast the cooked meat
Leftovers: Store in an airtight container and pop it in the fridge. It'll stay fresh and flavorful for a couple of days.
Make ahead: Make a batch and freeze in a freezer-safe container, leaving some space at the top for expansion. Mutton kosha mangsho can stay frozen for up to 3-4 months without losing too much of its flavour.
When you're ready to enjoy it again, simply thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.
The key to achieving that rich, deep flavour in your Kosha Mangsho is to cook it low and slow. Don't rush the process. Let the meat simmer gently, allowing the spices to meld together and the meat to become tender. It might take some time, but the results will be worth it - tender, flavorful meat that melts in your mouth.
Absolutely! While traditional Kosha Mangsho uses goat meat or mutton, you can use chicken if you prefer. Just adjust the cooking time since chicken cooks faster than goat meat or mutton.
Kosha Mangsho pairs beautifully with steamed rice, naan, or paratha. Don't forget some cucumber-onion salad on the side for a refreshing contrast.
Absolutely! Many people believe the flavours of Kosha Mangsho get even better when it sits for a while. You can make it a day or two in advance, refrigerate it, and reheat it before serving.
Mustard oil adds a unique flavor to Kosha Mangsho, but if you don't have it or don't like the taste, you can use any cooking oil as a substitute. But my bong friend suggested to add a tomato if we are skipping mustard oil.
Looking for other recipes using mutton? Try these:
- 500 to 550 grams mutton bone-in (goat meat or lamb meat)
For the marinade
- 1 medium-sized red onion
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ cup yoghurt
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- 3 to 5 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil
- 2 dry red chillies
- 3 bay leaf torn into small pieces
- 1 black cardamom
- 5 green cardamom
- 5 cloves
- 1- inch cinnamon stick
For the gravy
- 2 large red onions sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 4 green chillies chopped
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ cup whisked full-fat yoghurt
- salt to taste
- a pinch of sugar
- hot water as required
- 1 large potato optional
- 3 green chillies
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- Grind together the marinade ingredients into a smooth paste.1 medium-sized red onion, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ cup yoghurt, ¼ teaspoon garam masala, 3 to 5 garlic cloves
- Marinate the meat pieces with ground marinade paste. Keep aside for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.500 to 550 grams mutton
- Heat mustard oil in a thick-bottomed kadai on low to medium flame and add all the whole spices. Saute until fragrant.1 tablespoon mustard oil, 2 dry red chillies, 3 bay leaf, 1 black cardamom, 5 green cardamom, 5 cloves, 1- inch cinnamon stick
- Add sliced onions and saute on medium flame until browned for about 7 to 10 minutes.2 large red onions
- Add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste, 4 green chillies
- Add all the spice powders and saute for another 10 minutes.½ teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- Add marinated meat along with the whisked yoghurt and cook covered for 10 minutes.½ cup whisked full-fat yoghurt
- Keep stirring in between to prevent burning from the bottom of the pan until there is no visible liquid floating.
- Add one cup of hot water, a pinch of sugar and salt to taste. Cover and cook the meat on low to medium flame.salt to taste, hot water, a pinch of sugar
- For the next 1 to 2 hours, splash water, cover and cook on low flame, stir, scrape the bottom and sides, and cook until the meat is completely cooked and starts to become dark in colour.
- You can add a large potato cut into large chunks towards the last 15 minutes and continue cooking so that the potato stays in shape by the end of the process.1 large potato
- When the mutton pieces are fully cooked, and soft and dark, then add enough hot water to make the curry as per your desired consistency and bring to a boil. If serving with rice, add more water and if serving with flatbreads add less water to make a thick gravy.hot water
- Stir in some slit green chillies and ghee. Transfer to serving bowl, garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with rice or roti.3 green chillies, 1 teaspoon ghee
Recipe was also adapted from Bong Eats.