Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bengali Mutton Rezala:A Traditional Touch to Poila Baisakh Celebration

Bengali Mutton Rezala

It’s been a long time since I cooked any special Indian dish. From past few weeks I was more into western food rather to say more light food. It’s already too hot here in India and during these days I prefer to avoid hot spicy Indian dishes. But it’s different this week. It’s our New Year’s week (Bengali New Year or NoboBorsho or Poila Baisakh). The heat or sweat is not going to be used as excuse any more for this week. So I had planned to repeat some of the traditional Bengali dishes like Mutton Biryani & Chicken Chaap and was preparing for them.

Bengali Mutton Rezala : bengali new year special

It seems problems love to be around my neck; Always. Here a strike was going on all week long(Luckily it's over now). And I couldn’t find many of my biryani ingredients. And as I wasn’t cooking Indian dishes from past few months I was running out of stock. So, changes in plan; actually I had no plan at all at that point of time! But later when I got lucky to sneak out the mutton from the store I was more into some easy and quick stuff and planning to have 'Bhat ar Kosha Mangsho' (Plain steamed rice with Spicy Mutton in Dry Gravy). 

Bengali Mutton Rezala : noboborsho special

After considering the heat and the spices I changed my plan again and was thinking to try something new rather than repeating old recipes. Finally I got over my confusion and decided to go with Mutton Rezala and Paratha. But “why have same old paratha with new Mutton Rezala?” it was our master mind Bhatty. So another change in plan and final platter was Mutton Rezala with Lachha Paratha.

Bengali Mutton Rezala : poila baisakh special

Mutton rezala is a nostalgic dish for me. It was there all over my childhood. Rezala is extremely fragrant mutton in yogurt based stew but richer than stew and a bit thick in consistency. I still remember whenever there was an occasion at my home there was either Chili Chicken with Fried Rice or Mutton Rezala with Rumali Ruti. They became kind of our staple food. Eventually I had lost my interest in these items. Then back to the years of my college days when I used to roam around Chandi Chowk & Esplanade area all day. One day I went to the Sabir’s Restaurant in Chandni Chowk area with my friends and had Mutton Rezala with Paratha. Umm that taste was something unforgettable. Damn! I miss Kolkata so much man!

Bengali Mutton Rezala

So here is my nostalgic childhood’s disliked and teenage’s favorite dish Mutton Rezala with Lachha Paratha on Bhatty’s request.

Preparation Time: 10 mins + 60 mins (marination)
Cooking Time: 60 mins
Total Time: 130 mins
Yield: 4 servings


For marinade:
Mutton: 500g
Curd: 300ml
Onion paste: ¼ cup
Grated ginger: 1 tsp
Minced garlic: 1 tbsp
Salt: 1 tsp

For Tempering Oil:
Bay leaves: 2
Dry red chili: 3-4
Black peppercorn: 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick: 2 of 1” stick
Cloves: 1 tsp
Green cardamom: 1 tsp
Ghee: 2 tbsp

Onion paste: 2 tbsp
Poppy seed paste: 3 tbsp
Cashew nut paste: 2 tbsp
Nutmeg powder: ½ tsp
Crushed mace: ½ tsp
Sugar: 1 tbsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Ghee: 3 tbsp


Wash and clean the mutton pieces. Pat them dry and place in a large mixing bowl. Add all the ingredients under ‘For Marinade’ and mix well. Keep them covered in refrigerator overnight or atleast 1 hour. I left them overnight.

Before you start cooking bring the mutton to room temperature. Take a pressure cooker and put ghee in it. When ghee is hot add all the ingredients under ‘For Tempering oil’ and allow them to splutter. Shake off the marinade from mutton pieces and add the pieces into the cooker. Fry for 2-3 mins on medium high flame.

Mix 2 cups of warm water into the marinade and mix well. When mutton will change color a bit add the marinade water mixture into the cooker. Bring it to boil, close the lid with weight and cook for 4-5 whistles or until the mutton is half done.

Grind poppy seed and cashew separately and keep then in individual bowls.

Heat rest of the ghee in a large wok or pan. Add onion paste and sauté for 1-2 mins or until onion changes color to golden.

Pour the poppy seed paste and cashew paste and continue to sauté for another 2-3 mins or until the raw smell is gone. Add nutmeg powder and crushed mace. You can use mace powder but I like to have my rezala with hand crushed mace. It leaves your hands fragrant for a long time too.

When ghee separates from the mixture add mutton pieces and fry for 4-5 mins. Add the spiced up mutton stock to the pan. Cover and continue cooking until mutton is nicely done. Add sugar & salt and adjust seasoning at this point of cooking.

Once mutton is done check the seasoning and consistency of the gravy. The gravy should be light soupy kind, not lumpy and thick one. Switch off the flame and transfer to the serving bowl immediately.

Bengali Mutton Rezala with Lachha paratha

Drop dollop of ghee on the top and serve hot with Paratha or Naan and some Desi Salad. I made some Lachha Paratha to give my Rezala a royal company.

Mutton Rezala with Lachha paratha

Subho Noboborsho to All :)


  1. This looks awesome.. we don't get good mutton in Brazil.. maybe I'll try this recipe with chicken.

  2. I tried without nutmeg.. Can u pls tell me, what is nutmeg?

    1. Hope you enjoyed the meal. Nutmeg is known as Jaiphal in Bengali and Hindi. It is used to enhance the flavor of rezala.

  3. Very yummy recipe...Rezala has always been my favourite preparation in chicken...this particular mutton rezala recipe is just perfect...i am gonna try it real soon...bookmarking this one

  4. Today I have tried the recipe following the process and ingredients. Everyone enjoys the recipe and appreciated. Thank you for the recipy and the method of representation.

  5. Thanks for sharing the photos. You would surely ignore the heat when you get to taste this goodness. Good post.

  6. Debasis ChowdhuryMay 6, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    is haldi used in rezala?

    1. Traditionally Rezala is cooked in white gravy where turmeric/haldi is strictly avoided.

  7. Replies
    1. Mace is the outer covering to nutmeg nut. It is also known as জয়িত্রি/Jayitri/ Joitree/ Javitri/ Javntry. Check the following for further details.

  8. thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.. i have heard that one can use charmogoj with cashew and poppy paste.. will charmogoj be a good addition?

  9. Very nice recipe. I will surely note it down for any special occasion.

  10. HEY THERE!!!
    Dunno if this forum is still alive.. But surely it's a perfect way for cooking the rezala.. i have given it 2 twists of my own... Firstly I have used freshly grounded garam masala i.e. green cardamom, cinnamon and cloves for the marination and I have put saffron soaked in half cup of milk in the end, just to give it royal touch... It has worked out well... :)


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