Mutton Kosha or Kosha Mangsho is meant for today with loads of love (apart from the spices in curry). They say matches are made in heaven. But there are few matches which are strictly made in a Bong’s kitchen. Like, Mutton Kosha aka Kosha Mangsho and Bengali Mishti Pulao or Sweet polau. I’m not a fan of rice or mutton but I don’t miss a single chance to enjoy this perfect marriage on special occasions like Durga Puja (Navratri) or Poila Baisakh (Bengali New Year). And I don’t dare to separate them from each other; it’s a crime!
Few days ago I had published an authentic recipe of Bengali Mishti Pulao or Sweet polau on the occasion of Durga Puja and left you guys hanging there with no side dish. I had stepped into the hibernation of festival fever and got carried away. Now I’m back revived and revitalized! And I’m bringing over the later part of the pulao, scrumptious Mutton Kosha aka Kosha Mangsho or Spicy Dry Mutton Curry.
For my all non-Bengali friends who have no clue let me explain a bit. Kosha Mangsho is an exclusive Bengali dish where mutton is slow cooked in hot, spicy gravy and simmered and coated in that thick rich gravy. Every region of India has a similar dish but each recipe is different with own exclusive spices and cooking technique. Traditionally goat meat with full fat is used for this dish but in today’s life we aren’t allowed to enjoy that luxury for the sake of our health. So I use lean fat less goat or lamb meat.
Here you go with the authentic recipe of Mutton Kosha aka Kosha Mangsho or Spicy Mutton (dry) Curry to bring a smile on the faces of your loved ones.
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking/Active Time: 90 mins
Resting/Inactive time: 12 hrs.
Total Time: 13.5 hrs.
Yield: 4 servings
To temper oil:
Mustard oil: 4 tbsp (See Tips)
Bay leaf: 1, large
Dry red chili: 3, medium
Ground green cardamom: 5-6
Ground black cardamom: 1
Cinnamon stick: 1 (1” long)
Mutton: 500g (See Tips)
Greek yogurt or hung curd: ½ cup (See Tips)
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1½ tsp
Cumin powder: 1½ tsp
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tbsp
Sugar, powdered: ½ tsp (See Tips)
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Mustard oil: 1 tbsp
Onion, minced or finely chopped: 1 cup (See Tips)
Ginger-garlic paste: 3 tsp
Tomato puree: 3 tbsp or 1 finely chopped large tomato
Chili powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Fresh green chili, slit in half: 2-3
Lemon juice: 1-2 tsp
Salt: 1½ tsp (See Tips)
Hot water: 2 cups + 1 cup (See Tips)
A large heavy bottomed pan with lightly fitted lid,
Various large and small glass bowls,
Start with marinating the mutton.
Wash and clean mutton pieces and pat them dry with kitchen towels.
Take a small bowl and whisk Greek/hung yogurt lightly in it. Mix other spices under ‘marinade’ (except oil) together and whisk with the yogurt slightly.
Arrange the mutton pieces in a large glass bowl and pour the yogurt mixture on it. Drizzle the oil now on top and mix everything thoroughly.
Cover the bowl with cling film tightly and refrigerate for 4-12 hrs or overnight.
To start cooking, heat the rest of the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. When the oil heats to smoking point, turn off the heat and add bay leaf and pinch of sugar. This caramelized sugar will add a nice red hue to the final dish. The leaf will start to sizzle immediately. Add rest of the ingredients under ‘temper oil’.
When spices will start crackling (almost immediately after adding to the oil), turn on the heat and add minced onion to the oil. After a minute add ginger-garlic paste with pinch of salt and fry on medium flame until onion turns into golden in color.
Add tomato puree or finely chopped tomatoes with cumin, coriander and chili powder and continue cooking until the raw smell from tomato is gone.
Now add the marinated mutton in to the pan and fry on high flame for 2-3 minutes or until mutton is browned slightly. Take care not to burn anything. Sprinkle hot water in between to avoid sticking at the bottom of the pan. This process is known as ‘koshano’ is Bengali.
Once mutton starts releasing oil, add 1/8th – 1/4th cup of hot water and give it a good stir. Keep cooking /this way until mutton is cooked and oil floats on the top. (See Tips)
Once mutton is cooked and you can spot red-oil is floating all over the pan, it is time to add green chilies and garam masala to the pan. Switch off the flame; stir well and cover the pan for a minute or two.
Finally add chopped cilantro and transfer the mutton into your serving bowl. Drizzle 1 tsp lemon juice on top and serve immediately.
Serve the hot Mutton Kosha aka Kosha Mangsho with piping hot Mishti Pulao or luchi or poori or Lachha Paratha.
Store the excess mutton in an air-tight glass container and refrigerate. This will taste good upto 2-3 days. In fact the mutton tastes always good on the next day!
1. Add a dollop of ghee or clarified butter into the final dish to enhance the aroma & for richer taste.
2. In some variation people use peppercorn with other spices to temper oil.
3. Add some grated raw papaya as meat tenderizer to the mutton with other ingredients while marinating, this will turn the mutton tender within 1-2 hrs.
4. If you are in hurry pressure cook the mutton in initial stage of cooking (after browning the meat) until mutton is done and then simmer it for rich gravy. This will not give you the exact taste of slow cooked meat but you can definitely taste well-cooked mutton in thick rich gravy.
1. Traditionally mustard oil is used for this particular recipe to enhance the aroma of the curry and taste of the mutton. But if you don’t have mustard oil, don’t be a nag and use any vegetable oil except fancy fruity ones. Or you can happily use clarified butter.
2. I used boneless mutton but traditionally meat with bones is always preferable. You can mix both boneless and with bone in 1:1 ratio.
3. If Greek yogurt is unavailable to you make it at home. Take a clean fine cotton cloth and put 1½ regular yogurt in the middle. Make a tight knot and hang it on your kitchen counter for 1 hr. Then untie and cloth and dump the thick semi solid yogurt in a clean bowl. And your homemade hung card is ready to use.
4. Sugar will balance the acidity of Greek yogurt. If you are not comfortable with the idea you can totally skip this part but make sure later during cooking you add a pinch of sugar to the gravy.
5. I’m always generous on onion. So if you feel this amount is huge for you, make it ¾ cup.
6. Do not ever add salt in the marinade. Otherwise mutton will release water and that will dilute the marinade which will only weaken the taste and texture of the final dish. It is always advisable to add the salt in a dish towards the end of cooking.
7. Adding hot water to the dish while cooking will keep the temperature of the dish indifferent. Otherwise sudden temperature drop in cooking from cold/regular water may cause uneven cooking. It can affect the taste of the final dish and also it will increase the total time of cooking.
8. Don’t add too much water at a time. This will not only ruin the rich taste of the dish but also all your hard work of ‘koshano’ will be in vein.
Eat, Love, Enjoy and Repeat!!!