Monday, 3 June 2013

Kosha Mangsho...declaring 'Bengali week' open on this space!!

Kosha Mangshoone of the most famous Bengali dishesone of those dishes, one could kill forand the dish with which I am declaring 'Bengali week' open on this space!!...I think I had mentioned back in April, during my visit to Kolkata that there will be a Bengali week coming up soon and here it is finally!!...this late because somehow whenever I make bong food, the pictures don’t come out wellsometimes the light fails me, sometimes the camera and sometimes just me!!, I finally decided to leave all that aside and get on with itI plan to do at least 5 dishes in this week...if my laziness takes over there could be less; if it doesn’t, there could be more!!! If you are a Bengali reading this, I am fully expecting comments on how you do it, your mom does pls. pls. pls. don’t disappoint me!! J And if you are not a Bengali, I do hope you try these…you won’t regret it, promise!!

Bengali Kosha Mangsho mmskitchenbites

Kosha Mangsho (Classic Bengali Mutton Gravy)


  • Goat meat/Mutton, preferably back raan, 1 kg (can use lamb but tastes best with goat)
  • Cloves, 4-6
  • Cinnamon, 2” piece, broken into 2-3 pieces
  • Green cardamom, 3-4
  • Bayleaf, 2
  • Dried Red Chilli, 2 (optional)
  • Onions, sliced finely, 2 large
  • Kashmiri Red chilli powder, 1 tsp (MDH’s packaged Deghi Mirch powder works well as well)
  • Sugar, ¾ tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Mustard Oil, ½ cup
  • Desi Ghee/Clarified butter, 1 tbsp
  • Bengali Garam Masala, ½ tsp (take equal quantities of cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and grind into a fine powder)

For the marinade:

  • Mustard Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Onion, 1 large
  • Fresh Ginger, 1 ½” piece
  • Garlic, 4-5 cloves
  • Plain Yogurt/ Dahi, 2 heaped tbsp
  • Red Chilli powder, ½ tsp or to taste
  • Kashmiri Red chilli powder, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric, ¾ tsp
  • Salt, to taste


Grind the onion, ginger and garlic into a fine paste. 

In a glass bowl, marinate the meat with this paste and rest of the ingredients listed under the marinade. Keep in the refrigerator overnight or a minimum of 2-3 hours.

Bring the meat to room temperature by leaving it on the kitchen shelf for half an hour or so.

Heat mustard oil to smoking point in a deep heavy bottomed pan. 
Once the oil starts starts smoking, lower the heat. 

Add in the cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, bayleaves, and dried red chillies, followed by the thinly sliced onions. Add in the sugar, salt and fry on low heat till the onions turn golden brown.

Increase the heat and add in the mutton with the marinade. Mix the mutton very well with the fried onion to coat and sauté for 10 to15 minutes.

Turn the heat back to lowest possible and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. 

Check and stir every 5-10 minutes to scrape off the mutton and onion masala stuck to the bottom of the pan - the scraped off masala adds to the colour and taste but needs to be scraped off before it gets burned.

Cook till done – mutton will become soft and oil will rise to the surface...should take about 1-1 ½ hours depending on the quality of the meat. 

Add in the garam masala powder, ghee, mix well and serve hot with steamed basmati rice or luchis or paranthas.


  • Salt, onion paste, yogurt and covered cooking will result in enough moisture to cook the meat. However if still halfway through the cooking you notice that mutton is sticking to the bottom of the pan, you can add in a couple of finely chopped tomatoes or keep sprinkling a tablespoon or two of water ever so often.
  • You can also add 1-2 tsp each of coriander and cumin seed powder to the marinade if you want.
  • Traditionally neither water nor tomatoes are added in Kosha Mangsho. My MIL also makes a quicker version of this by adding both and cooking in a pressure cooker. I could kill for that as well!!!

Bengali Kosha Mangsho mmskitchenbites


  1. Hey this must be delicious...
    all the best wit the Bengali project...

    1. phew...almost there! and then back to my easy peasy no pressure recipes :-)

  2. looks amazing,wish i could have some .....

  3. Hi! Nice recipe, i'm going to cook this for my girlfriend tonight :)

  4. Hi! Nice recipe, i'm going to cook this for my girlfriend tonight :)