Food and some stories....

Category: Mutton

Turkey in my thoughts-Turkish Bulgur Kofte

Reading the newspaper is a pain, every single page is full of murder, mayhem, suicide and bomb blasts. It is very easy to overlook and get used to this kind of news, but not when you have a connection, you are familiar with the place; its different. The past few weeks I have been reading about the military coup, the airport blast and the suicide bomb attacks in Turkey; and I compare it to the image of the Turkey I remember.

The Turkey I remember was of happy people , trams on congested roads, lots of café displaying mind boggling array of sweetmeats, and people sipping tea along the roads lined with tea houses and cafes.   We stayed in the Sultanahmet square in Istanbul and everything from the Grand bazaar to the blue mosque was in walking distance. Every morning I would start from hotel exploring the Grand bazaar or catching a tram to some other part of the city. The Bosphorus cruise was amazing with seagulls flying close to our ferry and how can I forget the  awesome seafood lunch in one of the numerous restaurant along the Bosphorus bridge.

But my most endearing food memory is the Turkish kebabs and the salad bar at various restaurants, the mind boggling type of kebabs, the variety of greens and the delicious bulgur kofte at the salad bar; and also a strawberry and cream on a pie dessert which I gorged on , but I unfortunately do not remember its name. But If you are ever in Istanbul, look for it in any café, just ask for the strawberry desert.

As I was reminiscing about Turkey I tried to make some Turkish kebabs at home, and I definitely wanted to use the bulgur I brought back home from Turkey, so here’s how I went about it.

Turkish Bulgur Kofte





1/2 kg ground lamb

1/2 cup bulgur

1 –2 green chillies finely chopped

1 tsp chilly flakes

1 tsp cumin

1 big onion grated

handful parsley finely chopped

3 clove garlic minced

1/3 cup mint, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and ground pepper


Pour hot water over the bulgur in a bowl, to barely cover it, let it stand for 10 minutes to soak, till done.

Add the rest of the ingredients  and salt and pepper to your taste.

Shape them into oval patties, cook them in a non stick frying pan with little oil, brown on both sides.

Turkish Bulgur Kofte

Turkish Bulgur Kofte

Kosha Mangsho|Dry mutton curry-A Thakurbari recipe

Mutton is synonymous with Sundays in any Bengali household. Bongs love their food and like every food category think they make the best mutton curry.Kosha mangsho means slightly dry mutton curry, as in there is less gravy.  I have never been much of a mutton fan, but my husband loves all things mutton and on his birthday I thought it was time to surprise him with a mutton dish for dinner.  Having never cooked mutton before I was in search of a recipe which was simple and easy to make, didn’t want any last minute disasters.

I generally am not much of a believer in recipe books, and rather scour food blogs for inspiration and I came across this interesting recipe across many blogs, where they say that this is a Thakurbari recipe. Now for the non bongs, which means that this recipe is from the Tagore family. Rabindranath Tagore is known for his cultural influences but what is perhaps lesser known is that of the women of Tagore household were also a huge influence. From clothes to food and art they were the cultural icons for many women of their generation. A book called Thakur Barir Ranna by Purnima Tagore was published compiling these recipes and anybody interested in buying the book can buy it here.

I have not blindly followed the recipe from any single source; rather made some modifications as per convenience; also have used a pressure cooker instead of slow cooking as you get very tender meat without slaving in the kitchen for hours. Here is how I cooked my mutton curry.

What you need:

Mutton-500 gms

1 onion

Ginger-1 inch

5-6 garlic cloves

4 dry red chillies

Turmeric powder

2tsp coriander powder

2 tbsp curd

½ tsp sugar

Salt to taste

Couple of green chillies

Mustard oil

Ghee (clarified butter)

One big cinnamon stick

3-4 green cardamom pods


Grind together the onion, ginger, garlic and the red chillies in a blender. In a bowl mix the ground paste with curd, turmeric and coriander powder. This paste should be then added to the mutton for marinating; 5-6 hours of marinating the meat should give you good results.

Heat the mustard oil in a pressure cooker, add the mutton pieces and cook for five minutes till the mutton pieces are brown on both sides. Add salt and sugar and cook till the oil separates. Add the rest of the marinade and half a cup of water. Pressure cook for 15 minutes, after the steam has released on its own, open the cooker and adjust the gravy as you like it.

Take some ghee in a frying pan, and add the cinnamon, cardamom and the green chillies to it, give them a good stir, roast till you start getting the aroma of the spices, pour over the mutton. Serve with luchi or paratha, do not let the simplicity of the recipe fool you, I have not eaten better tasting mutton. Good news, the husband agreed!!





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