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:
5-6 garlic cloves
4 dry red chillies
2tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp curd
½ tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Couple of green chillies
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!!