A classic mutton recipe from my home cuisine – the restaurant style Bengali mutton kosha is a permanent menu in any Bengali restaurant and a celebratory dish in any Bengali household!
Coming from a Bengali family, I have some personal favorite delicacies which has etched ever-lasting impression on my mind and I am sure I would never get over them! This restaurant style Bengali mutton kosha is one such recipe! A very rich and spicy semi-dry mutton curry, this Bengali mutton kosha is flavored with all the aromatic whole spices you can think of and the result is mind-blowing! This is a classic recipe which is sure to impress your family as well as guests; hence it really is worth the effort! This Bengali mutton kosha is little time consuming, I agree, but it doesn’t require much technical skill. Ample amount of patience can guarantee you a super-tasty mutton kosha without fail, only condition being that the mutton you are using must be fresh and of excellent quality.
I prefer to cook my mutton kosha covered in a heavy bottomed pot on medium-low heat so that it cooks slowly as opposed to quick pressure cooking. Slow cooking ensures that the spices penetrate the meat more evenly and gives the meat a succulent, fall-off-the-bone texture which I find trickier to achieve while pressure cooking. You can use a pressure cooker if you are short on time and confident with the time adjustment; for me the heavy-duty pot is the go-to vessel for cooking my favorite mutton kosha! That’s entirely my personal preference and not a mandatory step for cooking up this incredible Bengali delicacy in your own kitchen.
If you are wondering about the meaning of ‘Kosha’ in this recipe of restaurant style mutton kosha, let me explain. Kosha in Bengali means sautéing meat in oil and spices until the meat is nicely browned all over and develop flavors. When we make a curry, we sauté the ingredients half-way through and then add water to make a gravy and let the items cook in the spiced water and be infused with flavors. But while making ‘kosha’, no extra water is added – just retain the water which oozes out of the meat. Yes, mutton kosha is oilier than a mutton curry and not a diet-friendly dish, but as I mentioned above, it is not a regular dish and only made on special occasions; so I believe this amount of indulgence should be okay once in 3 months!
With this classic mutton kosha recipe, we are also inaugurating the addition of video recipes to ‘Everyday Indian’ and we can’t be more excited about it! I am sure you must have watched our YouTube channel of ‘Flavor Quotient’ which already boasts more than 50 recipe videos which you will love! If you haven’t had a chance yet, I urge you to visit there and you are guaranteed to be delighted!
- Mutton – 1 kg, bone-in pieces cut into medium size
- Grated raw papaya – ⅓ cup
- Hung/thick yogurt – ⅓ cup
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Mustard oil – ½ cup
- Sugar -1 tsp
- Bay leaf – 1
- Black cardamom – 2
- Green cardamom – 6 to 8
- Cinnamon stick – 2-inch piece, broken
- Dry red chili – 2
- Cloves – 6 to 8
- Black peppercorn – 8 to 10
- Onion paste – 1 cup
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Onion – 1, large, sliced
- Tomato puree – ½ cup
- Green chili – 2
- Cumin powder – 1 tbsp
- Red chili powder – ½ tsp
- Garam masala – 1 tsp
- Ghee/clarified butter – 1 tbsp
- Thoroughly wash the mutton pieces and take them in a large bowl. Add grated raw papaya, yogurt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and sugar to the mutton pieces and mix them thoroughly to coat each piece of meat with yogurt and spices. Let the mutton marinate for at least 4 hours to upto overnight.
- When you are ready to cook, heat the mustard oil in a large heavy bottom stock pot or kadhai. Temper the hot oil with sugar, bay leaf, black & green cardamoms, cinnamon stick, dried red chilies, cloves and black peppercorn. Let them crackle and become fragrant for a minute or so on low heat ensuring they do not burn.
- Next add the onion paste and sauté them medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add the ginger & garlic paste. Sauté them for 5 more minutes.
- Now add the sliced onion and fry on medium for few more minutes until the onions turn golden brown.
- Next pour in the tomato puree and cook them for good 10 minutes. Then add the cumin powder, red chili powder, green chilies and sauté them until the onion-spice mixture turns deep brown in color.
- Finally add the marinated mutton and stir them well with the spice mixture.
- From now onwards, you will need to cook the mutton on low covering the pot with a heavy lid and stirring them occasionally to ensure the masala doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. You won’t need to add any water as the mutton itself will release a lot of water while you cover and cook.
- It would take about an hour on low heat to completely cook the mutton until they turn buttery soft. Try poking a piece of meat with the edge of a spoon and if the meat falls apart easily, mutton is fully cooked.
- Finally add garam masala and drizzle ghee on top. Give a final mix and serve the mutton kosha with plain hot Basmati rice. Enjoy!