Kosha Mangsho (Mutton Kosha, Mutton Kasha) is a delicious spicy Bengali-style mutton curry that is full of flavors from mutton (goat meat), spices, and mustard oil. Here is how to make it in the traditional style (gluten-free).
About Kosha Mangsho
Kosha Mangsho (Mutton Kosha, Mutton Kasha) is a very popular traditional curry in Bengal, and its literal meaning is sautéed meat.
Mangsho means meat and the word Kosha comes from the word Koshnao which means cooking on slow heat with spices. It is made using mutton (goat meat), onions, spices, and a few other basic ingredients.
The key to making the best Bengali mutton kosha recipe is slow cooking it. It is a labor of love that holds a very special place in Bengali cuisine and people’s heart.
The curry along with mutton pieces is slow-cooked over low flame for a very long time and it turns into this rich, dark-brown velvety goodness with melt-in-the-mouth mutton.
This thick gravy made with the strong flavors of mutton is a favorite at every Bengali household and is made for special occasions including birthdays, weddings, and festivals like Durga Puja and Poila Baisakh.
It is also a staple curry in many Bengali households on Sunday mornings.
A little high on the spice quotient, Kosha Mangsho or Bengali style mutton curry is mostly served with soft Bengali luchi (puffed fried bread) or with a portion of the delicious Bengali mishti pulao (lightly sweetened rice).
This dish is traditionally made in an iron kadai which gives it a deep dark brown color. But if you don’t own one, then make it in a regular pan. There will be a very slight difference in taste and color but it will still be very delicious.
Mutton is marinated so that it becomes tender and also soaks up the flavors really nicely. You will need thick plain yogurt (dahi) or Greek yogurt, ginger garlic paste, and mustard oil to marinate the mutton.
It is traditionally made with bone-in goat mutton. Meat from the shoulder or the hind legs is best to make the curries. Ask your butcher to cut you from these areas. Wash the mutton very well before using and drain all the excess water.
If goat meat is not available, you can use lamb in its place.
Variations – Try making the same recipe by replacing mutton with chicken, raw jackfruit, cauliflower, eggs, soya chunks, or paneer. Cooking time will be significantly less so keep that in mind.
For The Curry
Oil – The mustard oil really brings out the flavor of this curry. If not mustard oil, then you can use any vegetable oil or even ghee.
Whole Spices – To make the curry, you will need whole spices such as – black cardamoms (badi ilaichi), green cardamoms (hari ilaichi), cinnamon (dalchini), cloves (laung), dry red chilies, and bay leaves (tejpatta). When infused in hot oil, these release a nice aroma and flavor up the curry.
Potatoes – No Bengali mutton curry is complete without a few pieces of potatoes added to it.
Spice Powders – To enhance the flavor, you will need coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, cumin powder, and garam masala powder.
Others – You will also need plain yogurt (dahi, curd), onions, fresh ginger, garlic, green chillies, ghee, and water to make this Bengali mutton curry recipe.
How To Make Kosha Mangsho
Marinate The Mutton
Start by marinating the mutton. Rinse 1 pound (½ kg) bone-in goat mutton (cut into 1 and ½ inch pieces) well with water and drain nicely.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the mutton pieces, ½ cup thick plain yogurt, 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste, and 1 tablespoon mustard oil. Cover the bowl with a lid and refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.
Note – To make ½ cup thick yogurt using plain yogurt, transfer 1 cup plain yogurt to a fine-mesh strainer and let it rest for an hour in the refrigerator over a bowl. All the excess water will drip down and the yogurt will be thick and creamy. You can use Greek yogurt in place of thick yogurt as it is already quite thick.
Make The Curry
Pull the marinated mutton out from the refrigerator and keep it aside on the counter.
Heat 4 tablespoon mustard oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. An iron pan is best as it gives a deep blackish color to the dish but if you don’t have one, use any heavy bottom pan.
While the oil is heating, lightly crush
- 2 whole black cardamoms
- 3-4 whole green cardamoms
- 1-inch piece of whole cinnamon stick
- 2-3 cloves
in a mortar and pestle. Crushing the spices helps in releasing all their flavor into the oil.
When the oil is hot, add 2 bay leaves (cut into 2-3 pieces), crushed whole spices, 3-4 whole dry red chilies, and 1 teaspoon sugar to the pan and fry for 4-5 seconds.
Add 1 and ½ cups of thinly sliced onions and fry until they turn light golden brown (6-8 minutes). Stir at regular intervals.
Add 1 teaspoon chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon chopped garlic and fry until the onions are nicely browned, stirring frequently. It will take 8-10 minutes.
Now add the marinated mutton pieces along with the marinade and potato halves and fry for 5-6 minutes on high heat.
Add the dry spice powders that are 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1 cup whisked plain yogurt and cook for 5-6 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low. Add a splash of hot water (50-60 ml) to the pan and stir to combine.
Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Now repeat the process of adding some water and cooking the mutton until the meat is tender (1.5-2 hours). Scrape the bottom of the pan at regular intervals to incorporate the browned bits with the masala. This process will help the mutton to develop a rich brown color.
Note – Be careful to not burn the gravy at the bottom of the pan.
Finally, add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder, 3-4 slit green chilies, and 1 tablespoon ghee and mix well.
Check for salt and add more if needed.
Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the gravy is slightly thickened. Serve hot.
Pro Tips By Neha
Some people add raw papaya as a meat tenderizer while marinating the meat but I have not added it. If you wish, you can add 2 teaspoon of grated raw papaya to the marinade. It will fasten the cooking process and make the meat even more succulent.
If you are short on time, cook the curry in a pressure cooker. Once the mutton is added, close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook for one whistle on high heat. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and then open the lid.
You can also cook the curry in an Instant Pot. Make the masala in SAUTE mode and then PRESSURE COOK for 20 minutes at high pressure followed by a natural pressure release.
This dish tastes best the next day. So if you have planned it before, make it a day prior to serving.
To make a restaurant-style smooth gravy, grind the fried onion masala and then add it back to the pan.
Potatoes are a must-add to this curry and no Kosha Mangsho is complete without adding a few.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both these recipes have a lot of things in common. Both are rich and dark brown Bengali mutton curries that use potatoes as well. Yet, they are quite different from each other.
In Kosha Mangsho, yogurt is used in the marination, whereas in Bengali style Mangsher Jhol, vinegar is used to marinate the mutton, and yogurt is added later while making the curry. Also, Kosha Mangsho uses whole spices, whereas Bengali Style Mangsher Jhol does not.
Kosha Mangsho is a thick curry while Magsher Jhol is a thin curry.
I prefer to marinate it for 3 to 4 hours, but you can go ahead and marinate it for as long as 8 hours or overnight. If you are marinating it for a shorter time, add in some grated raw papaya which will tenderize the meat faster.
Kosha Mangsho tastes the best the next day so plan accordingly.
This classic Bengali dish is traditionally not garnished with cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) but you can garnish it with some chopped cilantro if you wish.
This traditional Bengali curry is popularly eaten with steamed plain rice, saffron rice, or hot luchis (Bengali style poori). End this meal with some delicious Bengali sweets such as mishti doi or soft roshogullas.
You can refrigerate it for 2 days in an airtight container. It can be frozen for up to a month in an airtight freezer-safe container.
When ready to serve, thaw it for a few hours over the counter. Then reheat in a pan or in the microwave. Add little water if the gravy is too thick.
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Kosha Mangsho Recipe (Bengali Style Mutton Curry)
For The Marinade
- 1 pound bone-in goat mutton (500 g, cut into 1-½ inch chunks)
- ½ cup thick plain yogurt (dahi, curd) (or Greek yogurt)
- 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil (or any other cooking oil)
For The Gravy
- 4 tablespoons mustard oil (or any other cooking oil)
- 2 whole bay leaves (tejpatta) (cut into 2-3 pieces)
- 2 whole black cardamoms (badi elaichi)
- 3-4 whole green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
- 1 inch piece of whole cinnamon stick (dalchini)
- 2-3 cloves (laung)
- 3-4 whole dry red chilies
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 and ½ cup sliced onions
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 2-3 medium potatoes (peeled and cut into halves)
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 cup plain yogurt (dahi) (whisked)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 3-4 green chilies (slit into half)
- 1 tablespoon ghee
Marinate The Mutton
- Rinse mutton well with water and drain nicely. In a large bowl, mix the mutton pieces, thick plain yogurt, ginger garlic paste, and mustard oil. Cover the bowl with a lid and refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.
Make The Curry
- Pull the marinated mutton out from the refrigerator and keep it aside on the counter.
- Heat mustard oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. An iron pan is best as it gives a deep blackish color to the dish but if you don’t have one, use any heavy bottom pan.
- While the oil is heating, slightly crush black cardamoms, green cardamoms, cinnamon stick, and cloves in a mortar and pestle. Crushing the spices helps in releasing all their flavor in the oil.
- When the oil is hot, add bay leaves, crushed whole spices, dry red chilies, and sugar to the pan and fry for 4-5 seconds.
- Add onions and fry until they turn slightly brown (6-8 minutes). Stir at regular intervals.
- Add ginger and garlic and fry until the onions are nicely browned, stirring frequently. It will take 8-10 minutes.
- Now add the marinated mutton pieces along with the marinade and potatoes halves and fry for 5-6 minutes on high heat.
- Add the dry spice powders that are coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, cumin powder, and salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add plain yogurt and cook for 5-6 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low. Add a splash of hot water (50-60 ml) to the pan and stir to combine.
- Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Now repeat the process of adding some water and cooking the mutton until the meat is tender (1.5-2 hours). Scrape the bottom of the pan at regular intervals to incorporate the browned bits with the masala. This process will help the mutton to develop a rich brown color. Be careful to not burn the gravy at the bottom of the pan.
- Check for salt and add more if needed.
- Finally, add garam masala powder, slit green chilies, and ghee and mix well.
- Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the gravy is slightly thickened. Serve hot.