Kosha Mangsho or Mutton Kosha 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 traditional style.
About This Recipe
Kosha Mangsho or Mutton Kosha is a very popular traditional curry in Bengal, and its literal meaning is sautéed meat. It is made using mutton (goat meat), onions, spices, and a few other basic ingredients.
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 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 almost every special occasion including festivals like Navratri and Poila Baisakh.
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.
Goat Mutton – Make it 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.
For Marination – Mutton is marinated so that it becomes tender and also soaks up the flavors really nicely. You will need thick plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt), ginger garlic paste, and mustard oil to marinate the mutton.
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, green cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, dry red chilies, and bay leaves. 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. Peel the potatoes and cut them in half.
Spice Powders – To enhance the flavor, we will add coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, cumin powder, and garam masala powder.
Others – You will also need onions, fresh ginger, garlic, tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro (coriander), and water.
How To Make Kosha Mangsho
Start by marinating the mutton. In a large bowl, mix 1 pound (½ kg) bone-in goat mutton (cut into 1 and ½ inch 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.
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, slightly crush 2 whole black cardamoms, 3-4 whole green cardamoms, 1-inch piece of whole cinnamon stick, and 2-3 cloves in a mortar and pestle. Crushing the spices helps in releasing all their flavor in the oil.
When the oil is hot, add 2 whole bay leaves, 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 slightly brown (6-8 minutes). Keep stirring at regular intervals.
Add 1 teaspoon chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon chopped garlic and fry until the onions are nicely browned. It will take 8-10 minutes.
Now add ½ cup chopped tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
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 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, and salt to taste, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now add a cup of water and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours on low heat until the mutton is tender. Keep stirring in between.
Add more water while cooking if the mutton is getting dry and the masala is burning at the bottom of the pan. The consistency of Kosha Mangsho is slightly thick, so keep that in mind.
Finally, add ½ teaspoon garam masala powder and 1 tablespoon lime juice and mix well.
Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the gravy is slightly thickened. Garnish with chopped cilantro and 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 in this curry and no Kosha Mangsho is complete without adding a few.
To make it richer, drizzle a few teaspoons of ghee over the ready gravy just before serving.
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 traditional Bengali curry is popularly eaten with steamed rice, saffron rice, or luchi (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.
You Might Also Like
Kosha Mangsho Recipe
For The Marinade
- 1 pound bone-in goat mutton (500 g, cut into 1-½ inch chunks.)
- ½ cup thick plain yogurt (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
- 2 whole black cardamoms
- 3-4 whole green cardamoms
- 1 inch piece of whole cinnamon stick
- 2-3 cloves
- 3-4 whole dry red chilies
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 and ½ cup sliced onions
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- 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
- salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander)
Marinate The Mutton
- Mix goat mutton, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, and mustard oil in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a lid and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
Make The Curry
- Heat mustard oil over medium-high heat in a large pan (preferably cast iron pan).
- Slightly crush black cardamoms, green cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a mortar and pestle. 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 mins). Keep stirring at regular intervals.
- Add ginger and garlic and fry until the onions are nicely browned (8-10 mins).
- Now add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the marinated mutton pieces along with the marinade and halved potatoes and fry for 5-6 minutes on high heat.
- Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, cumin powder, and salt to taste, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add a cup of water and cover the pan. Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours on low heat until the mutton is tender. Keep stirring in between. Add more water while cooking if the mutton is getting dry and the masala is burning at the bottom of the pan. The consistency of Kosha Mangsho is slightly thick, so keep that in mind.
- Finally, add garam masala powder and lime juice and mix well.
- Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the gravy is slightly thickened. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.