Being a Bengali, (or bong, as the sobriquet goes) mutton-kosha is our staple for every Sunday. It’s a tradition, you can say, to relish upon the ambrosial juice of the ‘chush-haddi’ (bone-marrow) that encapsulates the philosophy of temptation. The steaming red hot mutton-kosha can make any day a sunny and happy one. It’s even considered as the best medicine for heartbreaks! (well, don’t take it too seriously) The dish is savoured with equal enthusiasm with rice or roti.
Here is the recipe for the mutton-kosha, Bengali style spicy mutton with a velvety gravy.
1 kg mutton (cabrito)
3/4 medium sized potatoes cut into equal halves (Optional)
4/5 tbsp of mustard oil
3-4 medium sized onions
4/5 whole cardamom, 1/2 cinnamon stick
2/3 bay leaves
A pinch of sugar
To marinate the mutton
15/20 cloves of garlic
2-inch thick ginger
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 ½ tsp red chili powder (you can add more if you want it spicier)
1 ½ tsp coriander powder
Salt as required
4 heaped tbsp of yoghurt
Marinating the mutton
1. Grind the onions, ginger and garlic together in a mixer to make a smooth paste.
2. Wash and clean the mutton. Add to it all the ingredients for the marinade, some mustard oil, and half of the ginger-garlic-onion paste. Let it rest for at least 2 hours. It’s better if you can keep it overnight, so the ingredients are well-absorbed by the mutton pieces.
1. Heat 2 tbsp mustard oil in a wok. Fry the potatoes till they turn golden brown. Keep them aside.
2. Heat the remaining mustard oil. Add the bay leaves, cardamom and cinnamon to it along with the sugar. The pinch of sugar helps a lot to bring out the colour and flavour of the gravy.
3. Add the remaining onion-ginger-garlic paste and fry for about 5/6 minutes on a low flame.
4. Now add the marinated mutton. Cook on a low flame for about half an hour or until you can see the oil separating from the mutton.
5. Add 2 cups of warm water and cover the wok. Let the mutton be cooked for at least an hour. All the while, keep the flame low to medium and stir it occasionally. After half an hour remove the cover to add the potatoes.
6. After you feel the mutton has become enough soft and succulent, let it cool down with the wok lid on.
7. Wait for 10 minutes and serve with rice, roti or parathas.