Kosha Mangsho (Dry Mutton Sauté)

The last couple of days have been exhausting for me to say the least. It was my parents' marriage anniversary on Friday. I gave them the option of going out for lunch or having a cozy meal at home. My dad doesn't like eating out much, and when he heard that the home lunch menu would in all likelihood comprise of holud pulao and kosha mangsho, predictably he settled for the latter. It was a brilliant opportunity for me as well to finish off four items in my Eat Like a Bong list in one day! I started a day ahead — made the payesh way past midnight after coming back from work. My dessert was ready and I just had to cruise through the pulao, mangsho and chutney the next day (my mom had taken over the responsibility of dal and alu dum).
Kosha mangsho is an indispensable item that all of us swear by. Life is not complete without kosha mangsho. Soft pieces of mutton in a spicy, fiery, rich, almost dry gravy...cooked to perfection. It is red and equally hot. Mine turned out to be exactly the way I wanted it. BUT...as soon as I plated it up and readied it to be photographed, the sky became overcast with grey clouds, the room became pitch dark and no sooner it started raining cats and dogs! I tried clicking in that light, the pictures turned out horrible, blurred and hazy. I tried switching on the light but that was a bigger catastrophe. Meanwhile I had invited a couple of friends over for pulao and kosha mangsho and I was so not prepared to lay out the table till I got decent photos. The rain refused to stop and my mutton looked like a red mass of hotchpotch through my camera lens. I had to then do what I wholeheartedly did not want to. I set aside a bowlful of mutton and dished out the remaining on the table! They loved it, they absolutely did. SNB said the mutton reminded him of Sundays at home and Th gulped down those red balls of fire despite suffering from gastric problems and telling me from two days before "Ami kintu khub halka kichhu khaabo (I'll have something very light)!" Thankfully there was enough so nobody went home hungry. It did not stop raining the next day either and so one of the best dishes in the Eat Like a Bong series ended up getting photographed in the poorest of light conditions. :(
Serves: 6


Mutton, cut into medium sized pieces: 1 kg
Potatoes, halved: 3
Onions, finely sliced into half-moon shape: 3
Garlic paste: 1.5 tbsp
Ginger paste: 1 tbsp
Mustard oil: 2 tbsp + for frying potatoes
Bay leaf: 2
Black cardamom: 3
Green cardamom: 6-7
Cloves: 6-7
Nutmeg, freshly ground: a fat pinch
Turmeric powder: 1.5 tsp
Red chilli powder: 2 tsp
Kashmiri red chilli powder: 1.5 tsp
Green Chillies: 4
Garam masala: 1 tsp (optional)
Yoghurt: 1 cup
Salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste

For marination:

Garlic paste: 1.5 tbsp
Ginger paste: 1 tbsp
Onion paste: 4 tbsp
Yoghurt: 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Salt: 1.5 tsp


1. Wash the mutton well, pat dry and marinade with all the ingredients listed under marination. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours but for best results, overnight.

2. In a deep-bottomed kadhai/pan, heat some oil and fry the potatoes till golden brown. Drain on kitchen towel and set aside.

3. In the same oil (add more if required) heat mustard oil. Add bay leaf and let it splutter for 30 seconds. Add the whole spices and wait till they release aroma.

4. Now add the onions and sugar, sauté on high heat and let them caramelise. After 7-8 minutes add the garlic and ginger pastes and continue to sauté for another 5-6 minutes.

5. Mix the turmeric and chilli powder with a cup on yoghurt and add it to the onion mixture. Add some salt and the grated nutmeg as well. Keep stirring till the powders lose their raw smell and oil is released.

6. Now add the mutton, along with the marinade, the green chillies and the potatoes, bring to a boil and then cover and cook for 60-70 minutes or till mutton is cooked through and the gravy almost dries up. I don't use extra water in this dish. You can use half a cup or so, if you feel the gravy is drying up too much for your liking.

7. Once the mutton is done sprinkle some garam masala and serve hot with rice, luchi or holud pulao.


  1. Looks yummy! Can I make this using chicken or lamb? What changes would you suggest if I did? Thanks

    1. Of course you can, Mona! If using chicken, you don't have to cook for so long. 20 minutes or so should be enough. Lamb should take more or less the same time as mutton, but keep checking whether the meat has been cooked through in both cases. Once that is done and the gravy dries up, you are good to go!

    2. Sounds awesome! I am trying out your Aloo posto today. Grew up in Calcutta so Bengali food is my weakness even though I'm a non- Bengali. Thanks for the great recipes!

    3. Thank you so much for going through my recipes and liking them! Do let me know how the Alu Posto turned out. :)


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