Friday, May 1, 2015

Kosha Mangsho, Onek Aloo Diye - Braised Goat with plenty of Potatoes

Kosha mangsho is an institution in Bengali cuisine, much relished and the star of many a party in Bengali households. I discovered the joys of kosha mangsho relatively late in life since at home my mom always made mangsho'r jhol - a stew that's also hugely popular with us Bengalis. Kosha basically means braised and mangsho of course is meat, mostly goat meat. A dry-ish preparation kosha mangsho doesn't have much of a gravy but has a thick and flavourful reduction of spices and onions and the stock released from the meat. Ideally kosha mangsho is enjoyed with porota or luchi - triangular white flour parathas or white flour puris, both typically Bengali.

The hubby is returning today after a nearly a month out in the field for his archaeological excavation project. Needless to say he called in advance to tell me what he wanted to eat once he got home. He didn't go as far as specifying the preparations but was kind enough to give me a broad idea of what he would enjoy - mutton (with potatoes), fish, prawns, plain 'mohri' daal (boiled tuvar daal with turmeric and salt, pureed till smooth, served hot with ghee), and rice. No vegetables and no chicken for sure!

I set out to automatically make mangsho'r jhol but as it often happens with me, I changed tracks midway. And Kosha Mangsho is what resulted. Here's what I did.

Kosha Mangsho

1/2 kilo goat meat on the bone, cut into chunks
3 large potatoes, cut into large pieces
2 or 3 onions, sliced fine


3 tbsp fresh curd
jeera or cumin powder
dhania or coriander powder
Kashmiri chilli powder
a scant tsp garam masala powder
a good slug of mustard oil
1 tbsp garlic paste
3/4 tbsp ginger paste

2 Indian bay leaves/ tej patta
3 inch piece cassia bark
4 or 5 cardamom pods, cracked open
1 star anise
1/2 tsp sugar
Mustard oil

Lightly wash the meat pieces (if you must wash) and marinate in the marinade ingredients. Refrigerate covered at least overnight or for a full day.

In a thick bottomed vessel heat mustard oil till it smokes. I used my cast iron pot. Reduce heat and fry the potatoes till they turn red. Don't burn them, just brown them really well. Remove to a plate.

In the same hot oil pop in the whole garam masalas and fry for a minute. Then add the sliced onions and let them brown slowly. You can add a good pinch of sugar to help them brown nicely and develop a good flavour. Once the onions have developed a nice colour add the marinated meat reserving the marinade.

Ramp up the heat and fry the mutton well for five minutes stirring often. Reduce the heat a little and let the meat cook further, stirring regularly. Braise for a good 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat.

Pour in the reserved marinade and stir to mix well. Let it cook for another few minutes. Add enough water to cook the meat but not enough to submerge it. Bring to a boil and the reduce the heat completely to a simmer. Add the fried potatoes. Cover with a heavy lid and let it cook. Check every five minutes and add a little water only if required.

Once the mutton is cooked and the potatoes are done the kosha mangsho is ready. Serve it with hot rotis, parathas or luchis. Not with rice.

The potatoes are not mandatory to kosha mangsho but are mandatory in every mutton preparation in my house. Hubby's orders.

Marathon Bloggers


Kalyan Karmakar said...

alu na hole manghso hoi?

suvro said...

The myth of the marinade!

Most marinades do not do much beyond the first few minutes and a small depth of maybe 1/8 of an inch. Food scientists Harold McGee and Herve This had done experiments that showed this unequivocally! In fact, if the marinade has any acidity, like lime juice, then it will coagulate the surface proteins and make it mushy.

Of course the surface of a char grilled marinated steak will taste different than one not marinated. But it is indeed a skin-deep effect.

The only exception is if there is yogurt. But even then, a 1-2 hour soak is sufficient.

Dry marination with salt or spiced salt is a different matter. The salt extracts some of the moisture, forms a brine, which will then repenetrate the meat and flavor it.

Insomniac said...

I am cooking mutton for the first time ever and I will try this recipe as you make it look easy. Fingers crossed that the Maharashtrian husband will like what this Bengali wife puts together.. :)