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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kasha Mangsho ~ A Bengali rich Mutton gravy dish

Well, this is a special post, as after 2 days on April 15th, it is Bengali New Year, the first day of Bengali calendar year 1422. It falls either on 14th or 15th of English month of April. This Bengali calender is maintained in Indian state of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam & our neighbouring country Bangladesh. Naba Barsha or Poila Boisakh is a very important occassion for Bengalis. First day of the first month of the year, Baisakh(name of the month), which is popularly known as "POILA BAISAKH", where 'poila' means the very first. It is very important yet another eventful day of the year, which Bengal celebrates with lots of excitement and zest and welcomes the new year with lots of enthusiasm. To know more about this day, click this post link where I mentioned how we, Bengalis celebrate this special day.
    As you all know, Bengalis are famous for their love of food and just need an excuse to feast. So, what better excuse can it be to indulge in their favorite recipes other than this day. "Kasha Mangsho" is one such dish for that Bengalis can go to any extent. I mean to taste this lavish dish they can go to any part of the city at any time. The famous food joint who makes the bestest "Kasha Mangsho" in the city is "Gol bari" in North Kolkata. People come from neighbourhood cities to taste their famous kasha mangsho. Luckily, I live very close by to this place and went there many times. But, as a health freak person, I don't give my family permission to eat all those oily and spicy food frequently, rather I enjoy creating those dishes in my kitchen for my family. 

 Traditionally, this dish is quite rich in calories, as the whole dish is cooked using a lot of oil/fat and the meat is fully cooked in oil in slow heat without using any water. But I'm not ready to compromise on health even I need to compromise little on taste. So I prefer to make it at home using lot less fat still it tastes awesome. Now let's move on to the recipe..................

You Need :
Mutton : 500 gm.
Potato : 3-4, cut in halves

To make into a paste :
Garlic : 5-6 fat cloves
Ginger : 2 inch piece(1)
Dry red chilli : 2, seedless

For Garam masala :
Green cardamom : 3
Cloves : 4
Cinnamon stick : 1(1")
Mace/javetri : 2(1/2") pieces

Spices for marinade :
1/2 of above ginger-garlic-red chilli paste
Yoghurt/dahi : 2 tblsp.
Mustard oil : 1 tsp.
Turmeric Powder :1 tsp.
Salt : 2 tsp.

Whole spices for tempering :
Green Cardamom : 3-4
Cloves : 3-4
Cinnamon Stick : 2(1")
Bay leaves : 2

For gravy :
Onions : 3, medium, grated
Tomato : 2, medium
Cumin powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander Powder : 2 tsp.
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 2 tblsp.
Ghee/clarified butter : 1 tblsp.

How To :
  • Preperation : 1)Marinade mutton with ingredients listed under "spices for marinade". Mix all the spices very well in a bowl, add the cleaned mutton pieces in there. Mix carefully, making sure that all the spices are nicely coated all the mutton pieces. Keep aside for at least 4-5 hours, for best results marinate it overnight or as long as possible. 2) Smear little turmeric powder and salt on potatoes and keep aside for about an hour. 3) Dry roast the spices listed under "For Garam masala" till they are lightly browned, then grind them to fine powder. Store for later use. 4) Make a fine paste of dry red chilli, ginger and garlic, adding very little water possible.
  • Cooking : Heat the oil in a deep bottomed vessel, add potato pieces and fry them in hot oil till they are golden brown. Keep them aside. Now add the ghee in the pan. Temper the oil with the spices listed under "For tempering". As soon as you get the aroma of the spices, add the sliced/grated onions. Fry for about 2-3 minutes, when the onions have just started changing the color, add the sugar. Continue stirring the onions till they are nicely browned. Sugar will caramelize and will give the gravy a nice brown color.
  • Next, add rest of the red chilli-ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes and fry till oil separates. Add cumin, coriander and turmeric powder one by one and stir fry for 2-3 minutes till oil separates from spices. Add the marinated mutton and mix it nicely with the spice blend. At medium flame stir fry all mutton pieces mixing well with the spices, stirring continuously. Add grounded garam masala powder in it and continue stirring.
  • This time, mutton may loose some water. Continue stirring for at least 15-20 minutes without adding any water. This process of cooking the meat in its own juice is called in bengali cuisine "kashano". How long you'll do this process, the flavour will go more inside the mutton pieces. In between, if you need can sprinkle little water. When you see the mutton pieces are half cooked and its color has darkened, add 1 cup of hot water into the pan. Add fried potato pieces into the pan. Check the seasoning, if needed add salt. 
  • Close the lid and in medium-low flame, let it cook. Check and remember to stir time to time. You can use a pressure cooker to cook the mutton pieces, but this dish gets its distinctive rich flavour and taste by this slow cooking without adding much water in it. So try to make it this way. The mutton will take almost 45 minutes to 1 hr. to cook and the water will also evaporate by the time and the oil will surface over the mutton pieces. Don't worry, this is because of the slow cooking. Remove from heat and serve hot.
  • Enjoy this nicely cooked soft mutton curry with some simple Pulao or roti with some red onion rings and cucumber and few lemons by the side.

Sending this traditional Bengali dish to Kolkata Food Blogger's "Poila Boisakh Special" event

Wishing all my Bengali readers, fellow bloggers and friends a very happy & prosperous Bengali New Year( Shubho Nababarsha)

Sunday, April 12, 2015 / by / 0 Comments

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