Day one, first meal, whenever I am in Kolkata it must be Mangsher Jhol, my mom’s special. And, I am doing that for the last 24 years. It is one of those must be for me from my long list of Bengali delicacies.
Kolkata with all its imperfections will always be very dear to me. Specially the culture that it brings to the table. Music, adda and food binds the city together. And, I miss them all.
Mangsher Jhol has to be from goat. Lamb is unknown to its citizens. Every Sunday morning there will be a serpentine que to the butcher’s. Chicken only around 30 years ago got some recognition as a meat. Goat meat, the Bengalis call it ‘ khashi or pathar mangsho’ always lingers in my memories even after so many years.
My mother like most Bengali moms will make it like a broth. The gravy will run through your plate. Big chunks of potatoes which has absorbed all the flavour from the pathar mangsho and chunks of goat liver, forms an integral part of the dish.
Good quality mustard oil is a must for the recipe. The pungent and robust oil helps provide the magic this meat dish that I am only trying to re-create.
- Mutton on the bone – 5 cups
- Potatoes peeled and cut into halves – 4
- Mustard oil – 8 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Cardamom – 4
- Cloves – 3
- Cinnamon – 1 small stick
- Bayleaf – 1
- Onion sliced – 2
- Chopped tomatoes – 2
- Ginger garlic paste – 5 tbsp
- Turmeric pwd – 2 tsp
- Chilli pwd – 2 tsp
- Coriander pwd – 2 tsp
- Garam masala – 1 tsp
- Green chillies slit – 3
- Yoghurt – 5 tbsp
- Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker and add the whole spices.
- Add the sliced onion and cook until slightly brown.
- Put the ginger and garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the mutton and sear on a high heat for around 10 minutes.
- Mix in all the powdered spices and cook until the oil separates.
- At the same time heat a separate frying pan and add mustard oil.
- Coat the peeled potatoes with salt, 1/2 tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp of chilli pwd.
- Pan fry the potatoes until they are well coloured with a nice crust formation on the outside.
- Now in the pressure cooker, season the mutton and add the tomatoes, cook until the tomatoes starts dis- integrating.
- Add the yoghurt, green chillies, pan fried potatoes and mix well.
- Add enough water to cover the mutton and check the seasoning.
- Pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles depending on the quality of the meat.
- After the pressure releases check the mutton.
- Serve with steamed rice.
In this Recipe
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