Mangsher Jhol, also known as Bengali Mutton Curry, is a classic Bengali delicacy consists of tender goat meat cooked with potatoes and mild spices. It makes for the ideal Sunday lunch for a Bengali, along with some plain steamed rice.
While the rest of the countrymen slacked off on Sunday mornings, a bong would undoubtedly rise early, take a bag , and head to the bazaar (market) to get the best cuts of goat for Sunday Mutton Curry. However, it was a different story at my home. My mother does not eat mutton. Surprisingly, my sister and I did not like to eat mutton as we could not tolerate the smell of mutton when we were young. So mutton curry was a rare affair in our household.
After marriage, I slowly started eating mutton and eventually started enjoying it. Here, I'm presenting the mangsher jhol recipe I created by experimenting in my own kitchen over the years. This recipe is delightful and surprisingly simple.
Ingredients required for Bangalir Mangsher Jhol
Goat Meat: This is the key ingredient of Bengali Mutton Curry. Always choose tender meat because it gives better result. We buy goat meat directly from butcher's shop and avoid buying frozen goat meat. My husband is an expert buying meat and fish. He says if you are looking for tender meat then goat should not be bigger than 10 kgs and choose meat from front leg, shoulder, neck of a goat. Also, don't forget to take some fat (chorbi) which makes the mutton curry tasty.
Potato: Mangsher jhol is incomplete without aloo aka potato. Choose medium size potatoes, peel the skin, and cut them into halves.
Onion, Ginger & Garlic: This dish from Bengal is prepared in an onion-based gravy. The ratio of mutton and onion should be 2:1. Many people prefer to use onion paste for the gravy, however, I always use chopped onion for the gravy. I always choose homemade ginger and garlic paste over store-bought since it enhances the flavor of curry.
Tomato: Remove the seeds of the tomato and chop them.
Spice Powders: The usage of different spice powders could spoil the flavor of the mangsher jhol. I swear by three to four basic spice powders such as turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, and garam masala powder.
Oil: Mustard oil is must in the preparation of mutton curry.
Others: Green chilli, cinnamon, ghee, salt, sugar, etc.
How to cook Mangsher Jhol
Learn step-by-step, how to cook Bengali Style Mutton Curry.
Wash and clean the mutton pieces to remove dirt. Later pat dry the mutton pieces. You can use warm water to clean the mutton. I would always suggest to use fresh mutton over frozen. However, make sure to completely defrost any frozen mutton before using it.
Now place the mutton pieces in a large bowl and marinate for 30 minutes with salt, turmeric powder, and 2 tablespoons of mustard oil. If the meat is not tender, then you can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar while marinating the meat.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy bottom wok and fry potatoes using salt and turmeric powder. Remove the fried potatoes from the oil and set them aside.
Add a cinnamon stick to the remaining oil now, followed by the chopped onions. Stir continuously until the onions become translucent. You can use sugar when frying onions since a small amount of sugar helps speed up the cooking process. Next add ginger and garlic paste and combine well.
Add the pieces of marinated mutton now, and sauté them over a medium-high temperature. To avoid burning, frequently stir.
Add the green chilli after that, followed by the dry spices red chilli, garam masala, turmeric, and coriander powder. Mix together and simmer with a lid on the wok over low heat.
When the mutton starts to release water, add the chopped tomatoes. Add fried potatoes and continue cooking the tomatoes until they are halfway done.
After some time of cooking, the oil will begin to separate. Transfer the mutton curry to a pressure cooker at this point and add the required boiling water. Add the salt.
Place the pressure cooker's lid on and wait for 4–5 whistles on high heat. After another five minutes on low heat, switch off the gas. After allowing the pressure to dissipate, slowly opening the lid, and adding ghee to the top. Now Mangsher Jhol is ready to serve with plain white rice.
The mutton gravy's consistency can be adjusted by either adding more water or cooking it on high heat to evaporate the water.
If you want to avoid pressure cooker then add little bit more oil and also slow cook on low heat for longer time and do not forget to cover with a lid while you cook. Also, stir in between to prevent burning at the bottom. This process will take more time than pressure cook method.
Mangsher Jhol is best paired with plain steamed rice. I love to have it with fragrant basmati rice. We always pair leftover mutton curry with maida paratha.
More Bengali Recipes
Mangsher Jhol | Bengali Mutton Curry
- 1 kg Mutton
- 5-6 no Potatoes, medium cut into halves
- 500 gms Onion chopped
- 1 no Tomato, medium chopped
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Paste
- 1½ tablespoon Ginger Paste
- 2½ teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 2½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 2¼ cups Mustard Oil
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Ghee
- Wash and clean the mutton pieces to remove dirt. Later pat dry the mutton pieces.
- Now take the mutton pieces in a big vessel and marinate with salt, turmeric powder and 2 tablespoons of mustard oil for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok and fry potatoes using salt and turmeric powder.
- After the potatoes are fried, remove them from oil and keep aside.
- Now in the remaining oil, add cinnamon stick and after that add chopped onions.
- Keep on stirring until the onions turn translucent. While frying onions you can add sugar as little sugar will help the onion frying faster.
- Next add ginger and garlic paste and combine well.
- Now add marinated mutton pieces and cook under medium to high flame. Stir often to prevent burning.
- After that add green chilli followed dry spices including turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, and red chilli powder. Mix well and cook under low heat by covering the wok with a lid.
- Slowly mutton will release water and at this moment add chopped tomatoes.
- When tomatoes are half cooked, add fried potatoes and cook for some more time.
- After cooking for sometime, oil will start to separate. At this time, transfer the mutton curry to a pressure cooker and add hot required hot water. Adjust the salt.
- Close the lid of the pressure cooker and wait for 4 to 5 whistle over high heat.
- Keep on low heat for another 5 minutes and finally turn off the gas.
- Allow to release the pressure and then slowly open the lid and add ghee on top and then mangsher jhol is ready to serve.
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