Sunday, December 21, 2014

Easy Kosha Mangsho - Simmered Lamb Curry

Kosha (stirred & simmered) Mangsho (meat) produces a lamb curry that is bathed in a thick gravy. Note that no water or watery ingredients are added during cooking in order to ensure a thick sauce or gravy. Tomato ketchup or paste is used, not pureed tomatoes, for this reason. Why call this recipe easy? Because it takes a couple of hours or more to cook this on the stove top. By using a pressure cooker, the cooking time is reduced drastically and the meat falls off the bones.

Bone-in leg of baby lamb works best for this recipe and purchasing from a halal meat store ensures tenderness and good quality meat. I ask the butcher to cut the leg into pieces suitable for stewing and to pack it in 3-4 separate portions. That cuts down on work once I get it home, so all I have to do is freeze it until ready to be cooked.

We generally don't eat lamb unless company's coming, so that makes it an extra-special meal. Most of the fat is removed during the butchering process, but a sufficient amount remains which gives the lamb its familiar flavor. 

It's a family tradition to add potatoes to meat dishes and I've used one large russet potato chopped into pieces similar in size to the pieces of lamb. For an added festive touch, this dish can be garnished with deep fried onions just prior to serving.

2 lbs. lamb, cut in big chunks & washed
2 tsp. Kashmiri mirch or paprika
1 Tbsp. ginger paste
1 Tbsp. garlic paste
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. cumin-coriander powder
2 Tbsp. tomato ketchup or paste (not pureed)
salt to taste

4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. shah jeera or cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
3 large black cardamom
1 star anise
2 large onions, halved & sliced in crescents

1 russet potato, peeled and cut in chunks
1/2 tsp. Bengali garam masala (ground cinnamon, cardamom & cloves)
salt to taste

  1. Marinate lamb in next 7 ingredients, mixing thoroughly.
  2. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
  3. Take lamb out of the fridge and bring to room temperature.
  4. Heat pressure cooker over medium-high heat and add oil.
  5. When oil is hot, sputter next 4 ingredients until aromatic.
  6. Stir-fry onions until translucent and add lamb.
  7. Stir well and simmer until juices are released.
  8. Cover pressure cooker & bring to full pressure.
  9. Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes & remove from heat.
  10. Allow pressure to dissipate completely before removing cover.
  11. Add potatoes, stir well and place over medium-low heat.
  12. Simmer for half an hour or until potatoes are tender.
  13. Adjust salt to taste and stir in garam masala.
  14. Serve with Indian bread or steamed Basmati rice.