Thursday, May 06, 2010

Kosha Chaanp

Any true-blue Bengali will get all passionate upon hearing two words Kosha and Mangsho, and if they are in the same sentence following one another, then you have a slave for life Bengali.

Bengalis like the rest of the world are going so fast these days, they forget to slow down. Kosha Mangsho is like bhalobasha (love), you can’t just hurry either! “Kosha” is the process of slow cooking, frying to be precise. When it comes to kosha, you can actually taste time. Its about slow cooking meat that will just melt in the mouth. If this form of cooking appeals to you, keep reading the rest of this post.

Many Bengalis will agree with me when I say using the “kosha” technique is a living, breathing tradition in Bengali homes. It is traditionally cooked in a handi over slow fire for about an hour. Aluminium-HandiThey say it takes a lifetime to master a Kosha Mangsho. I am lucky to have come close to discovering the secret of a good Kosha Mangsho recipe by my mid-life. I took the same recipe and gave it a new attitude with Chaanp (Hindi/Bengali for rack of lamb or ribs).

Ingredients for Kosha Chaanp are:

500 grams rack of lamb or goat (Frenched)
1 medium size red onion chopped fine
Half cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
2 teaspoons green chili paste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
Half teaspoon garam masala powder
2-3 tablespoons mustard oil
Couple of bay leaves
Pinch of sugar

And the last ingredient is TIME!

IMG_7776Start by marinating the ribs with yogurt, ginger-garlic-green chili paste and the garam masala powder. I let it sit in the fridge overnight.
IMG_7778One mistake I made was that I did not ask my butcher to cut the ribs for me. I did it myself with some help from the kitchen scissor. And I did it after marinating so that the meat softened a bit. 
IMG_7779 Start by heating mustard oil, when it smokes a little add the pinch of sugar and then the onions. The heated oil will caramelize the sugar and the onions will naturally get the rich color we want for our Kosha Chaanp. Add the bay leaf to punch up some flavor to the onions.

Fry the onions till they are almost brown. IMG_7780Add ribs without the marinade. Save it for later!
IMG_7781 Brown the meat on all sides and add the dry spice powders- turmeric, red chili, and coriander. Mix well and keep frying. Scrape any spices and marinade that stick to your pan/pressure cooker.
IMG_7783 Add salt to taste. The salt starts to do its job and will get the liquid out of the meat and marinade.
IMG_7784Keep cooking the meat. Just when you have enough color to the meat, add the marinade mixed with a little water. At this time, lower the heat to the lowest mark as the yogurt in the marinade could curdle on high heat. Cover and cook till the meat is done.
IMG_7785The last step is to crank up the heat and dry up all the extra liquid and moisture. Babysit the Kosha Chaanp as we don’t want any burned meat on our plates.

All the spices will cling to the meat and give it a nice thick texture. Serve hot with rotis or parathas.
IMG_7813 P.S. You can follow the same recipe and cook shoulder pieces of lamb or goat and call it Kosha Mangsho! Voilà.


Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Pree
Very nice recipe indeed..I note you havent used Jeera powder , that gives a unique flavor...WHat type of garam masala you used? Is it Bong garam masala or something else?
Have a nice weekend

Unknown said...

@Ushnish Kaku, I make garam masala powder at home which I have mentioned in many previous posts - its a mix of cinnamon, cloves and green and black cardamoms. You know the Bengali gorom moshla.

About jeera- I don't particularly like its taste in meat and hence have not used it.

Shilpa said...

Looks so yummy.. Really love your recipes....

Kalyan Karmakar said...

Kosha mangsho with chaap is an excellent idea. I personally love the balance wich jeere gives

Raja said...

Made me hungry :-|

Had Mutton Chaanp at the Ballyganj Dhaba during our last India trip - and we both liked it ..... a LOT :-)

We'll try your recipe next weekend

Unknown said...

@Shilpa, thanks again!:-)

@The Knife, okay, I need to clarify I am not totally averse to jeera. And I do add it sometimes to my mutton curry.

@Raja, was it the dry, tava preparation of chaanp or with some gravy in it? My Mum makes a kebab with chaanp, I have to ask her how she does it. Calcutta te'o "dhaba" aache? I thought we have dhabas only in our parts of India.

Raja said...

"Calcutta te'o "dhaba" aache? I thought we have dhabas only in our parts of India"

(and a few more ...)


anyway, it had a very thick gravy. Had a lot of ghee.

Unknown said...

@Raja, at least you don't make typos when you copy-paste!

Sudha said...

"Ekdom dokaner moto hoechhe!" - I think you'll agree that this is the highest form of appreciation that can be given to a cook in Bongdom!;)And this is what I can bestow upon your 'Kosha Chaanp' without much ado!It looks so inviting,I could almost knock on your door unabashedly for a bite!;)

Unknown said...

@Wit, Wok, Wisdom, why just a bite! I will even give you a doggy bag!

And thank you for those nice words. :-)

M said...

Hi Pree!
Love your blog!! Planning to make this recipe over the weekend. I have a quick question. How long do you think it takes to cook the lamb? I mean how long do u think I have to cover and cook the lamb?

Unknown said...

@M, try and get the shoulder pieces of lamb or goat (if you ain't using the rack), they cook faster and much tender.

The sign of of cooked lamb is when you see the "meat" beginning to come off the bone.

Not sure which part of the world you are, if outside India, get the New Zealand Spring Lamb. If in India and New Delhi, I can recommend a mutton shop. :-)

Let me know if you have any more q.

M said...

Thanks Pree for the prompt reply. I am from Chicago. I am not sure if we get New Zealand Spring Lamb here. But I'll try to find it! If you have any other tips/suggestions, do let me know. Kamon holo tomake janabo! :-)

Unknown said...

Chicago te pawa jabe bodhaye NZ Spring Lamb. Else, try one of the Mexican butcher shops, they sure will have both lamb and goat meat.

Cook the lamb of slow heat. When you wash the meat, make sure you pat dry all the moisture, to get a good brown color when frying. Moisture is the biggest enemy of any meat, quoting one of my favorite chefs - Michael Smith. :-)

Chetana Suvarna Ganatra said...

Hi Pree,
First time in your delicious page. Such a fantastic recipe and soo less effort. I usually cook rack of lamb in a similar way but never knew it was a Bong recipe, always considered it Mughlai..enlightened :-)
Thanks for sharing.

MeghnaCL said...

Do you actually pressure-cook your mangsho? You've mentioned one in this recipe, but I don't see a step to actually pressure-cook. The goat meat we get around here is quite tough and does require a stint in the pressure cooker... when would you say I should do that?
- Mimi

Unknown said...

Very nice food and tasty. Thanks for sharing the nice blog..
Fresh mutton online Gurgaon