Saturday, 2 August 2014

Maangsher Korma: A sweet and spicy goat curry

The past three weeks have been extremely challenging for me. My mother took off on a solo trip to Pune, leaving the house and two difficult men, my father and my brother, in my care.

I know numerous 27-year-olds who are adept at managing home, some of them are even raising kids; most of them have a job too. Not me. I have never managed home, I am not good at managing things; I am the one who needs managing, I am the out-of-control, not-a-care-in-the-world, harmony-in-utter-chaos, drama-is-the-essence-of-life, kinds. No I am not irresponsible; I merely steer clear of taking added responsibility, at least as long as I can. But that’s another story.

I don’t have a real job (my relatives have convinced me that blogging is not a real job, who pays you? is the recurrent question) in fact I don’t even have my priorities straight (who quits a job, a good one at that, merely on a whim?) Few of my family and friends have suggested marriage as a solution to my willfulness and sheer lack of judgment.

I like to believe I belong in the realm of thoughts. I do a lot of thinking, trust me. They are extremely important, you know, these thoughts. After all thoughts become things, (Yes I have read The Secret). I am a free bird that soars high in the skies above, never to be tied down by mundane niceties, though mostly you’ll find me perched by the computer in the corner of my room, which by the way, has sky blue walls.

Anyway, the point is I have had to compromise with my lifestyle and struggle quite a bit in the last three weeks trying to keep the house up and running; seems like I did a neat job too. In fact I had even begun to enjoy my new role, but it was a role I was ready to give up nonetheless. I believe in moderation. So, my relief and joy knew no bound the day Ma returned. I was so grateful that she didn’t indulge my cousin’s repeated insistence that she stays in Pune another week and what is a better way to show your love and gratitude than to cook a great meal for the person.

Ma loves a good mutton curry and I made one that my grand ma, Didun, taught me. It is a sweet and spicy meat curry that’s goes by the name of Mangsher Korma at my place, a family recipe we all love. Now Didun is a master at cooking with very few ingredients. Simple but stunning food with clear cut flavours is what she would dish out every time. It is a pity that age and health doesn’t permit her to cook anymore. She misses her kitchen immensely, and she misses feeding us. I think what she misses the most is that look of pure satisfaction on our faces when we relished a meal she had cooked.

However at times, especially on special occasions, she would prepare a more elaborate dish and the Mangsher Korma is one such dish; Didun usually made it during the Durga Pujas or during winter get-togethers and every time she made the Mangsher Korma, each one us were reduced to licking our plates. She usually made a Bengali style fried rice; we call it ghee bhaat, to go with it. Gobindo Bhog rice, chopped carrots, beans and peas, laced in ghee and tempered with whole Garam Masala. Those were some of the best meals I have had. Didun passed on the recipe to me and though I can never make a Mangsher Korma as brilliants and hers, I have made the dish my own, in my own way. Here’s how I make it…  

Mutton - 1kg

For marination
Minced onion – 1 large
Tomatoes (grated) – 2 large or 3 medium
Ginger paste – 1.5 tbsp
Garlic - 1 tbsp
Minced papaya – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – ¾ tsp

To roast and grind together
Whole Cumin seeds – 2tbsp
Dry red chili – 2
Cardamom – 1

Garam Masala: To grind and make a paste
Cardamom- 3-4
Cloves – 3-4
Cinnamon – 2 inch
Black Cardamom – 1 (only seeds)
Mace – 1
Nutmeg – a pinch
Peppercorns – 8-10

Other ingredients
Finely sliced onion – 1
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Sugar – 1+1 tbsp
Bay leaves
Mustard oil


Marinate the mutton with all the ingredients listed under “to marinate” section, for 3-4  hours.

Heat mustard oil in a pan (be a little generous) and once the oil starts smoking, reduce heat and add a tbsp sugar.

Once the sugar liquefies and turned a deep golden brown, toss in the finely sliced onions and fry until the onions are a deep brown.

Add the marinated meat and fry until the meat has browned on all sides and oil begins to separate. This should be done on medium high heat.

Now add salt, coriander powder, roasted cumin-chili powder and fry further till oil separates.

Now add the Garam Masala paste, mix well, fry for another few minutes and then add warm water, enough to cook the meat through. Bring to a boil, add sugar, reduce heat, cover and cook until meat is almost tender, stirring occasionally.

Remove cover and cook on low heat until meat is tender and the water reduces. Heat the ghee in a small bowl and pour it over the meat before removing from heat.

Serve hot with roti or rice. 


  1. i'm gonna make this too! soooooooooon! wt beef!!! this is very much like the mangsho made at my place too! :)

  2. Love reading your posts! :) And lovely recipe!