Cod vs. Kosha Mangsho

Mallika Basu - Cod vs. Kosha Mangsho

Posted 1st March 2007

kosha-mangsho-small.jpgIt’s late. I’ve just got back from a bitch of a day at work involving a new client crisis, the biggest new business pitch EVER and two long meetings.

Changed into a retro nightgown (read: old, torn), I am now sipping vodka cranberry in our study. Our dinner is in the oven. Ready to bake breaded cod fillets. More bread, less cod. Thank you global, beastly supermarket. Every little does help!

It’s in moments like this that I am almost tempted to reach for the telephone and call Spice-Tandoori-Balti-Taj-Mahal whatever down the road to eat anything, just anything, that has chilli and turmeric powder in it. My colleague suggested curry porridge, his very own special recipe. It sounded quick, easy and… utterly revolting. Cod it is!

It’s going to be painful writing my last cooking from cookbooks recipe as I take the first hesitant bite into my dinner, but here goes. The last recipe I cooked this week from a cookbook was from The Calcutta Kitchen.

This cookbook is close to my heart for obvious reasons. I am a Bengali from Calcutta (now Kolkata) and I know both the chef and the co-author of the cookbook through common acquaintances. It still didn’t stop me moaning throughout the recipe breakdown.

I chose Kosha Mangsho, a dry lamb dish that is typical to Bengalis. First, I moaned because the recipe uses garlic and Bengali’s aren’t real garlic users. Then I had issues with the recipe using tomatoes when it should have worked with yoghurt. Finally, I couldn’t believe the author wanted it stuck in the oven for 20 minutes. Why, when the cooker would suffice?

I forced myself to follow the recipe and the results were amazing. My friend/house guest was licking her fingers clean!

This recipe serves 2 people:

400 gm boneless lamb, cut into cubes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
1 cup hot water
2 tsp garam masala

To marinade:

1.5 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 slim green chillies
2 onions, chopped
Half inch ginger, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, quartered
1.5 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp sugar

Mix the meat with all the marinade ingredients. If you can, leave it for two hours. I gave it 10 minutes.

In a pan, heat the vegetable oil and when hot add the meat and the marinade. Stire fry for 15 minutes. Add the hot water, cover and cook on a medium flame for half an hour.

Then add the potatoes, raise the flame and cook for another half an hour until the meat and potatoes are cooked and there is no gravy left. Stir in the garam masala just as the gravy is drying up.

This dish is great with Indian breads like parathas and puris.

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