Pahela Baishakh or the Bengali New Year is incomplete without indulgence in these yummy traditional delicacies. Two of the most popular Bengali dishes are the Kosha Mangsho and the Shukto. Kosha Mangsho is a spicy mutton curry cooked in aromatic spices, yoghurt and mustard oil which makes it not just delicious but also very healthy and good to digest. Shukto is a popular vegetarian dish made with wholesome vegetables like bitter gourd, plantain, brinjal, drumsticks and the main hero of the dish — potatoes. Enjoy these delicious Bengali recipes by Executive Chef Avijit Deb Sharma, ibis and Novotel Bengaluru Outer Ring Road.
Mutton 750 gms
Medium size onion 3 nos
Bay leaf 3 nos
Clove 5 nos
Sugar 1 tsp
Medium halved potato 3 nos
Garam masala powder 1 tsp
Black pepper 10 nos
Green cardamom 4 nos
Cinnamon stick 1/2 inch
Mustard oil 100 ml
For the Marinade
Cloves garlic 8 nos
Powdered turmeric 2 tsp
Coriander powder 1 ½ tsp
Yoghurt (curd) 4 tbsp
Ginger 1 ½ inch
Powdered red peppers 1 ½ tsp
Salt 1 ½ tsp
• For marinating the mutton, mix together garlic, ginger and onions. Grind them together in a mixer to make a smooth paste. Wash and clean the mutton. Add to it the ingredients for the marinade – yoghurt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red pepper powder, some mustard oil, and half of the ginger/ garlic/ onion paste. Let it rest for about 2 hours in the freeze.
• Heat 2 tbsp mustard oil in a kadhai. Fry the potatoes till they turn golden brown. Keep them aside.
• Now, for cooking the mutton, heat the remaining mustard oil in kadhai. Temper it with the black pepper, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom and turmeric. Also, add sugar to it.
• Add the remaining onion paste and fry for about 5 minutes. The oil will start separating from the mixture. Now add the marinated mutton. Cook at a low flame for about half an hour.
• Add 2 cups water (depending on the gravy required) and cover the kadhai. Let the mutton cook for at least an hour till it becomes soft and succulent. All this while, ensure that the flame is at its lowest.
• Now, add the fried potatoes and garam masala, and give it a good stir. Let it cool for some time and then sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves.
• Serve hot with either steamed rice, maida luchi (pooris) or parathas.
Shukto (Photo Credit: Novotel Bengaluru Outer Ring Road)
Potatoes cut in 1-inch pcs 2 cups
Bitter Gourd sliced 1 cup
Plantain or kanchkola cut in 1-inch pcs 1 cup
Brinjal cut in 1-inch pcs 2 cups
Drumsticks cut in 2-inch pcs 2 cups
Bori or Vadi or lentil dumplings 1 cup
Ginger Paste 1 tbsp
Milk 5 tbsp
Radhuni or caraway seeds 1 tsp
Bay Leaf 2 pcs
Whole Dry Red Chili 2 pcs
Bengali Five Spice or panch foron 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Ghee 1/2 tsp
Mustard Oil 100 ml
Sugar 1 tsp
Salt to taste
• Peel the potato, plantain (kanchkola). Cut all the vegetables in 1-3-inch pieces.
• Fry the bori till brown and set aside.
• Also, prepare the Shukto masala by heating 1 tsp of panch foron and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds in a pan and then powder this and set aside.
• Heat some mustard oil and add the ginger paste along with the sugar, some salt, whole dry red chillies, the radhuni or caraway seeds and the bay leaves. Saute for a minute.
• Add all the vegetables and saute in the above mixture. Then cover and shallow fry the vegetables for 7 mins by turning them from time to time. Add a cup of water, then cover and cook for another 10 minutes over medium heat.
• Then add the milk and let the curry simmer for 2 minutes, add in the fried boris or vadis.
• Cook covered for 3-4 minutes more. Finally, turn off the heat, add the ghee and the Shukto masala.
• Enjoy your bowl of Shukto with some rice.