Kosha Mangsho And Golbari: A Fabled Combination In Kolkata You Can’t Miss
Image Credit: Kosha Mangsho with Luchi is the perfect combination.

Bengali cuisine is one of the most diverse, unique and irresistibly delicious regional cuisines of the country. And contradictory to popular notion, there’s a lot to relish in Bengali cuisine apart from just ‘Maach’ or 'Mishti Doi'. While non-vegetarian dishes are sure drool-worthy, vegetarian delicacies too are class apart. But a discussion of Bengali cuisine is incomplete without the mention of Kosha Mangsho, a mutton curry from the cuisine that a Bengali feast is incomplete without. While Mangsho stands for mutton, Kosha means something fried for a long time with ground and whole spices over high flame. It’s a Bengali classic that is known to be cooked on special occasions since it requires time and patience. 

The origins of Kosha Mangsho aren’t very clear but there’s one place in Kolkata that is considered a hot-favourite for the fabled delicacy- Golbari. Situated at Shyambazar five point crossing, this place is over 95-years old and is often said by the locals that Kosha Mangsho was originated from here. The Kosha Mangsho served here is credited to be the spiciest and certainly not for the weak-hearted. If you are more of a chicken lover than mutton, then the place served chicken kosha as well. But its signature- Kosha Mangsho remains a hit with locals and tourists alike. So much so that Golbari and Kosha Mangsho are almost synonymous for food lovers.

What is more interesting about the place is that despite serving a perfect thick, dark brown gravy tossed in with juicy pieces of meat, just the way classic Bengali Kosha Mangsho should be, the place isn’t owned by a Bengali. Originally named New Punjabi Restaurant, the eatery was started by a Punjabi, Kishan Arora’s father Ratan Arora about 98 years ago. The name GolibarI refers to the semi-circular facade of the building. The owners haven’t changed much about the place despite its popularity, and hence it has this lovely old world rustic charm. Coupled with affordable prices and authentic style of cooking the Bengali mutton curry, Golibari stands out for a sumptuous, fulfilling plate. 

Making Kosha Mangsho at home nowadays has become a quicker process. But to begin learning, the first lesson should be that it isn’t a pressure cooker curry that you can simply marinate, toss-on onion-garlic paste and cook. The word 'Kosha' itself means to 'fry for long time, stirring and tossing constantly’. And so, the dish needs to be allowed to cook in the meat’s juices itself, with almost no additional water. This process might look arduous but worth the end result. The colour is another rimportant factor in the mutton curry. While you may think of those red-looking curries at most restaurants being sold as Kosha Mangsho, they in fact aren’t authentic. The dark brown colour of the curry has a unique process to it which is mostly done in Bengali homes to achieve the perfect colour in gravies. It involves caramelising the sugar in oil before frying the onions. The dark fried onions combined with the Kosha Mangsho spice mix of nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, clove, and black cardamom, weaves its magic like nothing else. You can sense the perfect curry with the colour and the aroma, which changes immediately.

While the process might be laborious, the end result is the ultimate reward. If you too are planning to make Kosha Mangsho at home, we have the perfect recipe right here.  

Try it at home and share your experience with us too.