Kala Bhuna is a dry meat curry that is black-ish in colour and is said to have originated in the Chittagong area of Bangladesh. The use of mustard oil to deep fry the meat in an iron wok for a long duration gives this stunning dish its unique colour and flavours. A favourite among Bengali Muslims, this dish is also prepared for other religious feasts throughout the year.
Iftar is a very special meal for Muslims all over the world who keep the Ramadan fast. While the day begins with a light Suhoor meal and day-long fasting, the evenings during the holy month of Ramadan are especially festive thanks to the Iftar spreads that include beverages, starters, main dishes and desserts. If you are looking to add a new dish to this Iftar spread, then you just have to try this delicious, black-coloured Mutton Kala Bhuna recipe.
Kala Bhuna is a dry meat curry that is black-ish in colour and is said to have originated in the Chittagong area of Bangladesh. In Bengali, Kala means black and Bhuna means fried—so naturally, Kala Bhuna is a dish that is prepared by frying meat, usually mutton or beef, for a long duration of time to allow the spices and the meat to blacken. Kala Bhuna has, since its invention, become a landmark dish from the Bangladeshi areas of Sylhet, Khulna and Dhaka. The dish is also prepared in some Bengali Muslim homes which trace their origins in Bangladesh, previously East Bengal. Apart from Iftar and Eid, Mutton Kala Bhuna is also prepared on all festive and religious occasions in Bengali Muslim families.
Video courtesy: YouTube/Banglar Rannaghor
It is very important to note that though the Bengali Kosha Mangso and Bangladeshi Kala Bhuna have similar spice profiles and almost exclusively use mustard oil for the cooking process, the dishes look and taste completely different. Kosha is created by stirring the mutton constantly to get a deep brown colour, while Kala Bhuna is prepared by deep-frying the mutton for a long time in an iron wok. It is, in fact, the use of the iron wok or kadhai that adds to the flavour and black colour of the dish.
So, if you want to try this delicious, rich and brilliant Bangladeshi Mutton Kala Bhuna recipe for Iftar or dinner tonight, then you need a large quantity of mutton, mustard oil, an iron wok, the choicest spices and plenty of time to cook the dish. Here’s the recipe.
Image used for representative purpose only. Image courtesy: Banglar Rannaghor
1 kg mutton
2 tbsp curd
5 tbsp mustard oil
2 dried red chillies
1 tsp garlic, chopped
½ cup onions, sliced
½ cup onions, fried
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
4 nos. green chillies, chopped
1 tsp sugar
Salt, to taste
2 cups hot water
1 tsp ginger, julienned (for garnish)
1 tsp fried onions (for garnish)
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp nutmeg
2 nos. Mace
1 tsp black peppercorn
3 black cardamoms
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
1. Place all the Bhuna spices in a flat pan on low heat.
2. Roast the spices until they smoke a little and release their aroma.
3. Cool the roasted spices and grind them into a fine powder.
4. Take a deep, heavy bottomed iron wok and heat the mustard oil.
5. Add the dried red chillies, garlic and once they stop spluttering, add the onions.
6. Add the mutton, ginger garlic paste, salt and mix well.
7. Saute the mutton for 10 minutes, then add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and the Bhuna masala.
8. Mix well and keep frying the mutton for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
9. Now add the yoghurt, mix well and keep cooking until the mutton turns deep brown.
10. Add the fried onions, green chillies and sugar.
11. Mix well and keep frying the mutton until the meat turns blacker.
12. Add hot water in splashes from time to time and continue cooking until the mutton is black in colour and completely cooked.
13. Garnish the Mutton Kala Bhuna with ginger and fried onions, and serve hot.