Mangshor Jhol – Bengali Mutton Curry

Mangshor Jhol_Mutton Curry

The very sound of “Mangshor Jhol “ sends me right back to my ma’s kitchen.  I impatiently walked around the dining room as the  pressure cooker hissed and whistled, and with every hiss the aroma of the curry already wafting in the air intensified. I see my children doing the same; they rush down the stairs and keep asking every half a minute if “meal is ready”.

I do not know if it is strange or magical, but I seem to be reliving my childhood again; my gals have the same expression and reaction to some food that I grew up eating. A different place and a different time, but the steaming  curry straight from the pot,  trickling on the pile of hot  rice – invokes the same kind of the stomach growling appetite. I would like to call this “weekend meat curry“. With both my parents working, we did not have many opportunities during the day time to sit down and have a meal together. They dinners were together, but not the long and relaxed kind. The weekend meal times were very different and we all looked forward to some really good family time – over food of course.

Manghsor Jhol/Bengali Mutton Curry

Jhol in Bengal refers to a mildly spiced thin stew kind of preparation with either just vegetables, or fish/egg/meat as the main ingredient. Different kind of vegetables along with the egg/meat/fish is usually used. With meat and egg, the vegetable that pairs best would be tomatoes or potatoes or both.  This Manshor (Mutton/Lamb) Jhol, uses very few spices.  Traditionally mustard oil is used to marinate the meat; the aroma is so special that it still tickles my senses. It was a routine for me to have to “sniff”, after ma marinated the meat. This recipe may be done with chicken (Murgir Jhol), lamb or goat. Goat meat is popularly used, but if it is not available, it may be substituted with lamb.

The recipe pairs best with hot rice or roti and a chuntey (I prefer a sweet Bengali Chutney, like the Anarosher Chutney) on the side.

Manghsor Jhol/Bengali Mutton Curry

Mangshor Jhol – Bengali Mutton Curry


  1. 1.25 lbs mutton with bones (lamb or goat), cut into 2 inch pieces

For marinating:

  1. 3 tablespoons strained or Greek yogurt
  2. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  3. 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  4. 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  5. salt
  6. 2 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and made into a paste or grated
  7. 1.5 tablespoon garlic paste
  8. 2 green chili pepper, muddled into a coarse paste

For the sauce:

  1. 3 medium red onion, sliced in thin half moons (about 4 cups)
  2. 1/6 cup oil (prefer. mustard oil)
  3. 2 bay leaves
  4. 1 red dry chili pepper
  5. 3 medium potatoes, peeled and each divided into 4 parts
  6. salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  8. 2 teaspoons red chili powder/cayenne (Optional or adjust to taste)
  9. 2.5 teaspoons coriander powder
  10. 2 teaspoons roasted ground cumin

fresh lime – to drizzle on the curry after cooking


Wash the meat well and pat it dry. Whisk all ingredients for the marinade and in a big non reactive bowl, combine well with the meat; let it sit for at least 2 hours, overnight works better.

Peel the potatoes, cut them to size, and sprinkle salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder on them. Rub the salt and the turmeric on the potatoes. Heat about 3/4 tablespoon oil in a deep pan or pressure cooker and fry the potatoes on high heat until they start browning on the edges – about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same pot/cooker, add the rest of the oil and add the red dry chili pepper and the bay leaves. When the pepper turns dark, add all the sliced onions and fry them at high heat for about 12-15 minutes, while tossing them frequently till they start to brown.

Add the marinated meat to the pan (save if there are any leftover marinades) and add the rest of the turmeric, salt, chili/cayenne powder, coriander powder and roasted cumin powder. Toss well  and cook the meat. You will have to to toss it frequently to prevent it from sticking to pan. It will take about 15 minutes for the meat to be kind of browned and for the liquid to dry up. This is kind of braising the meat with the spices. The meat and the onions will be browned (but not burned) and the spice mix will coat meat pieces.

Add 4 cups of warm water, add the potatoes and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid (or pressure cooker). Cook till meat is almost done and tender, falling off the bone. If you are using a pressure cooker, add the potatoes and water to the cooker pan and pressure cook until done as per instructions.

Drizzle with fresh lime juice right before serving.

Serve with hot rice or Naan or any flat breads.

Manghsor Jhol/Bengali Mutton Curry

Related Posts:

Jamaican Goat Curry

Bhuna Gosht/Spiced Braised Meat

Easy Chicken Curry

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47 comments to Mangshor Jhol – Bengali Mutton Curry

  • Loved the way you have described the dish in the write up Soma. And Ofcourse fabulous photography as always 🙂

  • Love this! Such an amazing looking dish. I am huge fan of mutton so will try this soon! All the best to you!

  • Torture. Pure torture. Spoon fork shoriye rekhe kobji dubiye khete icche korche! Gosh … that is what your snaps do to me. 🙂

  • Sanyukta Gour

    Envy u soma…..wht a drool worthy curry…Fantabulous presentation soma….Can I hv some leftovers.?….


  • That dish looks so delicious! What wonderful flavors. Right up my alley.



  • Loved reading the post. I dont know if i can relate same as you relate with your two girls about the food with Shyama. As mostly I don’t make that much traditionla food which was made back home. One curry she loves is my mom’s dal but then from the time I started making them i moan always that it don’t taste same s here.
    We don’t get mutton which is a real pity, i will have to make with chicken as you have suggested.

  • Food definitely brings back a lot of memories for me, also.
    Your curry looks luscious…what a nice bright color…and delicious too I’m sure.

  • I guess most Bengalis have memories associated with ‘Mangshor Jhol’. Now, when I cook mutton curry at home, even my childhood memories rush back. Your preparation looks perfect and very inviting. Photo dekhe e khete ichchey hochchey. 🙂

  • anh

    very nice Soma! I am making this soon!! 🙂

  • Nicee !! It can’t look any better. You know my love for mutton nah .. and guess what I am yet to make it. May be this post will finally inspire me 🙂 Mukhe jol aashe geche 😛 😛

  • Your bengali food always reminds me of my mom and her food Soma! Not very good right now when I am already home sick after a lovely vacation with family but guess this curry might help kick that homesickness a little. My mom makes goat curry very similar to this and you’ve done full justice to the recipe 🙂

  • Great looking curry! Love the flavours!

  • ohh.. mangshor jhol, lovely prep and very tempting, so rich in color, potatoes and mutton is so bengali in nature luchi diye bhalo jabe,,, yummm

  • Cham

    Certainly a Sunday dish to sit, eat and relax… The color is very appetizing Soma!

  • Nice hearthy food Soma. I just made some my mom’s real invested Indian curry, all caramelized onions and much patience. there is nothing like the taste of home like you bring in your dishes . Nice job as always!!

  • Dew

    Yummmy sunny afternun dayz 🙂

  • Dew

    This can be only relished to heart’s content if cooked in mustard oil 🙂

  • anjelina

    Lamb Curry looking awesome and tempting.

  • That top shot is perfect, Soma! Loooove it!

  • gonna go get some mutton!

  • I was brought up in asansol. N believe me i know how good this. I will try this asap. Regards susan of chacko’s kitchen

  • raka

    Explained very well and easy way ..

  • Manikant

    At the age of 43yrs when my mom is no more this recipe took me straight back to my childhood days. We used to crave for this preparation of mutton by Mom almost all weekends. Specially I never used to go out of home on the day when my Mom used to cook this preparation. This recipe I believe can make anybody nostalgic whoever has experienced in his lifetime. The aroma of this preparation is totally different!Thank you for the recipe!

  • farah tiwari

    Will definitely try it thanks.

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  • Lovely pictures. Seems delicious and easy to do!)

  • Rina

    very delicious I have tried it at home

  • Dear Soma
    Very nice ! Now I got the clue to some childhood riot of Garam masala in fact it is absent…and only strong spice present is roasted cumin powder. I can get the aroma right now..Will try it. Also I like your use of right quantity of turmeric, it makes lots of difference. I use good quantity of turmeric (one cant make out while eating though)
    Bhalo theko

  • Anushree

    Thanks Soma for the wondeful recipe…this has clicked by husbands taste buds…would be great if you can share some prawn recipe with coconut milk..:)

    Thanks much:)

    I do have a couple of recipes of prawn with coconut milk.
    Here they are:

    Shrimp in a Fiery Coconut Sauce (

    Chingri Maacher Malaikari (Jumbo Shrimps in Cream of Coconut) -(

    There is a “Recipe Index” on the top tab of the blog. Try to see if you find anything more..



  • Deepak

    I love mutton and after I had Mutton dak bunglaw @bhojori Manna in kolkata I always looked to prepare mutton like that.
    I came through this link prepared with somehow twisted (with egg and tomatoes, no potatoes)way and its fabulous.
    Thanks for giving a guideline. Every time i want to prepare mutton like a bong I open this link.

  • I am trying to introduce Bengali(west)non-veg cuisines to the predominantly Muslim community slowly but surely in this central african country of Malawi and hope this manchor jhol will be a mouth watering start. Recipes for Mutton Mince-curry, Shrimp-Curry, Prawns-curry,and others such as Misty Doyi, Rosogolla, Sandesh, Chom-chom etc will be highly esteemed. I promise to report back on the response after preparing the Jhol.Good Day

    Thanks! I hope it worked!

    If you look in the Recipe Index, you will see that I have recipes for Roshogolla, Sandesh, Keema matar and some Shrimp curry!

  • […] Links – Mutton Curry from eCurry, Railway mutton curry from […]

  • Atindra Sanyal

    Fantastic….just reading this took me back to the times when my Ma used to cook this. Now that she is no more, I don’t know what else (if anything) she used to put in it! I used to hang around the kitchen and she would bring out a few pieces of mangsho just before the water went in…and wait for the “verdict” with a smile.

    4 cups of water…how much in a cup? For the Kobji dubiye part, what should the measurement be?

    A friend’s variation is to boil the meat a bit before marinating…is that okay?

    Thanks and regards.

    This is a classic for sure in every Bengali home 🙂 Thank you. 1 cup = 8 oz. For kobji dubiye jhol, 4-5 cups of water for the mentioned meat should be about right.After getting done, if you feel it is too much, you can always simmer it down.

    To tell you the truth I have never precooked meat before marinating, esp. for this. I cannot tell how that works. I would think the raw meat would absorb more flavors esp. when cooking the final round. But that is just my assumption.

  • Madhu

    Hi Soma
    i made this recipe yesterday . Not a bengali but had a craving for homely mutton curry and your recipe hit the spot. It was simple and so tasty. Thank you..My husband and i loved it We had a bengali friend who had stopped by and she gave me the stamp of approval saying this is what she grew up on and that this recipe was tasting authentic. Needless to say I beamed proudly.

    I stumbled upon your blog yesterday by chance via pinterest and have loved all the recipes you have put up. i love the eclectic palette you have put together on your website and i m looking forward to trying more things from your blog. This blog will surely be my one stop shop for every occasion:) Keep em coming:) Thank you!

  • sahil kumar

    very testy

  • Pia

    I love this recipe , the first time i made it couple of my friends had come over and it was an instant hit.

  • asima

    Me an adorer of Bengali culture by kust reading abt it was dying to learn the cuisine! Thank God the net. Is there for poeple like me.I am delighted to try them all beginning wth this one!!!!!I am looking for’ poshter aloo’ too.The sweets I finda little difficult to make as I neverget th’chhena’ right.

  • Hi Soma,
    No comments on the recipe or the methodology. Classical and was very lucidly described for others to understand and follow.

    I would like to draw your attention to the presentation part of it…the way the picture was composed and taken. Since from the comments one does make out that you are an authentic Bengali Chef!! For you to take it one step up for larger masses to appreciate Bong foods & recipe’s may I suggest that you refine the pictures too? No offence but.

    First and foremost you used two different types of cutlery (one plain stainless steel spoon & the other a wood-finish fork)and that too plied together on one side of the dish, please avoid that.
    May I also suggest that when you make the final frame use the same class of material for the dishes & bowls. I am sure you know what I am hinting at!
    And try avoiding frames with food served on the plate. Keep it separate in a bowl and rice in another service bowl and an empty plate with spoon & fork on its sides and perhaps a slice of lemon & a green chilly on the perimeter to add dimension. Let the readers use their imagination how to devour the dish!!! With hands or without…
    This was purely a suggestion and not a criticism.
    The recipe & ‘how to cook’ were really well described.
    Thanks & Regards

  • Deep Chutiya

    Deep is an idiot, please excuse.

    Great recipe, I added cilantro at the end and loved it with poori 🙂

    Chameli cum chum

  • Mamta Tharani

    Hi. Lovely recipe. If I need more gravy, can I add some tomatoes pureed without the skin?

  • kelvincostner

    I loved this recipe & Try to make it. Thanks for Sharing

  • Alex Thomas

    Hi Soma Di…

    Being a Keralite by birth I was actually raised in Calcutta…it brings me back my childhood memories when my mom sometime used to make this mangshor jhol in atypically bong style…tried it ,it was delicious and yummy too.Thanks a lot didi…..

  • Manasee

    Hi, this dish is the first mutton recipe I’ve tried and your recipe is just so yummy….Loved it….the aroma that filled my kitchen while i was slow cooking it was just divine….and the gravy ….no words to describe ….simply yummylicious….. Love your blog….Well written and lovely pics ….Cant wait to try more recipes….

  • Advyth

    Love your recipes and the eloquently told tales appetizing the experience of reading your blog. Thank You.

    Thank you!!

  • […] Mangshor Jhol – Bengali Mutton Curry, from eCurry […]


    The recipe is perfect.

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