Festive Special: Rounding Up A Bengali Meal With A Tamil Dessert

Festive Special: Rounding Up A Bengali Meal With A Tamil Dessert
A popular Bengali combo Basanti Pulao with Mutton Kosha, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Easy to cook recipes that you may try at home instead of going pandal hopping this year during Durga Puja in Kolkata

Uttara Gangopadhyay
October 22 , 2020
17 Min Read

Missing Golbari’s (a landmark eatery in north Kolkata) Kosha Mangsho – a spicy mutton dish which everyone swears by – this Durga Puja, with the pandemic situation playing spoilsport to your travel plans? Then why not make it at home? With Executive Chef Prakash Chettiyar from JW Marriott Kolkata sharing his recipe for Kosha Mangsho (along with a recipe for Basanti Pulao, a flavoursome rice dish) why don’t you don your master chef hat and flaunt your cooking skills by inviting a small group of friends at home?

Kosha Mangsho
The delectable Kosha Mangsho

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1000 g Lamb, curry cut                                                   

50 ml Mustard oil                                                                             

30 g Whole Garam Masala                                            

300 g Onion                                                                        

50 g Ginger Garlic Paste                                                 

10 g Coriander                                                                   

Salt (to taste)                                                                                     

10 g Garam Masala powder                                         

50 g Red Chili powder                                                                     

200 g Tomato paste                                                         

80 ml Jharna ghee (Jharna is a popular local brand)                                                                           


Clean and cut the lamb curry cut.

Take a thick bottom kadai, add mustard oil heat, add whole spices and crackle it.

Add thin slices of onion and cook till nice golden colour, add ginger garlic paste, add lamb curry cut. 

Now add all the spices (turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder and salt) cook the lamb until it gets dry and oil sprats.

Add tomato, cook it for another five minutes; now add water.

Cook it on slow flame until mutton gets very tender.

Once the mutton is cooked, finish it with Jharna ghee and garam masala. 

(The gravy of the mutton should be thick.)

Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaf. Ready to serve.

While you may serve the dish with luchi (the Bengali style puri made of refined flour), Kosha Mangsho can also be enjoyed with a serving of Basanti Pulao. This flavoursome rice dish balances the spicy texture of the mutton curry.

Basanti Pulao
Basanti Pulao and Aloo Jhinge Posto

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

400 g Basmati Rice                                                                           

800 ml Water                                                                                     

50 g Cashew nuts                                                                             

50 g Raisins                                                                                         

10 g Cardamom powder                                                                

1 g Saffron                                                                          

20 ml Rose water                                                                             

20 ml Kewda water                                                                         

20 g Sugar                                                                            

Salt (to taste)

100 ml Ghee                                                                                       


Wash and clean the rice, drain the water.

 Lightly fry raisins and cashews in heated ghee; keep it aside. 

Take a thick bottom pan with tight lid; add rice, ghee, salt, sugar, fried cashew nut, raisins, rose water and kewda water.

Stir gently to mix the flavours. Add warm water along with saffron.

When the water dries up and the rice is 85 percent cooked, cover it with a tight lid and cook for another 5 minutes.

Pour the rest of the ghee, mix gently and cover the pot. Turn off the flame.

Serve hot.

If you are a vegetarian or abstaining from eating mutton during the festive days, Chef Chettiyar suggests you pair the Basanti Pulao with Aloo Jhinge Posto. No don’t be alarmed by the word ‘jhinge’ – it is Bengali for ridge gourd. The curry is made with potato and ridge gourd cooked in poppy seed paste)

Here’s the recipe. 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

250 g Potatoes, cleaned, peeled and diced                                                                           

250 g Jhinge (Ridge gourd) cleaned and diced                                                                     

30 Chopped ginger                                                                          

70 Chopped onion                                                                           

200 g Posto (Khuskhus, poppy seed)                                                                                       

50 ml Mustard Oil                                                                                             

10 g Kalo jeera (Kalonji, nigella seeds)                                                                                    

10 g Green Chilies                                                                                            

8 g Turmeric Powder                                                                      

Salt (to taste)


Soak the poppy seeds in a bowl of hot water for 2 hours. Make sure the water covers it entirely. Make a fine paste.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan over a medium flame. 

Add the kaalo jeera (kalonji) seeds, chopped ginger, chopped onion and green chilies. 

Fry for a few seconds and add the potato.  Cook until the potato gets soft.

Now add the ridge gourd. 

Mix well and cook for five minutes.

Add turmeric powder and salt; stir well. 

Put the lid on and continue to cook for further 5 minutes. 

Add the poppy seed paste making sure it coats all the potato pieces.

Cook for 15 minutes. 

(Add little water if required) Check seasoning to taste.

Garnish with green chillies.

No Bengali meal is complete without dessert or a sweet dish. So when asked for a dessert recipe, Chef Chettiyar became nostalgic and said, “The thought of festivals brings great happiness and joy to all of us. The aroma of milk, sugar, jaggery and coconut have always been the familiar essence of festivals and these ingredients often tie together the cuisines and cultures of southern India and Bengal.”

Executive Chef Prakash Chettiyar, JW Marriott Kolkata

“Bengalis love ‘Pitha’, which shares a lot of similarities with ‘Paal Kozhukattai’, said Chef. “Translated, it means milk and soft rice balls, in Tamil. Paal Kozhukattai is a dish that my mother used to make with a lot of love and care and it truly brings back the fondest memories of my childhood.”

Paal Kozhukattai

Here is the recipe that he picked up from his mother.


100 g Kozhukattai Flour 

75 g Crumbled Jaggery 

35 g Grated Coconut

2 tbsp Ghee 

1 tsp Cardamom powder 

Salt (to taste) 

5 g Cashew nut  

3 g Raisins  

Water (if 100 g of flour fits in 1 bowl, take 1.5 bowls of water)


Boil the measured water with a little ghee and salt. 

Add it to the flour and make a soft dough and keep it covered for 20 minutes. 

Then, make small balls from the dough. The rice dough balls should be smooth. Some may get cracks, so just rub a bit of ghee on your palm and shape them into balls. 

Place them in an ‘idli’ tray and steam for 10 minutes.

In a pan, melt the crumbled jaggery with a little water to make the syrup. 

Take a thick-bottomed pan and boil 500 ml of water and add the steamed dumpling and cook on a slow flame for 5 to 8 minutes. 

The starch from the dumplings will make the boiling water thick. 

At this stage, add the jaggery syrup, cardamom powder and coconut. Stir well. 

Finish with ghee-tempered cashew and raisins. 

Serve hot.   



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