Niramish Panthar Mangsho recipe | Bhoger Mangsho Ranna
This is the no-onion, no-garlic Bengali Mutton Curry recipe which is often used to prepare the mutton curry offered to the deity as ‘bhog‘. Spiced with Indian spices like black peppercorn, cinnamon and cardamoms, this meat curry or niramish mangshor jhol is a highlight of the Bengali recipes.
Here in this post, apart from sharing my family’s niramish panthar mangshor jhol recipe, I will tell you why this Bengali mangshor jhol is called ‘niramish‘ and what is the purpose of this kind of cooking. Let’s start with understanding the concept of ‘niramish‘.
What does ‘niramish‘ (নিরামিষ) mean in Bengali cuisine?
The term ‘niramish‘ basically stands for vegetarian, meaning devoid of anything ‘amish‘ (pronounced as ‘aa-mish’) or non-vegetarian food items. Now, the concept of non-vegetarian food has a wider meaning for Bengali cuisine. Anything that is thought to be a heat-producing food falls into this category. Hence, the list of non-vegetarian food items in Bengali cuisine is much wider.
Meat, fish and eggs are considered as ‘amish’ or non-vegetarian food items. However, there are some plant based food in this list as well. I will give you some examples here. In Bengali cooking, both onion and garlic are considered non-vegetarian ingredients. So, our নিরামিষ niramish recipes would be completely devoid of these two vegetables.
Similarly, red lentils or masoor dal is also considered as amish.
Now, you must be wondering what kind of recipe is this! A VEGETARIAN mutton curry!! A bit of an oxymoron, right?
Let’s learn a bit more about the origin of this niramish mangshor jhol.
Bhoger Mangshor Jhol
Although discontinued in practice now, earlier every major festival would witness ‘pantha boli‘ where the sacrificial lamb or goat would be offered to the deity in order to gain her blessings. This lamb meat or goat meat would be cooked by the temple’s priest or ‘purohit‘ using a recipe somewhat similar to this one. A recipe without any onion or garlic.
In most of the cases, this offering of mutton curry would be then passed on to the priests and their families as ‘prasad’.
My family’s special: Bhattacharjee bari’r niramish mangsho
My thakuma or paternal grandmother never allowed chicken meat to enter her kitchen. In earlier days, it was considered as impure and beneath of the ‘brahmins‘ to consume chicken. However, mutton or lamb meat was always relished.
It was only after she and the rest of the family accepted to be the disciple of the school of principle laid by the Lahiri Mahasaya, that several lifestyle changes were adopted. One amongst the several of them was shunning the use and consumption of onion and garlic. Henceforth, my grandmother’s kitchen altered and adopted several Bengali recipes in a niramish or vegetarian format.
My mother didn’t receive any such instruction to alter food preparation or cooking styles so we grew eating everything, but whenever we would visit my grandma during vacations, she or my aunt would make this special niramish mangshor jhol.
So, this niramish mangsho ranna or mutton curry would be made whenever it is to be offered to a deity as an ‘offering’ or when consumption of onion and garlic is forbidden due to some reason. It could be religious, dietary or anything.
How to make niramish mangshor jhol?
This mangshor jhol or mutton curry recipe calls for usual Indian spices, like cardamoms, cinnamon, peppercorns, etc. along with tomatoes and ginger. It is a straightforward recipe which requires no marination.
I pressure cooked the mutton pieces with some salt, freshly crushed peppercorns and water to reduce the cooking time. Later, I finished the rest of the cooking in a heavy bottom pan.
In the original recipe, the ratio of ghee to mustard oil is 2:1. However, I reversed it and made it slightly less fatty.
Many people fear that without onions and garlic, there would be a strong odour of the goat meat in this dish, however, I can 100% assure you that you will not find anything unpleasant with this recipe, except that you will not stop cooking this once you have had this! There is simply no going back to the regular Mangshor Jhol or Bengali Mutton Curry.
Durga pujo bhog menu also comprises of khichuri, which is Indian counterpart of Italian Risotto made up of rice and lentils. There is a bhoger khichuri recipe on my blog which is again niramish (vegetarian), gluten-free and paleo diet friendly.
Check out some more Chicken & Meat based Bengali recipes:
- Bengali Chicken Jhol recipe | Bengali Chicken Curry recipe
- Panthar Mangshor Jhol recipe | Bengali Mutton Curry recipe
- Bengali Chicken Rezala recipe
- Kolkata Egg-Chicken Kathi Roll recipe
- Moglai Porota | Mughlai Parantha
Here’s the step-by-step recipe for niramish mangshor recipe:
This is the no-onion, no-garlic Bengali Mutton Curry recipe which is often used to prepare the mutton curry offered to the deity as 'bhog'. Spiced with Indian spices like black peppercorn, cinnamon and cardamoms, this meat curry or mangshor jhol is a highlight of the Bengali recipes.
Here in this post, apart from sharing my family's niramish panthar mangshor jhol recipe, I will tell you why this Bengali mangshor jhol is called 'niramish' and what is the purpose of this kind of cooking. Let's start with understanding the concept of 'niramish'.
- 500 gms Mutton
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 1/4 tsp Hing
- 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
- Bay leaf
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 4 Green Cardamom
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 4-5 Cloves
- 1 inch Ginger
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 4 Tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp Peppercorns Freshly crushed
- 1/2 tsp Peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt to Taste
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
Pressure cook the mutton with ½ cup Water, Salt, Turmeric Powder and whole Peppercorns.
Coarsely crush the whole spices like Cardamoms and Cloves
Grind the ginger and tomatoes into a paste.
Heat the ghee in the pan and add the hing or asafoetida. Give it a stir. Add the Mustard Oil and let it heat up.
Add the Bay Leaf, Cumin Seeds, Cinnamon and coarsely crushed spices. Let the spices sizzle for couple of seconds before adding the ginger-tomato mix.
Fry the mix till it reduces into half.
Once you see the oil separating at the edge, add the pre-cooked mutton pieces and mix everything.
Adjust the seasoning, add Salt if needed. Add the Red Chili powder as per taste and Garam Masala powder.
If needed, add more water for gravy as needed.