Oriya Mansha Tarkari (Oriya Mutton Curry)

I remember my Sundays in Orissa when I was a child. One of the perceived-responsible male members of the family would go out to the market to pick a good portion of mutton. Most of the time I have seen my father, uncles going to the ‘known and trusted’ mutton shop even before they could have their breakfast. This is primarily to get your hands on the best of the muttons available. Mutton is called as Mansha in Oriya though it actually means ‘meat’. But the de-facto name for mutton has become Mansha/Mangsa primarily because that’s the only ‘meat’ they consume traditionally. Though eating chicken has been there for a long time, it has picked up very recently (probably 70-80 years back as I understand from my discussions with elderly members of my family). I remember how choosy people are in Orissa when it comes to picking up mutton/Mansha. Now when I compare this to the current days of malls and super markets, it was so much a involved activity. I sometimes remember when the mutton-shop-owner goes cycling past in the morning or the evening before and if some of our responsible-male members gets a glimpse of him, they don’t bother to send in a verbal confirmation for the best pieces. And yes they would always oblige.

Apart from playing a very significant role in the palates of Oriyas, mutton also played a significant role in defining one’s luxury quotient. If someone offers ‘good’ mutton in a marriage party, the taste used to linger around at least in the minds of people for quite some time. When I start thinking about mutton as part of the culinary culture of Orissa, there are so many social acts that comes smashing in front of me. I am sure if you are an Oriya, you can remember how people come out with a full stomach while picking their tooth after a heavy mutton meal.

However, to sum up, mutton plays a very significant part of an Oriya non-veg platter. Though there is not much of variations in preparing mutton, the difference could be very minimal when you travel across the state. So let’s try to cook some very typical Oriya Mansha Tarakari (Mutton Curry). I have tried to tweak it a little but for ease of cooking. Let me know your thoughts when you try this.

  • 750 gms nice & tender mutton

  • 3-4 Medium Sized Potato Cut Into Halves

  • 1-2 tsp Cooking oil for frying potato (Mustard oil will certainly enhance the taste.)

  • 3 medium sized onions

  • Garlic 8 -10 Cloves

  • Ginger 1 ½ inch

  • 1 tsp Garam Masala

  • 5-8 Black Pepper (Oriya: Gol Maricha)

  • 3 Bay Leaf (Oriya: Teja Patra)

  • 4 Whole Cardamom (Oriya: Aleicha)

  • 5 Cloves (Oriya: Labanga)

  • 1 Long Stick of Cinnamon (Oriya: Dalchini)

  • 1/2 tsp Sugar

  • 8 tsp of cooking oil (Again if you choose mustard oil, it will help you get the typical Oriya Mansha Tarkari aroma)

For Marinating
  • 2 tsp Turmeric Powder (Oriya: Haladi Gunda)

  • 2 tsp Red Chili Powder

  • 1 ½ tsp Salt

  • 4tsp Yogurt (Dahi)

  1. Make a smooth paste of onion, ginger and garlic and half an inch cinnamon (I somehow prefer the fresh paste than the ones available ready-made in the shops). But you can use the packed paste as well.

  2. Marinate the mutton with 1 tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp red chili powder, yogurt/curd and 1-2 tsp mustard oil (optional) for 1-2 hours.

  3. Heat up a Kadhai or any heavy bottom Pan

  4. Add 1-2 tsp of cooking oil

  5. Shallow fry the potatoes till they turn golden brown.

  6. Keep them aside on kitchen-wraps or tissue paper to absorb excessive oil.

  7. Heat 7-8 tsp of cooking oil in a pressure cooker

  8. Temper it with Black pepper, Cinnamon stick, Bay leaf, whole Cardamom, Cloves

  9. Add sugar to this (This is primarily to enhance the color of the gravy) till it turns brown.

  10. Add the masala paste prepared in step 1.

  11. Add a little turmeric.

  12. Fry till the oil starts to come out. You can add a little water if the masala starts to stick to the vessel.

  13. Add the marinated mutton at this point

  14. Fry on medium heat for about 15 mints (till the oil stars to separate out) with the lid loosely covered

  15. Add fried potatoes

  16. Add water based on how much of gravy you want to make. For a medium thick gravy, you can add up to 2 cups of water

  17. Add 1 tsp of garam masala

  18. Fix the pressure cooker lid

  19. Cook on high head for 1 whistle and then cook on low heat for about 20 mins.

  20. Open the pressure cooker only after it cools down on its own.

  21. Check the tenderness of the mutton. If you require it to be softer, you could cook it for some more time

  22. Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve it with hot steam rice. Enjoy !


untouchable said...

Good Blog, I would try out the mutton curry.

miki said...

its really a very yummy dish.
bcoz i m an oriya n i luv this dish very much.
so really try it at home

Pranati Nath said...

wow.. this is my fav....I just love this ..I m also from orissa dear..& mu jane orissa ra mutton allu jhola mmm yumm mane padile pati ru lala gaduchii....First time to you blog and you have a very lovely space here...following you dear...do visit my space when u find time.

Jinu said...

We have been searching it for a long time , now at last we found it (typical oriya mansa kasa).Looks very good.Looking forward to have some more oriya receipies .

Om Prakash said...

Really good one.... I would say the taste of Odisha..... Isn't it??? :)

Anonymous said...

My hubby dear is from Orissa and raves about the Mutton curry all the time. It's time i try it out...for him. Will update the blog as to how it turned out. :) Wish me luck.

Anonymous said...

For marinating the mutton, 2 tsp of haldi,2 tsp of red chilli pdr, 1 1/2 tsp of salt and yogure is mentioned. But in the method only 1 tsp of haldi, 1/2 tsp of red chilli pdr and 1/2 tsp of salt mentioned. Which is correct? - Tirumala, Kuwait

Anonymous said...

i am also from orissa nd just love dis dish cooked by my mother...she does it really well..mouth waterin..addin a few raw papaya pieces also enhances the taste..just love it..i really miss it a lot..being away from home..

Anonymous said...

i am also from orissa nd just love dis dish cooked by my mother...she does it really well..mouth waterin..addin a few raw papaya pieces also enhances the taste..just love it..i really miss it a lot..being away from home..