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Whole Masala Beef

Kata Moshlar Mangsho’

In Bengali this beef delicacy is called ‘Kata Moshlar Mangsho’ literally meaning ‘ cut spices meat’ which I decided not to literally translate for the title of my post, as it makes less sense to do so.  The recipe uses all whole spices rather than powdered spices compared, to other recipes and therefore the name derives from that. When you read the ingredients of my recipe you will begin to understand the reason behind this.

This recipe is easy but be beware it takes at least 3 hours to prepare, so good for a Sunday night’s dinner or if you have guests over.  While it is cooking you can go about doing other stuff, it does not need to be stirred continuously, in fact I encourage you not to touch it while the meat is cooking, especially in the last hour.  In this last hour, traditionally a ‘dum’ is put on top of the pot; which means a flat bread dough is tightly sealed over the pot to cover it, so the meat cooks from the steam. The result is a delicious, mouthwatering flaky beef. I have fed this to people who know their Bengali food and at the same time are fussy eaters, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope you do too!

Spiced beef with salad

Spiced beef with salad on whole wheat chapatti


1 Kg Beef

2 Onions, sliced

2 Tbsp Ginger, minced

2 Tbsp Garlic, minced

6 Dried Red Chilies or 1 Tbsp Red Chili Flakes

5 Green Cardamoms (crushed)

3 Cinnamon Sticks (2 cm each)

2 Bay Leaves

2 Black Peppercorns (crushed)

1 Tbsp Sugar

1 Cup Sour Yoghurt

Salt to taste


First the beef needs to be washed, drained and chopped into 2 inch cubes. (Or get your butcher to do the chopping)

In a heated Dutch Oven add in the onions, garlic, ginger and red chilies. Stir for a minute.

beef preparation with whole spices and yoghurt

Then add the beef and fry fora few minutes and then add all the other ingredients and cook on medium low heat.

Beef with yoghurt

Stir the ingredients a couple of times and cover and cook for 2-3 hours.

When the meat is cooked, you have 2 options:

1)      My way and easy way:  Get a big piece of foil to seal over the top of the pot. Then add the pot cover on top of it as well, making sure its tightly sealed. Cook for a further hour.

Steam with foil

Dum with foil

2)      Real Dum or the Hard way:  Make a flat bread dough big enough to cover the pot and then seal the pot and cook for a further hour. You can use the this whole wheat bread dough Recipe.

Take the meat off the heat and serve with some salad, rice or bread.

Whole Masala meat