Gorur Mangshor Bhorta (Spicy Shredded Beef)

Tossed with mustard oil, chiles, and onions, this fried beef dish is a smoky, fiery introduction to Bangladeshi cuisine.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    1 hour


By Dina Begum

Updated on January 30, 2024

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In her new cookbook Made in Bangladesh, Dina Begum calls bhorta “the quintessential soul food of Bangladeshi cuisine.” The canon of bhortas is vast, and includes hundreds of varieties enjoyed everywhere from rural dinner tables to the country’s finest restaurants. This recipe for gorur mangshor bhorta, adapted from Begum’s book, comes from the Mymensingh division of Bangladesh, and features spicy strips of beef that are boiled in spices, quick-fried in pungent mustard oil, and smashed into crispy shards. Mixed by hand with sautéed onions, fried garlic slivers, and fresh and dried chiles, this dish is a delicious study in the contrasting textures and flavors of Bangladeshi cuisine. It can be enjoyed on its own with rice or as part of a larger bhorta-based feast.

A note on ingredients: The chiles used in bhortas are typically dried red Indian chiles, fresh green chiles (sometimes called Thai or finger chiles), or a combination of the two. Use gloves to protect your hands when mixing chiles into bhortas. Mustard oil is an important element of many Bangladeshi and Indian recipes, and can be found online. (If unavailable, Begum recommends combining ¼ cup vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon English mustard.)

Excerpted with permission from Made in Bangladesh by Dina Begum, published by ‎Hardie Grant Publishing, November 2023.


  • 14 oz. beef top round, cut into thin 3 in.-long strips
  • ½ tsp. Indian chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ¼ cup mustard oil, divided (see headnote)
  • 3 dried red Indian chiles, such as Kashmiri
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 small green Thai chiles, chopped
  • 3 medium onions (about 1 lb.), thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro leaves


Step 1

In a large pot set over medium heat, cover the beef with 2½ cups water. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and turmeric, and bring to a boil. Cover partially with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water has completely evaporated and the meat is tender, 30–40 minutes.

Step 2

Set a small plate by the stovetop. To a medium skillet set over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons mustard oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the dried chiles and fry until deep brown, 1–1½ minutes; use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the plate. Add the garlic to the skillet and fry until golden, about 1½ minutes. Use the slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to the plate with the fried chiles.

Step 3

Place a large bowl by the stovetop. To the skillet, add the green chiles, onions, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and soft, 6–8 minutes. Remove from the heat and scrape the onion-chile mixture into the bowl.

Step 4

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of mustard oil. Add the beef and fry until crispy, 4–5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a wooden cutting board. Use a meat tenderizer to smash the pieces into shards; then transfer to the bowl with the onions.

Step 5

Use a mortar and pestle to crush the red chiles and garlic, then add to the bowl. Using a spoon or your hands, mix well, then add the cilantro and mix again. Season to taste with more salt, then serve. Transfer the bhorta to a serving dish and drizzle with extra mustard oil if desired.

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