Besara is the signature mustard gravy that is made in almost every Odia kitchen. Whether it’s a vegetarian curry or non vegetarian, besara makes all kinds of preparations delicious. For every true Odia, fish and besara go hand in hand. That heavenly combo when cooked with aambula (sun dried pickled mango chunk), becomes one of the most piquant and loved dishes of the Odia cuisine- Maccha Besara. 

INGREDIENTS

  1. Catla fish/ Bhakura- 300 gms (Approx 5 pieces) 
  2. Turmeric powder- 1/4thtsp
  3. Mustard seeds- 2 tbsps
  4. Cumin seeds- 1 tbsp
  5. Garlic cloves- 7-8
  6. Green chilly- 2-3
  7. Mustard oil- 1 cup
  8. Onions, sliced- ½ cup
  9. Red chilly powder- ½ tsp
  10. Tomato, diced- 1
  11. Dry pickled mango/ ambula- 1
  12. Dry red chilly- 1
  13. Phoran/ panch phutana- 1/4thtsp
  14. Salt to taste
  15. Water

PROCEDURE

  1. Add 1/4thtsp of salt and turmeric powder to the fish pieces 
  2. Mix well and keep it aside
  3. In a jar, take 2 tbsps mustard seeds, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 7-8 garlic cloves, 2-3 green chillies 
  4. Add a little water and grind to a fine paste
  5. Add 2 tbsps mustard oil to a kadai/ wok
  6. Carefully add the fish pieces 
  7. Cook well on both sides for 5-7 mins 
  8. Fry till the fish pieces turns crisp and golden 
  9. Remove in a bowl and set aside
  10.  In the same kadai add 2 tbsps mustard oil
  11.  Add ½ cup sliced onions
  12. Saute for 2-3 mins
  13. Add the mustard paste and sauté
  14.  Add 1/4thcup water
  15.  Saute some more
  16.  Add 1/4thtsp turmeric powder
  17.  Add ½ tsp red chilly powder
  18. Saute for 2-3 mins
  19.  Once oil separates, add the diced tomato
  20. Add 1/4thtsp salt
  21. Add ½ cup water
  22.  Let it boil for 2 mins
  23. Add 1 more cup of water
  24. Add 1 ambula/ dry pickled mango
  25. Now add the fried fish
  26. Let it cook for 4-5 mins
  27.  Remove and keep aside
  28. In the same kadai add 1 tsp mustard oil
  29. Add 1 dry red chilly
  30. Add 1/4thtsp phoran/ panch phutana
  31. Let it crackle
  32. Add 5-6 crushed garlic cloves
  33. Saute
  34. Add the fish curry
  35.  Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and sliced green chillies
  36.  Drizzle a tsp of mustard oil for the perfect flavour