Macha Besara (Fish Curry In Mustard Sauce) A Renowned Odia/Oriya Delicacy

Do you smell something fishy . Many people squeeze nose whenever you take the name of fish fry or fish curry. 
However, did you know river fish smell less than sea water fish. 

Come let me introduce you a world famous method to cook fish in mustard oil and mustard paste where you can hardly find any trace of fish smell and will get an aroma instead that might increase your headache in turn to have invited many hungry people from neighborhood.. It is called Macha Besara , the most renowned fish recipe of Orissa or Odisha. Besara is the mustard paste in which fish is cooked and broiled after frying in mustard oil. Dry Mango pieces or Ambula ate added to add to the sourness and cut down the bitterness of mustard.

The best taste comes out with yellow mustard .However, you can use black mustard (small variety) if you don’t find yellow ones. To make a smooth paste, dry grind the mustard seeds and then wet grind using water.

Many people ridicule mustard oil to be bitter. However, non-vegetarian food tastes best when cooked in mustard oil which has been heated first to a smoking point and then the intensity of the flame/fire is reduced to lower the temperature of oil. Your mustard oil is ready to be used for cooking.

River fish is often included as a staple diet in most eastern families in India due to its ample supply and Rohu is the most common and healthy fish which everybody can afford. I will advise you to wash the fish thoroughly to remove any traces of blood before cooking.

What You Need:

1/2 kg Rohu Fish cleaned properly.
Marinate with 1 tsp turmeric powder,1 tsp red chili powder, salt tsp taste and juice of half lemon

Mustard Oil for shallow or pan frying

For the gravy:

1 onion chopped finely
1 tsp panch photana (equal amounts of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seed, black onion seeds and dry fenugreek seeds)
3-4 small potatoes peeled and cut into 4 pieces
2 big onion chopped
2-3 dry mango pieces(ambula)
2 green chilies
6 to 8 whole garlic clove
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala

Steps to prepare

Grind mustard seeds in a grinder.
Add garlic cloves, green chilies and few drops of water. Then grind again to a fine paste.Add water as per requirement for a fine paste. Its ready to be used in gravy.
Heat oil in a Pan . Fry the marinated fish in few batches till it turn golden yellow on both sides.
Take them out and keep aside.
Heat few drops of oil in a pan and fry potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes till its glazed nicely from all sides.
Add remaining oil in the same pan. Add panch photana, chopped onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add tomato pieces, dry mango pieces, dry powdered spices and mix well.Cook for 2 minutes. Add mustard paste and cook for some more time.
Add 2 cups water, salt to taste and shallow fried potato pieces. Bring it to boil.
Add fried fish pieces and cook for few minutes more.
Serve hot with steamed rice.

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