Besara Macha|How to make fish curry with mustard paste|

Being born and raised in a place which is close to rivers , there was a natural inclination towards fish from the very beginning of my life. There are numerous ways of cooking fish but i have always been a fan of simple and countryside way of cooking , where people prefer to cook with basic and minimal ingredients. Today i am going to share one of my favourite way of fish preparation. Macha besara is really a simple dish, where fish is being cooked with mustard paste. Also due to the use of tomatoes , there is a tanginess , which really goes nice with mustard gravy. Many people use ambula or sun dried mango in this dish also, but ripe tomatoes can also be a substitute. and here i will be sharing macha besara recipe using tomatoes.

I would suggest you to use small size fish. Here i have used pohala fish, a local fish you can find all over odisha but particularly in Bhubneswar. you can use Indian mackerel, Indian oil sardine or grey mullet too.

Small fish marinated with turmeric and mustard oil
Besara Macha|How to make fish curry with mustard paste|

Besara Macha|How to make fish curry with mustard paste|

Recipe by Priyanka PandaCourse: MainCuisine: odia


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 6 pc of pohala fish or small fish

  • 3 tbsp of besara or mustard paste

  • 1 cup of mustard oil

  • 2 tsp of turmeric powder

  • 1 cup tomato puree

  • 2 green chilies

  • 1 and 1/2 cup of water

  • salt as per taste

  • Mustard paste
    3 tbsp of mustard seeds
    5 -6 garlic cloves
    2 red dried chili
    1/2 cup water


  • First clean the fish and marinate it with 1 tsp of turmeric powder and 2 tsp of mustard oil. add salt at the time of frying.
  • Heat 1 cup of mustard oil in a kadai and deep fry it for 3-4 minutes.
  • When the fish started looking golden colour from both the sides take it out from the kadai carefully.
  • Take the extra oil from the kadai , 2-3 tbsp of oil is enough for the curry.
  • Now add tomato puree , salt and cook it for 3 minute by covering it with the lid.
  • Then add mustard paste and stir it for a minute then quickly add 1 tsp of turmeric powder .
  • Give it a quick stir and add water. Let it simmer for 5 minutes then add fried fish.
  • Add 2 slitted green chilies and cook it for 5-10 minutes in low medium flame. And it’s done.
  • Serve it with hot rice.

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