Thursday, October 8, 2009


My mom left for India last week. Usually she cooks a whole refrigerator full of food before she leaves. But this time, 4 days before she left, the refrigerator stopped cooling. So most things she cooked had to be finished off the same day. The only dish she happily made in a large quantity was this Besara. She was sure that it wouldn't go bad that easily and it did last us 4 days inspite of the refrigerator not really working for most of those days. Besara is another typical oriya dish made with mustard paste. You can make different kids of besara and I love the one with fish too which I will post some other time. This one is the typical veggie besara. Besara has the mild mustard flavor  and a little tanginess from the dried mangoes and the heat from the green chillies...

Ushnish this post is made especially on your request!


Vegetables for boiling

1 cup of cleaned/peeled red potatoes - diced
1/4 cup beans cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plantain - cut into long pieces
1/4 cup raddish cut into long pieces
1 cup of Eggplant - cut into small pieces
few florets of cauliflower
1-2 large tomatoes cut into long slices

Salt to taste
1 tea spoon turmeric powder
1-2 green chillies
1 table spoon of Mustard Oil for tempering
1 tea spoon of mustard seeds
handful curry leaves
1-2 Dried Mango pieces (Ambula) [Optional]
sprig of coriander leaves [optional]
handful of Badi [Optional]

For the mustard paste

1 tea spoon Mustard seeds
1/4 tea spoon Cummin seeds
1-2 green chillies (to taste)
2-3 cloves of garlic

How To

Soak the mustard seeds, cummin seeds in water for 1/2 hour. Grind the mustard seeds, cummin seeds with the green chillies and garlic. Add 2-3 table spoon of water and leave it aside for  1/2 hr or you keep it in the refrigerator and you can use for about a week. Some of my friends have tried this with store bought mustard paste and swear it tastes as good. I have never tried it, but you could try it...

Soak the dried mangoes in a little cup of water for 1 hour.

Boil all the vegetables with salt, turmeric powder and little water.

Heat a pan. Ad the mustard oil. Once the oil is hot, add green chillies and curry leaves and add the vegetables and the mustard paste. Add some water and dried mangoes and let the curry boil for few minutes.

Adjust salt and garnish with coriander leaves if you like...

Serve with Fried crushed Badi at the time of serving....

Some other mustard based recipes are : Mushroom Rayee and Vegetable Patua


  1. Fantastic recipe Somoo. I bet it tastes amazing the dried mango and mustard combination. I have always been intrigued by the way Indian recipes call for Mango Powder... that explains its wonderful rich flavor I suppose. Also, hope you're doing okay & not missing your mom too much these days ?! ( I can understand how difficult it must feel to say good bye).

  2. Nat - yes its tough with Mom gone. My lil 3 year old misses her a lot. Says she will come right back... I dont think she is coming back for a year or so...

  3. Wow...It looks wonderfull...Nothing like Maa ke hath ka khana

  4. Hey it something new to me...but surely can tell it's delicious by its looks and by the name of the cook and blog dear.......perfect click.

  5. Hi! This looks great, especially when it's cooked by Mom. I like the combination of mustard and jeera ground together. Bookmarked. I hope you are not missing your Mom too much, In any case, hugs to you dear.

  6. U should miss ur mom :( The must paste should give such a nice touch, very different curry!

  7. Recipe is very ne wto me,sounds good :)

  8. Dear Somoo
    Many thanks for the recipe. You must have been quite busy helping Mom packing up. I am off to market to buy Raw banana and " Ambula" at a special oriya shop.

    See you at the kitchen



  9. Mom's preparation is always the best.Even I miss very much.Thanks for the lovely recipe.It looks yummy and delicious.

  10. wow nice interesting rrecipe somoo..looks delicious,wanted to share an award with u,so pls do come and collect it from my blog...

  11. Every momma's recipes the best! So hot and appetizing they look!

  12. I just love the garlic in the mustard paste ... sometimes when I make this our way ... the jhaal ... I deliberately add the garlic and then it becomes the besara! :-)
    Lovely snaps Somoo. Missing mom? :-)

  13. Quite interesting recipe..Can guess how u will be missing ur

  14. Hi Somoo am new to this blogosphere and to your blog. you have a nice blog here and the besara looks nice. I love mustard paste in my curries hope to try it soon. I also have come back from parents so reciprocate your feeling.

  15. new dish to me.looks very good.great to know about ur traditional food.

  16. Dear Somoo &( Sharmila)
    with your permission, I am eliminating the Garlic now, as I have to cook a pure vegetarian Besara. In Bengali traditional veg, Garlic, onion is not allowed. But the next Besara I will add garlic and also try the fish variety.

    I think one unique difference between Bengal and Orissa Mustard use is..In Orissa a paste of Cumin- Mustard is used in many dishes and in bengali dishes , generally this combination is not used.
    May be I don't know much. You can correct me.
    Watch out, in few days I am coming up with a fish dish ( Jhal) fast, easy and tasty and bit of a fusion of eastern India.

  17. Dear Somoo,
    I am very familiar with Besara. Though a Bengali I belong to Orissa, being born and brought up in Cuttack, now having a house in BBSR.
    I too love the taste of mustard but don't add garlic and cumin.
    Your Besara looks yummy...the crushed fried badi and ambula of course makes all the difference in taste.
    The thought of ambula makes me yearn for some ambula khatta.
    Missing your mom. Isn't it?

  18. That looks delicious! Moms are wonderful, aren't they? :-) I'm sorry about your refrigerator problems. I hope they get sorted out soon!

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Soma - exactly....
    Prasu - yep its mom's food, has to be good. But you can enjoy it if you like mustard flavors.
    Pari - yep its been a tough week... Will adjust soon.
    Cham - I know what you mean.
    Raji - thanks
    A2Z - thanks
    Sushma - thanks so much. An award for me - so sweet of you...
    Nandini - exactly. Mom's cooking is so good.
    Sowmya - thanks
    Sharmila - yes with Mom gone, it is tough... Missing her a lot.
    Priya - thanks.
    Homemaker diary - og if you love mustard and garlic, you will love this. You can it with fish too... its so good with fish...
    jeya - thanks so much...
    Ushnish - enjoy your Besara. I am sure you can skip garlic, but then I would add a little bit (1/4 tea spoon) of saunf while making the mustard paste. It will give you the unique temple taste...

  21. Very interesting recipe and new one to me :-). I bet it tasted great. I have always loved the dishes with mustard paste :-)

  22. Bad timing for the fridge to stop cooling, otherwise you ould have had still moms food.
    This is really new to me looks yummy yumm.

  23. somoo this looks like a yummy dish and these are some of the best photos in your blog...soaking with love. Please give your mom my address

  24. wow, this is such an authentic nice recipe

  25. Dear Somoo
    You said it!!! you have made my day. Remember I had made a special request for the recipe , purely Veg? (No garlic). The moment you mentioned Pana Mouri ( SauNf), the fragrance flashed through my memory... the temple ( veg ) besara, thats what I wanted...
    Thank you so much and to your dear Mom.
    Note down all the finer points of recipes you picked up during Mom's stay.

    Have a nice weekend ahead
    good wishes


  26. Totally new to me..nice presentation...

  27. Gouri - yum Ambula khatta... I have one with a dahi version on my blog. My friend's mom had made it for me.. But I like Ambula chakta too
    Palidor - yep Moms are so wonderful.. Yep the refrigerator issue did get sorted - thanks
    Anupama, Pratibha - Another Oriya one
    Happy Cook - exactly. I am so upset...
    Knife - I am out of the house all day, so all pix get shot in the night. This one I was fortunate to get it while there was sunlight
    Deesha - thanks
    Ushnish - sorry didn't get your meaning of vegeterian earlier... I havent made that pure one in a long time. But my mom used to give me the pana mouhuri, jeera and mustard combo in a box and I used to gring and make paste and use it... The exact ratio, I think I will need to get... But go with your gut feeling and let me know...
    Vrinda - thanks

  28. Looks awesome!!! inserting and new to me...

  29. Somu , dont worry , I will use my gut, to fix the pana Mouri proportion with respect to Jeera and sorisha..

    Now concentrate in your work ( in absence of Mom the load may be quite good) I have enough recipe to cook..and will keep you informed.

  30. Delicious looking bowl full with vegetables dear,,feeling hungry now

  31. Sangeetha - thanks. Try it and let me know...
    Ushnish - thanks. Yep will have to juggle work and home again
    Sarah - thanks so much....

  32. All youur recipes are new to me... I somehow miss visitng ur space....

    Thanks for ropping by my blog.. n for the wonderful comments..

  33. Pretty new recipe to me. Hope you are feeling better. I ma sure mom would have been a great source of help and emotional support when she was around

  34. Nice recipe, must be flavorful and tasty too :)

  35. Sandhya - glad you liked it...
    VS - yep it was great having her around
    Gita - it was. thanks.

  36. Nice recipe Somoo... looks very tempting and nice clicks...

  37. New dish,never used mustard paste in the curries

  38. Varunavi - if you have never had mustard sauce, not sure if you will like it...

  39. Never used mustard paste in the curry, interesting, looks yummy. Nice click.

  40. We make cabbage curry with mustard powder but that's about it!This looks yummy and of course it has to!!Right?My parents left too and I don;t feel like doing anything..even blogging!:(

  41. Shri - I know what you mean. Its so depressing...
    Srilekha - thanks.

  42. this is a new one for fact i find a lot of new recipes here :)

  43. Very very new recipe to's are always like that mustard flavour in the recipe....

  44. aquadaze - it is a typical oriya dish... I am glad you find new stuff here...
    Kitchen Flavours - Mom always take care I know...

  45. hi dear..I Would like to share this award with you....pls. collect it from my blog.

  46. Sounds so different. Looks good. Lovely recipe....YUM!

  47. oh wow, this is awesome..i will surely give it a shot.and so different.
    btw, pls pick up ur award and a tag from

  48. Looks very very delicious...

  49. I have an award for you. Do accept it.

  50. Prasu, Shubha and Vs - thanks for sharing the award with me... So sweet of all of you...
    Sukanya, Anu and Sireesha 0 thanks so much for your kind words...

  51. Dear Somoo
    You should now send a small thank to me too as I requested for the recipe and so many people have appreciated it...Ha ha ( Just joking)
    The Veg (temple) version of the besara was a great hit. hardly anything was left for me..The taste was exactly what I wanted.
    Intend to cook the garlic one with small fish. (Do you remember a small fish called " Mahu-Rarhi"? Will use that)

  52. Ushnish - I am so glad the besara was good. Yep and thanks to you my besera post is also so popular...
    Mahu-rarhi - not sure... ate lots of those small fish. I love them in besara and ambula...