Soriso Macha Besara- Fish in spiced mustard gravy

Soriso Macha Besara- Fish in spiced mustard gravy

I can never forget the whiff of this freshly made fish curry as me and my brother ran back home from the school bus stop…the aroma made our tummies grumble with hunger. And as we hurriedly washed up and changed, a fight would ensue on which piece of fish who gets to eat- the head, tail or the tummy… But eventually, one look from mommy and everyone would settle as she served seaming hot rice with this fish curry. Second helpings were common and an extra ladle full of gravy was always prized.

Here’s to mommy for all the food memories deep-rooted in us….well the food habits too 😉

Fish curry in spiced mustard gravy
Fish curry in spiced mustard gravy


  • 1 kg fresh water fish (I have used rohu)
  • 6 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 6 garlic pods
  • 6 green chillies
  • 1 medium sized tomatoes chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoon panchphoron
  • 3 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 6 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 Ambulo (A typical odia dry mango preparation) skip if you don’t have
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.


  • In a small bowl filled with lukewarm water soak mustard seeds, 3 slit green chillies and garlic for one hour. Grind it to a fine paste by adding very little water
  • Clean and wash the fish, add turmeric powder, a dash of red chili powder and salt. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat mustard oil in a pan and pan fry the fish till it becomes flaky. Keep aside
  • In another pan take mustard oil and sputter the panchphoron, add chopped onions and fry until onions become golden brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Fry them until oil separates from the masala.
  • Now add the mustard seeds paste and fry for 2 minutes on high flame. Do not over fry as the masala with turn bitter. Now add 3 cups of warm water and let the gravy simmer for 10-12 minutes on a  slow flame.
  • Add the fried fishes and green chilies slit lenghth-wise and let the gravy cook for 2 to 3 minutes At this stage you can add the ambulo if you have some in your pantry.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve with hot steamed rice.

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