Among the dry fish, Kokali (sardines) has a longer shelf-life. Chances are less that it degenerates over long period of storage, hence it's considered good. Dry fish is an intrinsic part of the culinary traditions of Odisha. Sukhua is cooked in various ways, either by baking, semi-burning, frying or in the 'rai' form.
25 gm dry tiny sardines (kokali sukhua)
4 teaspoon paste of mustard seeds (sorisha)
1 tablespoon mustard oil (sorisha lela)
one tomato (tamatar)
one onion (piaja)
6 cloves of garlic (rasuna kola)
2 dry chilies (sukhila lanka)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (haladi gunda)
1/2 teaspoon sugar (chini)
salt to taste (luna)
Make a paste of the mustard seed and garlic cloves. Then keep aside for half-an-hour for better taste. Soak the dry kokali fish in water and clean it well. Preferably remove all the heads of dry fish. Cut onion into slices. Heat mustard oil on a pan and fry the sliced onion and mustard seeds. After the onion slices turn brown, add the dry fish. Stir for a while. Then add the mustard and garlic paste. Also add red chili powder, turmeric powder, two slices of tomato and salt to taste.You may add half a teaspoon sugar if you so wish for a better taste. Stir further. After this add required quantity of water in the pan and allow it to boil for about 15 minutes. Remember to stir it a few times during the boiling. After about 15 minutes your 'Kokali Sukhua Rai' is ready.