Odisha is a fish loving state. Rohu and Bhakur are the widely available varieties of fish available in the fish markets of the state. Here we have a typical way of cooking the fish, in the traditional Odia 'Besara' method.
1 kg rohu or bhakur fish (rohi /bhakura)
1 onion (piaja)
2 tomatoes (tamatara)
2 teaspoon red chilli powder (lanka gunda)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder (haladi gunda)
5 garlic cloves (rasuna kola)
5 tablespoon mustard oil (sorisha tela)
3 tablespoon mustard (sorisha)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
Salt to taste (luna)
Cut the fish into small pieces and wash thoroughly. Add turmeric powder and salt to it for marinating. Make a paste of mustard, tomatoes and garlic. Cut the onion into slices. Pre-heat a pan on medium flame. Put oil and fry the fish in batches of 2 or 3 pieces at a time for 4 to 5 minutes. Keep the fried fish aside. Putting the pan again on medium flame take a little oil . Add cumin seeds and mustard ½ tea spoonful each. When the cumin seeds and mustard start cracking add the sliced onions. Stir a little. Add the tomato/mustard/garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt to it. Also add 3 to 4 cups of water. Keep the pan on flame for about 10 to12 minutes. When the curry starts boiling add the fried fishes and boil it further for about 5 minutes. Maccha Besar is now ready to be served with rice. Garnish it with coriander leaves before serving.