Spicy Yummy Odiya Palanga (Palak) Besara (Vegetables in Mustard Gravy)


palanga besara odiya recipe

Odiya food is a lip-smacking blend of spices and greens. I must admit!

I have learned about it only recently, post-marriage, of course.

My marriage in an Odiya family means I am getting to know a lot about Odiya traditions, culture, people, and Odiya food.

The food in my sasural (in-laws' place) is completely different from what we have in north India or my home state of Punjab.

I am happy to learn and relish traditional Odiya recipes. On top of it, the satisfaction that I get from serving Odiya food to my dear hubby does not have a match. Yes, my dear has had to wait for a pretty long time for his wife to learn Odiya recipes. Nevertheless, better late than never!

Cutting the long story short, let me talk about this recipe that was introduced to me by my mother in law, the last time she visited us. I was ignorant enough about mustard being used as a paste. I had only heard about mustard as a green vegetable (sarson da saag), which we relish in Punjab with makki di  roti (bread of cornmeal).

BESARA ODIYA RECIPE


mustard gravy besara
For two years, it remained a mystery for me until I inquired from my dear mother in law about the recipe. Voila! Now, I am a master at it, since dear hubby loves the way I make it.

Here, I am sharing the Odiya palanga besara recipe, which is spinach and other vegetables sauteed in mustard gravy. Try this for once and you would love to enjoy it often.







Recipe

1 bunch of spinach
1 potatoes
1/2 cup- Pumpkin cubed
1/2 cup- Cauliflower
Bottle gourd (I added - not used in Odisha)
Raw banana-1 (you may add vegetables of your choice)
1 Tomato (optional)
1 Onion (sliced thinly)
Green papaya
Brinjal (I didn't add, but it is often included in this recipe)
Wadi (optional - I added moong dal wadi and soaked it for 2 hours in water - though it is fried in original recipes)
Sugar - 2 pinches (optional - my sasu ma does not add, but I added)



For paste:
Mustard seeds 3 tsp
Garlic cloves -10
Green chilly 1-2
Red Kashmir chilly 1
Cumin seeds (jeera) -1 tsp
1/4 cup- fresh coconut (optional - not used in Odiya besara recipe, but I wanted to give it a twist)
Poppy seeds powder (khus khuhs)- 1 tsp -optional (not added in authentic recipe)





Process

  1. Soak mustard seeds along with the other ingredients mentioned under "for paste" for an 1 hour. It is important to soak mustard powder and poppy powder in lukewarm water for 1-2 hours to reduce their bitterness. I prefer grinding mustard and poppy seeds to powder and soak them together. I soaked them in the morning for over 2 hours and then ground them together to make paste. Do not add a lot of water to the paste. 
  2. Wash spinach and other vegetables and cut into small cube size pieces.
  3. Slice onion and cut tomato. Keep both aside.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp mustard oil in a pan.
  5. Add mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
  6. Add onion and fry until the onion slices turn golden brown. Add salt. Mix.
  7. Add the mustard paste. Saute well so that there is no raw smell of mustard. 
  8. Add 2 pinches of sugar ( though Odiyas do not use sugar in this recipe, I added as a caution against the bitterness of mustard)
  9. Add turmeric and mix very well.
  10. Add rest of the vegetables and saute for a while. 
  11. Add palak (spinach). Mix
  12. Add 1 cup of water and mix well so that the mustard gravy blends well with the vegetables. You may add less amount of water if you do not want it too watery.
  13. Add Wadis and mix.
  14. Cook & cover for 10-15 minutes. Stir after 10 mins and then keep it covered on a slow flame for another 10 minutes (depending on the amount of gravy you want for the recipe).
  15. Besara recipe with coconut, as I have prepared, tastes even better after being kept for some time. I prepared it for lunch and dinner. I prepare meals for lunch and dinner together. It tasted even better in dinner.

Enjoy this lip-smacking palanga besara with steamed rice or roti (Indian flat bread). I may not have followed the authentic Odiya besara recipe, but this one is equally lip smacking. Do give it a try and share feedback. I would be looking forward to your feedback.

2 comments:

  1. Wow something new. Mustard gravy is vry common especially in bengal and maharshtra for fish dishes. But this seems really lip smacking. Worth trying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes,absolutely. Odisha being a neighbor to Bengal has some similarities in cuisine with the latter. This certainly is a heavenly curry spiced up by mustard seeds - unique and oh so yummy!

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