One more Odia recipe…

One more nostalgic moment…

One more childhood love…

Yes, the name says it all. Here, you can see two familiar names. One is CHINGUDI and the other is BESARA. Chingudi or prawn or shrimp is something that we all love. It is considered as super delicious seafood. I still remember prawns used to be part of every Sunday lunch in childhood. In fact, I can say they are still a part of Sunday lunches and in fact its a part of the main course on many days. On a lighter note, I remember how my mother used to divide the prawns equally between me and my sister and she used to be quite strict about it. Even, we used to fight on the size of the prawns given. Oh god! I miss those days so much! 

The next word is Besara. Besara is one of the most integral parts of Odia culture and food. A beautifully balanced mustard based gravy, involving the perfect ratio of pungency, sweetness and sourness. As per my knowledge and experience, Basara is a blend of mustard and some basic spices. Sometimes, it is a part of pure veg cuisine and sometimes it is used in the preparation of pure non-veg food. Sometimes it is a Bhog or Prasad in the temples and sometimes it shines in the menu card of several fine-dine restaurants. So making a Besara goes back to the roots of one of the oldest culture and community of the country.

SHRIMP- Being a high protein food, it complements to your daily protein intake. It has high omega 3 content, which makes it highly nutritious. Shrimp is a high source of essential vitamin n minerals.

MUSTARD- Mustard seeds are rich in a nutrient called selenium, known for its high anti-inflammatory effects. The magnesium in mustard seeds helps in reducing the severity of asthma and certain symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, as well as lowering blood pressure.



  • 300gms medium shrimps (Deshelled and deveined)
  • 2tsp turmeric powder
  • 1tbsp +1tsp mustard oil
  • 2 small-sized onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 small tomato (cut into 6 slices)
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1small potato(peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1tsp Kashmiri chilly powder
  • 2 tbsp paste of mustard (make the paste by adding 4 tbsp of soaked mustard, 2 soaked red chillies, 4 cloves of garlic and a 1tsp of cumin seeds)
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic( just press the garlic cloves once with the flat side of your knife or pestle)
  • 2 slit green chillies
  • Salt as per taste
  • Water as per requirement
  • 2 medium size charcoal pieces
  • 1tbsp ghee


  • Marinate the prawns in 1tsp turmeric, salt and pinch of mustard oil for 15-20 minutes.
  • Put 1tsp mustard oil into a non-stick pan heat it to the smoking point.
  • Put the prawns into it. Cook till done. (don’t overcook it)
  • Keep it aside in a bowl.
  • Into the same pan goes 1tbsp mustard oil.
  • Put cumin seeds, slit green chillies.
  • Once the cumin starts spluttering, add the onions and sauté nicely till translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the potatoes and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Add 2 tbsp of the mustard paste to it and sauté on simmer flame for 30 seconds.
  • Add 3/4th cup of water to it and bring it to boil.
  • Once it starts boiling put the 2 crushed garlic cloves and 4 slices of tomatoes.
  • Cover and cook it on a medium flame for 5-10 minutes.
  • In goes the prawns and mix well with the Besara/ gravy.
  • Add 1 cup more warm water and 1tsp of raw mustard oil to it and cook it on a medium flame for 2 minutes then on simmer for 15 minutes. (covered)
  • Once you see the oil separates and floats on the surface and a beautiful fragrant is mesmerising your senses, switch off the gas.
  • Heat and makes the charcoal red hot on gas flame.
  • Make a aluminium foil small bowl or take a metalic small bowl.
  • Place the bowl on the Besara/curry, right in the middle. Put the redhot charcoal in the bowl and put 1tbsp ghee on it.
  • you can see smoke coming out of the charcoal.
  • Immediately cover it with a tight lead so that the smoke does not comes out and let it stand for 10 more minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, open the lid and with a metalic tongue take the small bowl out of the curry.
  • Now your smoked chingudi besara is ready to serve.

Serve hot with nice steamed rice.

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