Besara: An Authentic & Lord Jagannath’s Fev Odia Dish

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Bhubaneswar: Maha Prasads are usually very tasty and delicious to eat and the priests cook a variety of Prasads in the temples of Odisha.

Besara is one among the 56 bhoga (prasad) and traditionally all the prasads are made using clay pots in temple.

The ingredients for the mixed Vegetable Besara are those generally found in Indian kitchens and incorporate seasonally available vegetables.

As it is a Puri temple style recipe, authenticity is maintained by choosing just desi vegetables like raw green banana, colocasia (arbi), pumpkin, pointed gourd (parwal), sweet potato etc.

The main ingredients used are mustard paste and a variety of vegetables and it goes very well with Kanika (sweet rice) or with ghia arnna (ghee rice or ghee anna). So here it is, the recipe of a conventional mouth-watering simple aesthetic dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Diced Pumpkin – 1/2 cup
  • Diced raw Banana – 1/2 cup
  • Diced Yam (Desi Aloo)– 1/4 cup
  • Diced spine gourd (Kankada) – 1/4 cup
  • Diced pointed gourd (Potala) – 1/4 cup
  • Cut long beans – 1/4 cup
  • Diced radish – 1/4 cup
  • Diced Arum (Saru) – 1/4 cup
  • Cut Flat beans (Simba) – 1/4 cup
  • Diced Sweet Potato (Kandamula) – 1/4 cup
  • Soaked brown chickpeas – 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Salt – As per taste
  • Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Jaggery – As per taste (For just a hint of sweetness)
  • Water – 2 cups or as required
  • Desi ghee ( clarified butter ) – 2 tablespoons
  • Dry red chilli – 2
  • Asafoetida ( Hing ) – A pinch
  • Panch phuran – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Urad dal badi / Nadi badi – 1/4 cup

For making spice paste:

  • Mustard seeds – 2 tablespoons
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tablespoon
  • Fennel seeds (Saunf) – 2 tablespoons
  • Black peppercorn – 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger – 1 inch

PROCEDURE:

  1. Soak overnight a handful of black chana or chickpeas.
  2. Wash, peel and cut the vegetables into big square size pieces.
  3. Soak the mustard seeds and cumin seeds in water for 30 mins. Blend these along with fennel seeds, black peppercorn and ginger into a fine paste along with little water. Keep it aside for latter use.
  4. Heat a kadhai or pan and add water. When water comes to a boil, add all the cut vegetables, chickpeas, bay leaves, turmeric powder, salt and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook on a low medium heat for about 15 – 20 minutes or the vegetables are half cooked.
  5. Then add the masala paste, grated coconut and jagerry to it and mix well. Now cover and cook in low flame till all the vegetables are cooked and the gravy thickens.
  6. In another pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon ghee and fry the badis in low flame till they become light brown. Remove and keep aside.
  7. For tempering, heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in the pan. Add the dry red chilli and panchphoran. When it splutters, switch off the heat, add hing and pour this tadka to the curry. Now add the fried badis and mix well gently.
  8. Besara is ready. Garnish with grated coconut, chopped coriander leaves and fried badis. Serve along with kanika or ghee rice and enjoy the devine taste.

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