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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Maccha Mahura

Mahura. Ghanta. Chencheda. Fish cooked with a medley of vegetables but known by different names by people from various parts of Odisha. Phew...it can get quite confusing at times. While Ghanta is usually vegetarian with loads of sprouts and fresh coconut ( Ex - Ghanta made on Dwitibahana Osa ), Chencheda is usually made by combining some kind of leafy vegetable with the fish ( Ex- Poi (malabar spinach) Chencheda or Bandha kobi Chencheda ). Even for Mahura, it can be either Niramish (no onion-no garlic, ex - Mahura besara prasad from Puri temple) or amish ( Chingudi mahura or maccha mahura ). Hence, there is no wrong or right categorization...one can refer to it by any name (A big Thanks to Ritu Maam for clearing my confusion).

Traditionally, only the head and tail of a fish like Rohu/Bhakura is used in this recipe but one can also make it with the other parts. IMO, given the demands of a fast moving world, one needs to adapt rather than end up in the league of dinosaurs. And that requirement will dictate the future of most traditional recipes. So fret not.

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -

2 pieces of Bhakura/Rohu fish ( I used a tail and a fillet )
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
1/2 cup chopped pumpkin
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1 small potato
1/2 of a green banana
1 medium sized tomato
1 small onion
4-5 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 dry red chilli
1 large bay leaf
2-3 cloves
8-10 peppercorns
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 green cardamom
1/4 tsp turmeric
oil (as per requirement)
salt to taste


Preparation - Marinate the fish with salt and a pinch of turmeric.

Grind the onion, garlic and ginger into a coarse paste. Chop the tomato into small pieces.


Cooking - All the vegetables (except tomato) should be chopped into similar sized cubes. Clean and transfer them to a cooker with 1/4 cup water. Add a pinch of turmeric and salt. Cook on high flame for 2 whistles.

Set aside for allowing steam to escape. Drain excess water and keep aside.

Dry roast the coriander, cumin, chili, bay leaf, peppercorn, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom till fragrant. Remove and allow to cool down. Grind into a fine powder.

Heat 2-3 tsp oil in wok. Add the fish and fry for 6-7 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
In the same wok, add some more oil. Add the onion-garlic-ginger paste and fry till raw smell goes away.

Add the fried fish to the wok. Slightly crush it and fry for 3-4 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and sprinkle a little salt. Allow to soften a bit. Add the boiled vegetables at this stage. Turn up the flame and fry for 3 minutes.

Finally add the powdered masala along with some of the water used for boiling the vegetables. Cover with a lid and simmer on low flame for 8-10 mins.

Serve hot with white rice or rotis.

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