Bhendi Besara/ Lady’s Finger in Mustard Paste

Besara generally means a preparation in which vegetables are cooked in a mustard based gravy and Ambula/Salted and dried raw mango is used to add the tangy taste in the curry.

This besara paired well with steamed rice and some dal.This curry is the best example of our Odiya culture.

Let’s get started with the recipe

Recipe of Bhendi Besara/ Lady’s finger in mustard paste

Serves – 4

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 30 minutes


Bhindi/ Lady’s finger’s – 12 to 15  Clean the bhindi and wipe using a kitchen towel.Cut each into 3 to 4 pieces (2″ each per piece)

Tomato  –  2 small cut into four pieces each

Black or Yellow Mustard – 1 tsp

Garlic clove’s – 8 to 10

Ambula ( Dried and salted raw mango) – 2 big pieces

Badi/Vadiyan/ dried urad dal dumplings – 10 pieces

Panch Phoron – 1 tsp

Green chilli – 1 slit across lenghwise

Turmeric powder – one pinch

Salt to taste

Water as required

Mustard Oil – 5 tbsp

Fresh Coriander leaves – chopped for garnishing


Soak the Mustard and 4 garlic cloves for 10 minutes.Then grind them to a smooth paste.

Crush the rest garlic cloves and keep aside.

Take a deep bottomed frying pan. Heat 2 tbsp of mustard oil.

Fry the badi/ dried urad dal dumplings . Remove from oil and keep aside when done.

Then add 2tbsp of oil in the same pan. Add the chopped bhindi, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and fry till the sliminess of bhindi goes away.

Remove from the pan and keep aside.Then in the same pan add the rest one tbsp of oil. Then add the panch phoron and wait till the panch phoron stops crackling.Then add  the crushed garlic cloves , Green chilli and the tomatoes. Saute till the tomatoes are half cooked.Then add the already prepared mustard garlic paste and some water. When the water starts to boil add the fried bhindi and the ambula. Cook for 10-15 minutes till the bhindi’s are well cooked. Add salt and more water if needed. This is a slightly watery curry so adjust the consistency accordingly. Finish off with some chopped coriander leaves and some fried Badi.

Note – Panch Phoron is a whole spice mix of Fenugreek seeds, Nigella seeds,Carom Seeds, Black mustard seeds and Fennel seeds widely used in Eastern India, especially in Odiya, Assamese, and Bengali cuisine.

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