My mom often talks about her childhood in Coorg walking many many miles to school, climbing trees, throwing stones at the mangoes and eating many fruits and berries on the way. She spoke of the different wild mushrooms growing and that they picked these mushrooms and that the flavor those mushroom had is not the same as the store bought ones and I agree with her. We had a friend in Sweden, who would go mushroom picking in the woods. He would give us a big basket of mushrooms which just needed a little butter, salt and pepper and it would melt in your mouth. Years later, I would buy chicken mushrooms (had the texture of chicken) from the farmer’s market in the fall. These mushrooms grew only for a short time and I would wait every year for this mushroom. Here I only get button mushrooms and oyster mushrooms. I like oyster mushrooms better, especially for the curries.
This is a traditional Coorgi recipe. I served it with the akki roti my mom made (posted the recipe earlier). In Coorg, they use a special vinegar called kaachumbuli which is made from a certain fruit. I substituted it with a little kokum and tamarind.
400 g mushrooms (preferably . oyster and button mushroom – but either works)
1/2 – 1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 onions sliced
2 green chillies – slit
curry leaves 4 (optional)
kaachumbuli 1 tsp (or 1/2 tsp tamarind paste with1/2 tsp kokum or 1 tbsp lime juice)
1/2 cup coconut
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Wash and clean mushrooms. Cut them into pieces. Rub turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, and salt into it and set aside for 30 minutes.
Grind garlic, coconut, and cumin to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. when they start to splutter, add the curry leaves, onions and chillies and fry till golden brown.
Add mushrooms and saute for a few minutes. Add a cup of water and cook till tender Then add the ground paste and tamarind to the mushrooms and let it cook. (If using lime juice instead, add at the end after removing it from the heat)
Cook for a few minutes and serve with rice, akki roti, roti, dosas or any bread.