My mother tells me that my grandmother was very fond of wild mushrooms and she liked picking them fresh. It seems that mushrooms sprout overnight after a heavy rainfall with a lot of thunder but they turn poisonous once the sun rises and they bloom. My grandmother used to go to her field just before dawn and pick the mushrooms, with its stalks, which grew under a particular huge tree. There were also snake holes around that tree where snakes did live but my grandmother was quite a fearless woman.
While her children and grandchildren no longer neither live near fields nor would we know how to identify good mushrooms and when we should pick them, my grandmother’s fondness for mushrooms has been transferred to everyone at home.
So, here’s my grandmother’s mushroom recipe as remembered and very often replicated at home by my mother.
Cooking time: 15 mins
- Mushrooms (Button/Agaricus or Crimini) – 1 cup, sliced
- Garlic – 3 or 4 cloves
- Ginger – 1” piece
- Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
- Coconut milk – 1 cup (thin or ½ cup coconut milk mixed with ½ cup water) + ¼ cup thick (optional)
- Curry powder – 1 tbsp
- Mixed dry roasted spice powder – fennel, cardamom, cinnamon and clove (3C + fennel) – 1 tsp
- Salt, to taste
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and sauté the garlic, ginger and curry leaves.
- When the aroma begins to waft about, add the sliced mushrooms and mix well.
- Add 1 cup of thin coconut milk and add curry powder and salt. Cook for around 10 to 12 mins.
- Add the mixed dry roasted spice powder together with ¼ cup milk, if the curry has dried up or if you prefer it with gravy, and let the curry simmer for a few minutes before removing from heat.
- Serve hot with rice or rotis.
Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.