A delicious vegetarian recipe for South Indian style mushrooms. Spicy, coconut-y with the licorice sweetness of fennel, and heat from green chilies, ground red chili, and black pepper, it has all the distinctive flavours of Kerala.
- 250g button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili, ground
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1 green chili, split in half (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1” piece ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 ½ tablespoon)
- 6-8 shallots, sliced lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- ½ teaspoon fennel, ground (or crushed whole is fine)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 lime cut into wedges (optional)
- Apply salt, turmeric, and ground Kashmiri chili on mushrooms. Mix well so spices are evenly spread.
- Heat oil in a work or deep frying pan on medium heat. Add mustard, curry leaves, and sliced chili, and stir for half a minute.
- When the mustard starts to sizzle and pop, add garlic, ginger, shallots, and ground coriander. Allow shallots to become translucent (about 2 minutes).
- Add sliced mushrooms to pan, along with 3 tablespoons water, and allow to fry for 2 minutes until soft, stirring continuously.
- Add coconut, pepper, and fennel, and continue stir-frying. Mushrooms cooked in about 3-5 more minutes when the liquid in the pan dries up.
- Squeeze half a lime on top, garnish with freshly grated coconut and serve.
The mushrooms are critical, as is the ginger and garlic. Shallots can be substituted by a small onion, and green chili can be substituted by red chilies. You can leave the turmeric out if necessary. Kashmiri chilies can be replaced by ground red chili. While I personally like the flavour of fennel, you can leave it out if not available. Coconut oil provides a unique Kerala aroma to food, but it can be substituted by any cooking oil.