Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chettinad Mushroom Masala

Chettinad cuisine is our family favorite as they are spicy and delish. M likes anything spicy especially this winter makes him demand for spicy food that will make his taste buds go crazy. This is one such dish that can be made that way but that shouldn’t hold you from trying this recipe as the spice levels can be adjusted and can be made according to your taste.
This was one of the dishes that I used to make to sneak in mushrooms into M’s diet. But nowadays he demands for frequent appearance of this dish for dinner.yay!
Ingredients:
Mushrooms-300gms, cleaned and quartered
Onion-2, finely chopped
Tomatoes-2, finely chopped
Green chilies-3, split
Curry leaves-2-3 sprigs/handful
Ginger & Garlic paste-1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Mustard seeds-1 tsp
Bay leaf-1
Oil-2 tbsp
Salt-as needed
To Roast and Grind:
Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp
Channa dal/Bengal gram-1 tbsp
Red chilies-3
Black Peppercorn-1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds-1/2 tsp
Cloves-2
Cinnamon/cassia bark-1 inch piece
Stone flower/kalpaasi-1 tbsp
Star Anise-1/2 (use ½ the star)
Poppy seeds-1 tbsp
Heat a tsp of oil in a pan, add the chilies and roast till they turn slightly golden brown then remove them to a plate. Then add other ingredients one by one and roast until they pop, finally add the poppy seeds and roast for them for 10 seconds. Then switch off the flame and allow them to cool. Then add all ingredients to a blender and grind them to a fine/slightly coarse powder.
How It Happened:
1. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and when they pop, add onions and green chilies and cook until transparent.
2. Add the ginger & garlic paste and cook until the raw smell goes off in medium flame.

3. Add in chopped tomatoes, mix well and cook covered for 3 minutes/ until the tomatoes are completely mushy.
4. Add turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
5. Add the chopped mushrooms and mix well and cook covered in simmer for 15 minutes.

6. By now the mushrooms would have leached out their water and would have reduced in quantity. Now increase the flame and cook until all water is evaporated. Keep stirring else they will get burnt.
7. Add the ground powder and mix well. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes in medium flame.
8. Switch off the flame, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis/rice.
Notes:
* Meat eaters can use meat instead of mushrooms.
* The amount of spices that i have mentioned will make the masala medium hot and will suit everyone. But in pictures you can see more chilies as I adjusted it to our taste.
* Do not add more of other aromatics than mentioned else the masala will be sabotaged by a spice overdose. Also roast the ingredients well else they will retain raw smell.
* Add poppy seeds at the end of roasting else they will get burnt. 
* The powder can be slightly coarse, if you are a texture-kinda person like me. Even the powder wouldn’t be too fine as such.
* If you want more richness you can add ¼ cup of roasted coconut while grinding the powder. The coconut should be roasted well without any moisture.
* Add water to make it semi-gravy.

 * Dill leaves can also be added with coriander leaves for added flavor.
* I paired it with roti and raita. This spicy side really needs a cooling raita.

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