Somewhere in the month of July â€“ August, we get Mushrooms(Almbe in Konkani, anabe in Kannada) here. They grow naturally especially in forests. They grow abundantly near the snake nests. They are the sites of mites. But people are afraid of Cobras and many do not go near them. Many bold people go to the forest to get them at the appropriate time. We get different varieties of mushrooms. In South Kanara we get button mushrooms. In Uttar kannada (North kanara) we get different types in upper and lower ghat sections. Some of the mushrooms are very poisonous. So only few people know which ones are edible and which ones are not. These are hugely popular among people here – everyone looks forward for these in rainy season.
After few washes
These naturally found mushrooms have slightly different taste. They are very tasty compared to the artificially grown ones. I use them especially for frying. People use them for shallow frying or deep frying. We like shallow frying. I learnt this recipe from my grand mother. My children and all my family members are very fond of this mushroom fry. It is difficult to fry the artificially grown mushrooms available these days, as they are bigger in size. I have the experience that more than the half quantity of fried mushrooms disappear before the tawa is removed from the flame – you can’t just eat one.
We use leaflet midribs of the coconut (which is also used to make brooms) as skewers. We usually save a big batch of coconut leaflet midribs(sarni kaddi – broom sticks) just to use them as skewers.
The other dishes that I make with these mushrooms(you can also use any store bought mushrooms for these two) are – mushroom pulav, mushroom ambat.
If you don’t find these mushrooms, you could try bhende phodi.
1 cup mushrooms (slit)
1/4 tsp asafoetida
4 tea spn (approx) sooji
1 tea spn chilli powder
2â€“3 tea spn oil
Select the mushrooms that are not blossomed(opened up). Wash and clean them with enough water and remove the soil from them. Slit them longitudinally. Keep about 5 cms. of the stem along with the top(Some have very long stems, which are cut off).
As shown in the photo, arrange these slit mushrooms on a stick/skewers.
Sprinkle salt over these and keep aside for five minutes. Sprinkle asafoetida powder over them.
Mix sooji and chilli powder. Roll the mushroom sticks in this mixture.
Apply oil to the hot tawa and fry these mushroom sticks on both sides on low flame.
PS: Do not keep them for a long time after applying salt, they get too soggy.
These are exremly tasty when they are hot.