Thursday, 20 June 2013

Shorshe Chaatu / Mushrooms in mustard paste

This is my 260th !!! :-)

This has been a long, long pending post. The photos have been lying in my folder, waiting to see the light of the day ... any day ... even a cloudy day.
But I have been caught up with numerous things, all at once, and making a post here is the last thing on my mind now. But looking at the date stamp of my last post, I felt I really needed to keep Kichu Khon on a life line ... before it goes to eternal sleep again. So picked up the first set of photos that were edited and ready ... and here's shooting off a quick post before the busy days eat me up again.

Mushrooms are called Chaatu in Bengali and Odia.
Back home, Bapi would bring fresh mushrooms when in season, dump them on a big plate and put it in front of me. I loved to skin the hoods ... and so that job was delegated to me.
They were usually big sized, with a flat hood that had a slightly darkish skin and spread out. Underneath they were darker. And the stems would be white.
When very fresh, the hood would break with a light snap. I would break it into small pieces and peel the skin. Later they would be chopped and cooked.

Ma cooked mushrooms the only way we loved them ... in mustard paste. Sometimes she would add some small sized fish to it too. But most of the time it was cooked with little sized potatoes ans mustard paste. Since our cook was an Odia, she would add garlic to the mustard when making the paste ... most Odia recipes using mustard paste use garlic ... thus bringing out a whole new flavour to the dish.
I love garlic so add a good amount ... the fragrance of garlic with the fresh, pungent mustard paste is something so wonderful that it brings tears to the eyes.
Why tears? Take a whiff of this freshly made paste and you will know. :-)

Ma makes this dish dry. Mushrooms release a lot of water when cooking and tend to turn the dish watery, even before you have served it.
Bapi does not like it ... just like he does not like rice that has turned sticky,  jhol that is a little too watery, ruti that has burn spots ... brown spots are allowed but not black ones, they mean burnt ...... so Ma took care to cook it till it was very dry and slightly bhaja bhaja ... almost like a fried version. 
The high heat, to dry up the dish, would result in slightly charring the sides and I loved those dark brown scrapings mixed with rice. 

It has been a long time since I had those local mushrooms last. Here I get the button mushrooms, in a packet from the chiller at the super market.
They stay well for not more than 2 days ... in the fridge. After that they start to turn dark.

Need :

Mushrooms - cleaned and chopped
Potatoes - peeled and chopped into small pieces ( they should be smaller than the mushrooms pieces )
Onion - peeled and chopped into medium sized pieces
Tomato - chopped
Soaked Mustard seeds - ( I use half and half of both black and white seeds and soak them for about an hour)
Garlic pods
Fresh green chillies
Haldi / Turmeric powder
Kalonji / Kalo jeere / Nigella seeds
Mustard oil

How to :

Make the mustard paste by grinding together the mustard seeds, green chilles and the garlic together.
Heat oil in a kadahi.
Add the kalo jeere and the onion. Fry lightly.
Now add the potatoes and fry for a while on high heat.
Lower heat, add the mushrooms, haldi and salt. Cover and cook till potatoes are done.
Remove cover and add the mustard paste. Give a good stir.
Cover for around 5 mins.
Remove cover and add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of sugar.
Cook till all water disappears and the dish turns dryish.

Goes great on the side with plain hot rice and dal.
A squeeze of lemon and some fresh green chilli with every bite makes it all the more tasteful.


I had shared this recipe of adding garlic to the mustard when making the paste with Sandeepa Bong Mom once ... here's how she made it.

Other recipes with Mustard paste on Kichu Khon

Shorshe Kaatla Bhaape 

Shorshe Ilish 

Shorshe Rui 

Shorshe Bhindi ( vegetarian )

Shorshe Potol ( vegetarian ) 

Shorshe Sheem ( vegetarian )