Till about a couple years ago, I did not fancy mushrooms; but then the affair started and now I can proudly say, “I’m in love.” Mushrooms are loaded with protein and Vitamin D with minimal calories. So for a health buff like me, it is one helluva ingredient.
I usually stir-fry them with some butter and garlic or just add to noodles or Mexican chili to bump up the nutrition. But this time, I decided to hero this little c(h)ap! And what better way than some spicy Indian curry, in fact, even closer to home with this traditional Goan preparation, Xacuti. (pronounced as Shaa-go-tee.)
I have used white button mushrooms here, but you can go ahead and use whichever edible (obviously!) mushrooms you have on hand. And when I say spicy, that’s what it is – A blast of various spices, each imparting its own unique flavour and aroma. So let’s get started..
- 250 gm, button mushrooms, diced to bite-size pieces
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 small tomato, diced
- 2-3 tsp oil
- 1-2 bay leaf
- pinch of ground turmeric
- salt, to taste
- coriander, for garnishing
- juice of lemon, as required
To be ground together
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 3-4 black peppercorns
- 5-6 cloves
- 2-3 small pieces of cinnamon
- 1 star anise
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 green cardamom
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 mace
- 4 dry red chilli
- 1 small onion, roughly sliced
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- 1 small piece ginger
- 2 tbsp tamarind pulp
- 1/3 cup dry or wet shredded coconut
- In a pan, add the spices to be ground together and dry roast it together. Once fragrant, transfer to a blender. (See note below)
- Roast the onion till slightly browned. Likewise for the coconut. Slightly roast the garlic.
- Blend all these along with other ingredients to be ground together, with some water, to a paste.
- In a kadhai~, add the oil. Once heated, add the bay leaf.
- Then saute the onion till slightly pink.
- Next add the tomato and cook till mushy. Add a pinch of ground turmeric and salt.
- Now add the ground paste and mix together till oil starts separating from the sides.
- Throw in the chopped mushrooms and coat well with the masala. Add 1 cup of water and check the salt.
- Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add more water if needed to adjust the consistency.
- Once off the heat, add the lemon juice and garnish with coriander.
- Enjoy this sizzling xacuti with bread, chapati*, bhakri* or steamed rice.
Note : For dry roasting spices, pan should always be on medium heat. Add the spices in small batches, never over-crowding the pan. Keep stirring, you must not leave it unattended at any time. Roast for not more than 1 minute. IF it goes black, it implies that the spices have burnt and will have to be discarded (sigh!) Otherwise the recipe will turn bitter.
~round, thick-bottomed, wide-mouthed vessel that is generally used in Indian cooking
*Indian flat-breads made with wheat/rice/millet flour
- Replace mushrooms with chicken or red meat. This recipe is originally for Chicken Xacuti but vegetarian version uses mushroom.
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