Thursday, 18 February 2010

Cooking is my passion

I am passionate about cooking. When I am in the kitchen I never feel bored. The good thing is that my hubby too loves my cooking. Beleive me I am good cook :).  For cooking and for doing good research you need lots of imaginations!!!. In other words a good cook can be a good researcher too (thats me ofcouse!!!). The saying 'way to a man's heart is through his stomach' is very true. I started cooking from the age of 12 and the first dish I made was potato fry. My sister is a great fan for the potato fry I prepare. My mother-in-law is a great cook too. She is also passionate about cooking to the extent that she allows nobody in her kitchen. Lucky me! the only thing I have to do when I visit my in-laws is just to sit and eat and appreciate her 'nalabagam'. In Tamil there is a word called 'kaipakkuvam'. I couldn't translate it into english. But to explain it if you give the same recipe to two different persons and ask them to cook, definitely the final product will not turn out to be the same. Anyone can cook food but only a few can cook tastily :) . Ok I will stop blabbering and would like to present one of my recipe here.

Oyster mushroom fry


Oyster mushrooms- 500gms
Big Onion- 1 no
Green chillies (according to your taste)
Mustard and jeera (cumin) seeds 1/2tspn
Urad dhal- 1 tspn
Curry leaves
Turmeric a pinch
Coriander powder- 1 tspn
Chilli powder (accoding to your taste)

Heat oil in a non-stick pan. When it gets heated add urad dhal. Let it brown then add mustard and jeera seeds. When it splutters add curry leaves. Fry for a second and then add onions and green chillies. Fry for a minute. Add required amount of salt fry for some more time till the onions turn translucent. Then add turmeric, coriander and chilli powder fry for few seconds. Then add the mushrooms which are torn into big pieces. Do not add water. Mushrooms have lot of water content in them. When the water content of the  mushroom evaporates simmer for 5 min till the mushrooms are fried well and turn crispy and golden in colour. Mushroom fry is now ready. I didn't add any masala powder. I beleive simple cooking brings out the natural taste and flavour of many vegetables and sometimes even non-vegetarian items.

Mushrooms are a great source of protein. There are two varieties of mushrooms available in the market. Button mushrooms which are white or brownish in colour and are not spread on its top. The above ones shown in the picture are oyster mushrooms. These mushroom's top portion are well spread out and looks like oyster shells. Tastewise oyster mushrooms have no other competitor. Actually more than these artificially cultured oyster mushrooms the real, naturally growing ones taste soooooo good. In my village after 2 or 3 days of rain my dad would ask the nearby kutti pasanga (who are actually farners sons) to bring them. The children go to plantain fields and there these mushrooms will be growing on the stems of banana tree. It will be like a festival in my home when these mushrooms arrive. Every one will be eager to taste it when it is finished. They taste excellent!!! When you buy these mushrooms at shop please do not throw away the stem part. The real taste is eating the fried stem. Here in Germany sometimes I get only the top part and not the stem portion.

Caution: Only few mushrooms are edible. Always buy them from shops. Do not collect them from anywhere. Only experienced people can differentiate between poisonous and non-poisonous ones. Happy cooking!!!

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