The most magical part of my vacay in Maldives was that on our island the practice was that guests were encouraged to stay bare feet. The island is called Baros, I wonder if it has remained as lovely. It was a moderately sized island with urbane rustic woody bungalow rooms spread widely along the sea. With the welcome drink we were told that the premise for losing our footwear was that we were encouraged to feel the soft earth on skin and allow pristine nature infuse into our whole being. I remember being dressed for dinner in a skirt teemed with a fancy embellished shirt appropriately accessorized yet being bare feet on several evenings. As we sat for candle lit meals on the beach which we reached via pebbled walkways I remember experiencing multiple earthy virgin sublime feelings.
I picked up a cook book from the hotel boutique. I learnt this recipe from a page in this book. This was originally a squid based recipe. Maldivian cuisine is based on three main items or their derivatives which are coconut, fish and starches. This mushroom recipe borrows from the squid roast recipe with a twist from your truly.
My food word for this recipe would be peppery.
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The recipe would be:
Firstly we need to make a marinade. Take one about two inch piece of ginger, four whole green chillies, two slit thin cocum pieces, two sprigs of curry leaves, one tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. In a small blender jar, make a coarse paste. The recipe is for about three packets, about forty odd buttons, of white mushroom. Clean the mushroom well and pluck the stem out. Now gently rub the marinade all over the buttons and set aside for at least a half hour.
In a warm wok, pour in two tbsp oil. Once the oil is warm, allow half a tsp of mustard seeds to sputter. Next add finely chopped onions, I used two big ones, two chopped green chillies, finely chopped, one inch ginger and five pearls of garlic and also some finely chopped curry leaves. Saute well until the onions are transparent. Add half tsp chilly powder and one and half tsp coriander powder. Fry well. Now please add the marinated mushrooms. Mix well and cover the wok. In about five minutes, add three tbsp grated coconut, a dash of pepper powder, one level tsp garam masala and salt to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.
I have made this a few times, the first few times I did not cover the mushroom with a lid and this left the dish dry, quite like a roast. I must say, both variations are pretty delectable.