Mushroom Theeyal (Mushrooms in a Tangy Coconut Gravy)

Mushroom Theeyal

Theeyal is just so good! It is a dish from Kerala and translates to “burnt dish”. The gravy is made by toasting coconut and spices until they are super brown and then grinding them into a paste. Tamarind gives it a tangy taste. So far, I’ve made ulli theeyal (pearl onions)cabbage theeyal, and now mushroom theeyal. My husband and I have loved them all!

I was thinking bitter gourd theeyal might be next. I have never cooked with it and I will say it scares me a little (I’ve had very very bitter gourd and bitter gourd prepared in such a way that it was bitter yet delicious!). I’m thinking theeyal might stand up to the bitterness. We’ll see. That recipe and that post is for another day.

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 big onion chopped
2 green chilis chopped
3/4 cup shredded coconut (I used frozen shredded that I defrosted)
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 pound mushrooms sliced (white or crimini)
1 1/2 more cups water
Salt
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
7-8 curry leaves
Pinch hing (optional)

  1. Heat the 1st tablespoon of coconut oil in a saute pan and cook onions over medium high heat until browned, adding the green chilis part way through cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a big skillet toast the shredded coconut. Stir the coconut very often so that it evenly browns, but doesn’t burn. When it gets to be a really deep golden brown, add the fenugreek, chili powder, turmeric and coriander powder. Keep stirring until you get it a nice dark brown. Grind in a food processor/mixie. Then add in the browned onions, tamarind and 1/2 cup water and process until smooth. Throw mixture into the saute pan.
  3. Next add the next 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil in the skillet (you can use the same skillet you used to toast the coconut and spices, just wipe it out). Add the mushrooms and leave them there to brown a little. Once browned on one side and the water is coming out, salt the mushrooms and add them to the saute pan with the coconut, spices and onion mixture. Stir in another 1 1/2 cups water. Add salt.
  4. In a tadka or other small pan, add your last 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop, add the curry leaves and hing and once the crackle, add it to the mushrooms. Voila!

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