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On Cloud Nine: Mushrooms Are Synonymous With Monsoon In The Nilgiris

Monsoons in India have always been romanticized. The sound of rain on the roof, children playing in the puddle, and the much-sought relief from the heat. These images and memories stay forever. Monsoons are also the time of the year when we, the people of Nilgiris, get our favourite food item in the form of Marakallam or tree- mushrooms.

Marakallan (tree-mushrooms) only grows during the rains when rotting trees become conducive for the fungi. They are mostly white in color with slight variations. In the local language, it’s referred to as “Maranpe”. Tree mushrooms have the consistency of chicken so usually it is cooked with chicken masala. Read on to find out about a simple recipe.

Extracting and collecting :

These mushrooms are found in the forests. They are usually white in color but not all white mushrooms are edible. One must be careful and attentive while collecting them. When you spot these mushrooms, grab them by the stem and pluck.


Pick up the mushrooms one by one and cut off their stalks. Stalks are usually thick and hard to chew. Take only the top part and split it into smaller pieces. Wash and clean it thoroughly with water.

Required Ingredients :

  1. Coconut oil

  2. Mustard seeds

  3. Thinly sliced onions

  4. Green chilies

  5. Turmeric powder

  6. Chicken masala

  7. Salt (to taste)

Process: Heat oil in a pan and when it starts smoking add mustard seed. Once the mustard seeds have finished crackling, add the onions and fry till they are golden brown. Then add turmeric powder and chicken masala and mix. Now add mushroom and salt and cook for 4 minutes until the mushroom is tender and the water is dried.

Serve with rice.

This article has been created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.


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