Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Mushroom Olu & Taher


Lousy picture but heavenly Taste

(This was cooked last Tuesday(02/24/09) and drafted last Wednesday)

To go with the President's fiery speech yesterday, this is what I made. I am a big fan of that guy so I will refrain from discussing his dog, his wife and his stimulus here. But that man surely inspires, how else do you think me who has to be up by 5:30 in the morning after a midnight feeding break, would start cooking at 9:00 on a work week night. I would have normally just served leftover dal with an omlette but I made this fiery dish instead.

Anita's tcharvan-olu was reincarnated in my home but with mushroom & potatoes. I didn't have a goat tied in my backyard and so had to resort to mushroom. It was wonderful to say the least.

Next I wanted to have it with taher. Though mustard oil is a staple at Bengali homes I had never had rice infused with mustard oil. Many a days back in my grandma's home, when the refrigerator was not in vogue, left over rice would be saved for next day by soaking the cooked rice in cold water overnight. For morning breakfast my ma & Aunts would some times have that with Mustard Oil, Green Chillies, raw Red onions and maybe Kaancha Posto(poppy seed paste). This rice was called Paanta Bhaat. My Ma was not fond of this and would usually avoid having it and never let me have it. My Kakima/Aunt however loved this rice and would often have it for herself and during summer holidays I would get a share of that "Paanta Bhaat" on some days. That is the closest I have come to have rice flavored with Mustard Oil

Taher, therefore excited me and satisfied me and the husband's taste buds fully. To do this cook rice with a little turmeric. Once the rice is done fluff it with a fork so that you can see the grains. Heat Mustard oil to smoking and then mix it with a little salt with the rice.

This with the mushroom-olu was bliss. This Kashmiri recipe is there to stay in our Bengali home for sure. I would insist that you use Mustard Oil for both Mushroom-Olu and Taher. Both dishes are very simple and light if you consider the spices, it is the Mustard Oil that lends it the flavor, with any other oil it may taste flat. So go ahead and buy that bottle.

Aloo Mushroom

Quick Recipe Recap:

Heat Mustard Oil

Temper with a biggie Bay Leaf /Tejpatta, 3-4 cloves, 2 green cardamaom

As they sizzle add lots of green chillies finely chopped(I added about 4-5) and 1/2 tsp of finely julienned ginger (use ginger powder instead). The original recipe uses 1& 1/2 tsp of Red Chilli Powder and Ginger Powder

Add 2 peeled and cubed potatoes with a little turmeric and saute for a minute

Add 2 tsp of fennel powder, mix well with the potatoes and cover and cover and cook for a minute or so

Add the sliced mushroom, add salt, mix well and let it cook

Mushroom will release lot of water. Wait for all that water to dry up. Stir intermittently

Drizzle a little more mustard oil and you are done. At this point you are supposed to add 1/4 tsp of Garam Masala or a Kashmiri Masala. I gave this step a miss but still it was great.

Also see Anjali's Taher & Gucchi Olu


  1. In summer my granny soak the leftover rice and next day goes with left over tamarind fish gravy :) or green chilli and raw pearl onion. Thinking itself makes drooling, I imagine with mustard oil or posto, could be something different.
    The curry is very quick and droolworthy!

  2. Aloo and mushroom! Now why didn't I think of this before?!

  3. Thanks for sharing it Sandeepa. I never tried to make mushrooms with potatoes, now will surely make this for my brother!

  4. Taher je mustard oil er hoye jantam na.. Sounds like killer combination!

    amar ma o kono din panata bhaat kheto na, amr mashir barite gele ami khetam, kintu chotoder jonne gorom panta (fresh bhaat thanda kore) kore dito knaacha posto diye. I would love that!

  5. Sandeepa,

    Visited your blog after a long time.Congrats on the new domain name.
    Rice e mustard oiler gondho ta thakay jai ki. I love sorser tel, but cant think of it in my bhaat. Alu Mushroom ta try kortay hobay, I usuaully make matar-mushroom.

  6. Congrats on u're new domain! The alu and mushroom curry looks inviting as mushrooms ae my favorite I can eat it in any form. I have never tasted leftover rice as during childhood its for only elders and now we cook rice only once in a day and hence no leftovers for the next day. But to get a feel of it I often had warm rice with soaked in water and salt. slitting a green chilli and stuffing it with 2-3 pinches of salt and biting them once in a while can make you empty a big bowl in minutes! Thats my staple and favoite during me second pregnancy :)

  7. Great combo! aloo and mushroom. Taher is something new to me..shall give it a try.

  8. Sandeepa, will you be able to put up the recipe of the Paanta Bhat sometime? I made methi-paneer with mustard oil today, from a Punjabi cookbook. It was for potatoes, but I didn't use potatoes. I'm looking forward to lunch.

  9. Wow these looks so yummy delicious, i can imagine how comfoting id to eat this curry with rice, just the thought makes me drool here.

  10. Nice photo, I liked it! Mushrooms and rice always hard to take picutre of. Looks like a comfort food thali! :)

  11. I know you are a big fan so will refrain from making any comments about him. And the aloo mushroom would give enough warmth for a sleevless shirt out in the cold ;)

  12. I know you are a big fan so will refrain from making any comments about him. And the aloo mushroom would give enough warmth for a sleevless shirt out in the cold ;)

  13. I liked this recipe very much. I will defenitely try out this tommorow
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  14. Amar ma mushroom er jhaal korto Sandeepa, mustard paste diye. Taher er taste ki plain bhaate sorsher tel deyar moton hoye? Panto bhaat khabar din eshegelo... tobe ekhane temon bhalo ferment hoye na .. oi tauk tauk taste ta thake na. :-)

  15. Amar ma mushroom er jhaal korto Sandeepa, mustard paste diye. Taher er taste ki plain bhaate sorsher tel deyar moton hoye? Panto bhaat khabar din eshegelo... tobe ekhane temon bhalo ferment hoye na .. oi tauk tauk taste ta thake na. :-)

  16. Shilpi pointed me towards this blog. I can go on about the awesomeness and how it has already changed my life in the last 4 minutes (I am not being sarcastic). But, thanks for blogging.

  17. Yes Sandeepa this combo is soul food. This weekend am making it for my friends.

  18. I can tell that the taste is heavenly. I would lick all my fingers after eating (lol)

  19. Thanks for this post. I was thinking up the dishes I should be making for my inlaws visit. They swear by mustard oil - though I dont love it! This is gonna be on the menu!

  20. hmm...can imagine how delicious it must have tasted:-)

  21. Hi Sandeepa,
    Great blog. I have bookmarked it and will be coming back often. I dont know abc of bong cooking. My sis-in-law sent me the link from US and said that it is a great site. I agree with her. Looking forward to great recipes. I am especially interested in the dals, mutton and sea food :).
    Take care and keep it up!

  22. I guess the soaked rice thing was done all over in those days to preserve the rice. My Mummy loves it so much that she soaks left over rice even now sometimes to have it with thin buttermilk next morning seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper. Tastes great. Though Tambrahm I am in love with mustard oil and always have a stock. The rice you mention is new to me and I am definitely trying this! Mushroom olu sounds great too.

    Came here some time back too but could not get through to the comment box!

  23. Cham
    the green chilli and raw onion is same, would love to have that tamarind fish gravy. My granny(mom's mom) used to make a chaatni with tamarind and fish head, was yumm

    Goes great together

    Khub soja eta kora, jhotpot hoy

    Ami Taher ki tai jantam na er age


    I too have mustard oil with rice only when I am having aloo-seddho or similar stuff, but this was definitely great when paired with this dish.

    I have never had soaked rice again after those days which were incidentally looooong back. Strange thing is I don't even feel the urge :)

    Thanks :)

    I have not had Paanta Bhaat for a loong loong time but you can do what Soma and Nirmala said -- SOak fresh cooked rice in water for some time and then have it with mustard oil, salt, green chillies and raw onion. Only in this case it will not be fermented and so that slight sourness will not be there


    I don't have a night light setting to take pics. This was taken by my kitchen light and that too with the little one on my hips. I did not even attempt to take a better one !!!

    Maybe should send the recipe to the White House Chef ;-)



    Ami plain bhaat e sorsher tel khai na, except jokhon aloo seddho etc. ei shob thake. Eta anek ta ek i rokom, tobe sorsher tel gorom korle ekta jhaanj hoi, normnally amader ekhaner sorsher tel e jeta prai thakei na.

    Oi mushroom er jhaal amar ek bondhu kore, amio or theke kortam, tobe sorshe bata shob shomoy kora hoy na. Eita dekhlam besh jhat pat hoy

    Ummm do I know Shilpi ?

    Did you make it with M.Oil, that makes all the diff doesn't it ?

    Now go get that bottle


    Yeah very comforting

    Thanks a lot :) Hope you like it as much as your sis-in-law. I don't have many mutton dishes blogged, but sea food is plenty


    With buttermilk, that must have been great

  24. 'go ahead and buy that bottle' echoed with me. :) i've been seeing it in shops lately, wondering what it tastes like. you've tempted me now...

  25. The first time I tasted mustard oil was in a pickle when I visited Bagdogra and Darjeeling over some school holidays. Did not like the taste of it the firsttime but by the time my vacation was done, I loved the smell & flavor of it so much that I packed bottles of pickles to take back home!

    The curry sounds & looks delicious, San. And with the mustard oil flavored rice, must've been fabulous!

  26. This looks wonderful! As to fennel powder, is it OK to use ground (in a mortar and pestle) fennel seeds? Should one dry-roast them first, or just grind directly? Thanks!!

  27. Rachel
    I used roasted and ground, just because I had that left over .
    You can use ground fennel seeds too. By fennel seeds here I mean the one you buy as a spice.

  28. Thanks Sandeepa! I'll roast some and grind them up - I have fennel seeds (the spice kind, as it is when a component of paanch phoron but all by itself) in the cupboard! :-)

  29. We used to have panta bhaat sometimes accompanied by alu piyaj bhaja and small fish fried crisp . Youm heaven .We eat a lot of mushroom - recipe ta try korbo for sure .Taher jani na - acquired taste ? Kheye dekhtey hobey :)

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  31. Dear Sandeepa
    Bhag-gis backyard-e goat bandha chhilona..ta-hol-e ei recipe ta khaoa hoto-na..
    I am going to make this exactly as per your recipe, it has a slight departure from Kashmiri, though.
    By the way all Kashmiri dishes are cooked with mustard oil by default unless ghee is specified. No other oil is used.
    I am in a good mood to cook roganjosh and reshmi biriyani shortly and will put few lines on kashmiri dishes.
    Taher traditionally will have bit of akhrot paste, holud, salt and ghee or mustard oil. The mustard oil generally may not be raw but heated, saturated with hing, cooled and stored in bulk for cooking all other dishes.
    Ar funda dekha-te hob-ne..ei dish ta rendhe janachhi Ka-to bhalo khelam..
    Bhaslo theko


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