Desify Chinese: Shiitake Mushroom Masala

We love our schezwan, manchurian, talumein, chowmein and everything Chinese. And this post is about how we desified Chinese to create our own fusion food.

Any decent supermarket will have traditional Chinese ingredients like pak choi/bok choy, Chinese cabbage, Chinese radish, Shiitake mushrooms or Chinese water chestnuts. However we still are a hesitant lot when it comes to experimenting. Primarily because we need dishes that appeals to everyone’s taste buds at the dinner table.

Here’s a way to enjoy Chinese Shiitake mushrooms with a desi twist:

Shiitake Mushroom Masala

The Chinese have been using shiitake mushrooms medicinally for about 6000 years. These exotic mushrooms have a rich, smoky flavor which makes them a popular choice in most Asian cuisines. Rich in iron and a booster for immune system, shiitake mushrooms are gaining popularity world over and can now be found in India as well. Let’s add a desi tadka to our oriental guest:


3 cups shiitake mushrooms (chopped)

2 tomatoes (diced)

1 onion (finely chopped)

1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup grated dry coconut

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons white poppy seeds

2 green chilies (chopped)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon black pepper corns

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoon Canola oil

1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander


  1. On a pan dry roast cumin, coriander seeds, pepper corns and fennel. After 2-3 minutes add coconut powder and white poppy seeds. Stir continuously so that coconut doesn’t brown.
  2. Add chilies and stir for another minutes. Remove from stove and let it cool.
  3. Grind all the dry roasted ingredients in a blender and add some water and grind again. Set this paste aside.
  4. Heat oil in a wok and add fennel seeds. Add onion when the fennel seeds start crackling. Then add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, salt and chili powder. Stir well.
  5. Add tomatoes and stir till they are cooked properly.
  6. Now add in mushrooms and keep stirring. Wait for the mushrooms to dry up (they tend to ooze out water).
  7. Add the coconut paste and stir well. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the gravy thickens.
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with chapatis or parathas.

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