Banana Leaf Roasted Mushrooms (A South Indian inspired roast)

Deepa Shridhar

Banana Leaf Roasted Mushrooms (A South Indian inspired roast)

Yield: 4-6 Servings
Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Ingredients

3-4 lbs of mushrooms (6-8 (8) oz Smallhold clamshells) I used a mix of oyster mushrooms, maitake, lion’s mane, and trumpets
1 can of coconut milk
1 stick of butter
1 1/4 tablespoons of black peppercorns
1 1/4 tablespoons of your favorite kind of dried chili (I used Chile Pequin)
2 tablespoons of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut sugar or jaggery
1 teaspoon of turmeric
5 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 cups of strained tamarind water, or 2 tablespoons of store- bought tamarind paste
3-4 pods of green cardamom
2-3 fresh banana leaves, these leaves will impart the mushrooms a savory vanilla-like flavor

Directions

Step 01 - To make the tamarind water. Boil 2 cups of water, and set aside. Take a cup of dried tamarind pulp and soak the pulp in hot water in a heat resistant container. Let it soak for at least a couple of hours (you can soak it for up to 12 hours). Squeeze the pulp as much as possible and strain. Store in a sealed glass container in the fridge until ready for use.

Step 02 - To make the roasted mushrooms. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

Step 03 - Line a large pan or two medium pans with the banana leaves, cutting them to size if needed, completely covering the entire pan.

Step 04 - Clean and cut off the tough ends of all mushrooms and slice them into medium to large bits, equivalent in size. Set aside.

Step 05 - In a cast iron, toast your peppercorns, dried chilies, and cardamom pods (these you can toast separately for maximum flavor) until a strong aroma is released, and then grind them together. Set aside.

Step 06 - In a saucepan, combine the butter, garlic and toasted spices over medium heat. Let the garlic get fragrant and slightly browned in the butter, before lowering the stove to a low simmer. Add the sugar and turmeric and slowly add the tamarind water to your pan to deglaze. Add coconut milk and salt; simmer the whole mixture for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Step 07 - Add the mushrooms to the banana leaf covered pans and pour over your coconut milk and tamarind sauce as evenly as possible, coating each mushroom thoroughly. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, then take out the mushrooms and stir. Raise your oven temperature to 450 degrees F, and roast for an additional 15-20 minutes until the mushrooms are slightly browned and incredibly tender.

Step 08 - Discard the banana leaves and store the mushrooms in a ceramic or glass container. Garnish with lots of lime and herbs, and enjoy them over a bed of rice, as a pizza topping, in tacos, in a soup, or simply in a bowl.

By: Deepa Shridhar