Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Mushroom Cafreal with pan tossed potatoes

Cafreal/ Mushroom Cafreal
Funny how some lessons (not necessarily good or bad) that one learns growing up remain with them forever and vibrate like temple bells when the brain scans its hard drive for a particular memory.

In my 9th grade we were taught by a sweet teacher called Mrs Falero, she often fondly spoke of her home, family and her particular likes and interests and though most fourteen year olds didn't pay much heed to what she said, her stories were ones I always loved hearing.

One day she spoke about the classic movie The Sound of Music and how at every stage of life the movie would resonate with a new, different part of her, she told us how she enjoyed the music as a little girl, the idea of sixteen and seventeen year olds romancing as a teen, the struggle of a young woman and finally the warmth and responsibilities of a wife and mother. Just like Mrs F. derived a new meaning from the same movie, don't the same people, the same things or same places hold new meanings for us at different life stages?

Goa, the Indian state of sun, sand and sea is a holidaymakers paradise. Loved for its pristine blue waters, relaxed attitude and fresh sea food its always been a favourite of both young at heart and mind. Most people will tell you how, when in Goa they drunk themselves silly, rode two wheeler's without abandon and ate like the apocalypse were upon them any day now.


For me Goa has always held new promises, my first visit as a twenty something was during a time when I was neck deep in studies preparing for my Post Grad entrance exams, here Goa and her pebbled Colva beach brought respite to my weary soul and hope for a better tomorrow, my second visit with my husband gave us some much needed together time (he's a forever on the move kinda guy), the third with our three year old bought feelings of unparalleled love and happiness and watching him try to catch foamy waves with his tiny toes was pure bliss. On our fourth visit we were fortunate to come across a sweet middle aged couple who ran a tiny restaurant by the beach, their hospitality, love and exhaustive knowledge of Goan food had me mesmerized, and one particular dish that I just couldn't get enough of was Cafreal.

Cafreal is a spicy chicken preparation consumed widely in the Indian state of Goa. The preparation originated from the Portuguese colonies in Africa and  was introduced into the Goan cuisine by the Portuguese and African soldiers serving under the Portuguese. 

People often substitute the chicken with fish or prawns with delicious results, but I thought of using mushrooms to fix myself a quick lunch, delicious is an understatement for this spicy, tangy dish!


Here's how I made it,
Serves 2

You will need:

250 grams button mushrooms
2 potatoes
3 tbsp vegetable oil

For the marinade:
A big handful coriander leaves
1 inch fresh ginger
3-4 garlic cloves
1 green cardamon (elaichi)
1 inch piece cinnamon (taj)
7-8 black peppercorns (kali mirch)
1 bay leaf
2- 3 cloves
Salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric
1- 2 green chillies
Juice of 1 lime

Garnish
Coriander leaves
Lime wedges

Method: 

- Slice the potatoes and pan fry them and add salt to taste, fry until golden brown.

- Chop coriander leaves and slice garlic and ginger.

- Grind together black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves, turmeric, green chillies and lime juice with a little water to make a paste.

- Marinate the mushrooms with the green paste and little salt.

- Next heat a pan, add oil and add in the marinated mushrooms.

- Fry the mushrooms on a medium flame until they turn golden.

Your Mushroom Cafreal is ready to be served.

Enjoy!


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