Thursday, April 12, 2007

Guchhi te Paneer di sabzi :)

Fashion-holics, i am not talking about Gucci here :)). This "Guchhi" is something totally different-something for the mushroom fan in you. Yup, Guchhis or Dhingris are dried mushrooms./morels. Drying vegetables imparts a different flavor to them. Punjabis are also into drying vegetables and i said in one of my earlier posts, it was a common practice till recently, to dry turnips, radishes, cauliflower, carrots, spinach and fenugreek (the veggies dried strung as garlands). Mushrooms/morels on the other hand aren't dried at home, but bought from the Pansari/Kiryana/Kirana (masale wallah and grocer) instead. They are usually quite expensive back home and used only on special occassions.

However, i haven't seen them often in Indian stores here. You do see dried mushrooms occassionally in regular grocery stores, but they are no good, because one pack hardly has anything. I resorted to making my own :). And you don't need much sun for this. Just get baby bella or crimini musrooms from the store, slice them, put them in a bowl and keep them in the fridge for more than a week without covering the bowl. Make sure that the fridge is set for the lowest temperatures. The mushrooms would dehydrate in a week or so.....after this, just shade dry them for a day or two and we are good to go. Don't have dried mushrooms, no worries, this tastes just as good with fresh mushrooms :).

This recipe, co-starring paneer and cashew/almond paste and ginger as the chief magic-maker, is one great ode to the Guchhi :)

We need:

  • Guchhis (dried morels/mushrooms)
  • Cubed Paneer (fresh/frozen)
  • 1/4 tsp. each Shah-jeera (black cumin) and dhania (coriander)
  • 2 tsp. Ginger paste
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 big, ripe tomatoes (cubed)
  • 10-15 cashwes/blanched almonds as paste
  • 1/4 tsp. or less turmeric
  • Red chilli powder (to taste)
  • 1 tsp. melted ghee
  • 1 stick dalchini (cinnamon) and two badi elaichi (black cardamoms), cracked open
  • 1/4 tsp. Kasuri methi

Lets soak the guchhis in warm water and set aside. Also deep fry/toast/saute'/bake the paneer cubes till lightly brown and set aside. In hot ghee, splutter the shah-jeera and dhania, saute the chopped onion and then saute' the ginger paste/grated ginger. You may add garlic too, but not more than one clove (crushed). Next, lets add the cubed tomatoes, turmeric and red chilli powder and cook till we get a smooth gravy. Now lets stir the cashew/almond paste in. Cashew paste would impart a certain mellow flavor to the whole dish and balances the ginger. Once in a while, i replace this with 2 tbsp. of beaten yogurt to get some tangy taste. Add some water and the soaked guchhis. If using fresh mushrooms, saute' after onions and ginger and cook for 5-10 mins. Bring to boil and add the paneer cubes. Now add the cinnamon and cardamoms. Cover the pot and cook on low heat till the gravy thickens.

Garnish with kasoori methi and serve hot with bread or rice of your choice.

Notes: If you plan to store and re-heat this dish again, remove the cinnamon and cardamom-as boiling these spice again and again would change the flavor of the dish.

This dish gets the spice factor from ginger (the major aromatic ingredient) and the body from tomatoes and cashew paste. Enjoy the flavors and have fun :)


gledwood said...

Wow! That's making me feel hungry just looking at it!

What a wonderful blog you have here! I found you quite by chance, clicking that "next blog" button up top. I do a blog too. It's called Gledwood Vol 2. It's my secret diary online. So come have a poke through my innermost embarrassing thoughts. I promise it will entertain your head off!

I look forward to seeing you there.

All the best to you
(Gledwood Vol 2)

gledwood said...

Hi I've put you in my links to come back to and I'm going to tell my friend about you. She loves cookery blogs ...

musical said...

Hey Gledwood, Thanks a lot :)

Richa said...

i don't remember having had gucchi, lagdae hun sikhna paooga. tusi pyaaz katteya par paya nai? I will try anything which has panir in it!!! love the cinamon flavor. the color looks beautiful, yummy!

so you too are a magic bullet fan?
is it really good, was planning on buying it.

musical said...

Hey Richa, thanks for pointing out the onions.....wrote the post early this morning :)). i have updated the post. thanks dear.....

Magic bullet was a present from a friend. its qiute OK, especialy with my limited kitchen top space. but don't trust this for chopping. It grinds the dry masalas well though.

Gledwood said...

... I'm still hungry! ...

Seema said...

Musical, I have never tried cooking with dried mushrooms or guchhi. Loved your presentation too. Look so authentic and home made. Thanx for sharing.

Asha said...

M! You have got a fan!;)

I have seen about 8-9 types of Mushrooms at groceries,are Gucchis diff. from these? I don't cook much with mushrooms except those button ones for Pizza toppings.

Looks very creamy and colorful.I will try it with small mushrooms I get here.

musical said...


Am glad you loved this. If dried musrooms are not available you can use fresh button mushrooms too. Its easy to dry mushrooms, but i usually do replace dried ones with fresh musrooms. btw, your rasmalais are so tempting :)

Asha akka:

Guchhis are dried not sure if we get those here. But feel free to use fresh mushrooms. I usually dry my own crimini or baby bella mushrooms. You may get dried shiitake mushrooms in some Asian stores too.....but the ones i mentioned before work the best. Your encouraging words make my day :)

trupti said...

I am allergic to Mushrooms Surili....kya yaar, ek toh aisi acchi recipe post ki aur mein khaa bhi nahi sakti...Kuch aur substitute karna about tindas???

tumhari gravy ke color ka jawab it. What a comfort meal with some paranthe and some lassi on the side.
Tum paranthe garam karo, mein aa rahi hun woh Nankhatai leke...dessert bhi to khana padega!


musical said...

Hey Trupti:

You are a genious. Yup, tindas and eggplants taste good prepared this way. For egg plants, don't use as much ginger. Use cilantro and green chillies instead and the eggplants would be heavenly :)

Haan, paranthe banato hoon, tum apni naan-khatais and Gujarati daal leke aa jao.....i am going to drink that up anyway :).


Sig said...

Hey Muse, beautiful color on that dish! Drying your own mushrooms, that is very foody :), I've seen some unbelievably expensive dried mushrooms in the Asian stores here!

musical said...

Hey Sig,

i know.....those dried mushrooms, the ones are enormously expensive.....and thus the need to dry my own mushrooms :) he he, that does sound very foody.....but kinda' serendipitous ;)

color and the giner taste are two reasons i love this dish.

Kajal said...

Hi Musical,
WOW.............Good idea with dried morels.
Great recipe.


musical said...

Hey Kajal,

Thanks dear :) i am in love with your khichu recipe :).

Anita said...

Morels have an amazingly delicate flavour that cannot be replace by others in the family! Maybe because morels are always gathered from the wild, never cultivated.

They must taste great with panner...I can imagine the creaminess all multiplying with the cashew as well! My mom makes a great pulao using gucchi...

Have you ever had them fresh? Naturally the fresh one are available only for a short time in the mountains...

musical said...


You are so right.....nothing else would ever get that flavor.....there is a reason why they are so expensive, hand-picked and selected :) Ah! guchhi pulaav-delish na. i have had fresh morels a cpl. of times, and they taste is beyond i miss this delish thing.....

Russians too have this great tradition of mushroom picking in the wild.

Reena said...

Never tried Guchhi though I use fresh ones. Will try this one.

Manisha said...

Musical! Bohut saare admirers hain tumhare!

I see your Magic Bullet! I need to do something about mine before the warranty expires!

Had King Oyster mushrooms at a friend's for dinner. Boy, are those good!

I should try drying mushrooms your way. Tell me this though, if one has access to fresh mushrooms, is there a need to dry them? Or is their flavor enhanced by drying them? Funda kya hain?

Sia's Corner said...

i almost expected to see upma here;)
never used dried mushrooms till date. they kind a look scary;) gucci...sorry guchhi...(oh!! i forgot the name:()looks delightful with chapaties. i used to think chinese used dried mushrooms in many recipes. shows my 'ignorance' in cooking han?

Sia's Corner said...

oh yeah...i have got the same doubt as manisha. which is more tastier? fresh or dried mushrooms?

Coffee said...

BOY!!!! Does that look good!!!!!

thats true.... dry morels are exp for sure!!!! but drying the fresh ones sounds good too!!! :)

musical said...


Sure, give it a try. If you like mushrooms.


Yup that lil' Magic Bulet thing is good :). As for drying mushrooms: the best dried mushrooms are wild morels back home.....drying them concentrated the flavor and takes away some of the raw smell.....but whatever you do, nothing mtaches the flavor of those morels.....i dry them because i love the flavor and also helps me keep my favorite mushrooms like a certain specific baby bella, which is not always seen :)

musical said...


I have been thinking of doing an upma post for long :) will do that sometime, nno worries :)).

Take you pick, dear.....don't get scared :) AS i said, to me dried mushrooms get rid of some of the raw smell while cooking and have more concentrated flavor. But for regular mushrooms it doesn't really matter. Drying really DOES matter for wild morels hand-picked back home.....the real guchhi.Those are really may try this dish with fresh mushrooms too.


Thanks ji, am glad you loved the color :) Yup, those dried ones are SO expensive.....hence usually brought out only on special occassions :)

bee said...

j adores mushrooms. haev bookmarked it for him.

musical said...

Hey bee, j sounds like me-are we long lost sibs :))

BTW, what do you adrore :))

Reena said...

Happy Baisakhi!

musical said...

Hey Reena, Happy Visakhi and Happy Vishu to you too :)

Manjula said...

I used to think dried mushrooms are totally Chinese. Really surprised to here that they sell in Grocery stores in India!!

musical said...

Hi Manjula,

Welcome to my corner :) The dried mushrooms are sold in stores only in certain places back home.....and even there, they are so expensive.....ah! if only dried morels were easy to get :)).

Pelicano said...

Hey Musical!
This looks like a special treat- very deserving of the cashew paste... morels grow wild around here, and some people go searching for them as they are not mistaken easily for other mushrooms and have such a good flavour. The dried ones in the stores are so expensive for such a little amount...have you ever tried using shiitake mushrooms for this dish?

musical said...

Hey Pel,

I have used shiitake mushrooms too for this one-they taste pretty good too (atleast for me)-do you like shiitake? i love dried morels the best though.....but they are so expensive!!

Pelicano said...

I love shiitake... there are a few local 'shroom :-) farmers around here who offer them at the summer open markets for a very reasonable price, but my favorite mushroom of all time are oyster mushrooms; I like the chewy stalks... ever try them?

Pelicano said...

Sorry for the double comment, but i remembered trying Chinese "yellow mushrooms" a few years ago; i bought them in S.F.'s Chinatown dried... they are really delicious if you can ever find them.

musical said...

Hey Pel:

"Yellow Mushrooms"

duly noted! i'll try them-i love mushrooms :-D

Have tried Oyster mushrooms and like them a lot!

cash said...

Hi thanks for the lovely blog, just wanted to know how much mushroom do I need to add to the recipe...could you please mention in grams or no. of mushrooms used.

Many thanks for your generous contribution...your an angel.


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