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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pala Chattu Bara (Mushroom chop)

Mushrooms are a delight for vegetarians and people who want to lose weight. While being high in water content, they also happen to pack in a load of anti-inflammatory compounds and vitamins (especially Vitamin D ). One of the best substitutes for red meat, they are also fat-free, cholesterol-free and low in sodium. Little wonder that it finds its place of honor in Chinese medicine.

However a word of caution. Buy organic mushrooms or at least try to find where they are being sourced from as they happen to absorb heavy metals / toxins rather quickly.

'Pala Chattu' or mushrooms that grow naturally on rotting straws happen to be my favorite variety of mushrooms. As my visits to our villages have almost stopped, I do miss these mushrooms. But these days cultivated Pala Chattu is widely available in Orissa. These mushrooms have a distinct red color on the underneath.

While chattu is more commonly consumed as a curry (tarkari) in these parts of Orissa, 'Chattu Bara' or 'Chattu Chop' also happens to be a popular snack option. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 30 minutes

Ingredients - 500 gm Pala Chattu, 1 large boiled potato, 1 large onion, 3-4 green chillis, 5-6 garlic flakes, 3 tbs chopped coriander leaves, 1 tbs roasted cumin-chilli powder (jeera-lanka gunda), 2 tsp turmeric powder, salt to taste, oil for frying.

Preparation - Take water in a large vessel. Dissolve 1 1/2 tsp turmeric in it. Add the mushrooms and allow to soak for 30 minutes.

Drain off the water and chop into small pieces. Do not throw away stem as it is also edible.

Chop the onion into small pieces. Crush/grate the garlic flakes.

Cooking : Heat 2 tbs of oil in a wok/frying pan. Add the chopped mushroom along with remaining turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp salt, and stir fry on high flame till all the excess water evaporates. Remove and allow to cool down.

Transfer the mushroom to a mixing bowl. Add the boiled potato, chopped onion, green chilli, cumin-chilli powder, coriander leaves, crushed garlic flakes and salt to taste. Mix well.

Pinch some part of the above mixture and shape into flat circles of about 1/2 inch thickness .

Heat a frying pan. Drizzle generously with oil. Place the baras over the pan and cook on both sides to a light brown/deep brown as per preference. Each side takes about 6-7 minutes on a low flame ( preferable ).

Serve with a hot sauce as a starter or have it with white rice as a side dish.

If you do not happen to be lazy like me, you can make/cut it into interesting shapes and roll it in bread crumbs before deep frying them. Makes for a better appearance and crisper baras.


  1. Hello Sweta, although I love all form of baras, I have never tried the ones made of mushrooms. They look scrumptious!

  2. We are not vegetarians yet we do consume lots of mushrooms, different types made into different dishes. I have made a similar mushroom chop yet your version is something new to me. Shall and will definitely try out this tempting style very soon.


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