India’s Famous MasterChef – Geeta Sridhar

indianmasterchef

Our favourite masterchef finalist of the 4th season shares her journey & her best mushroom based recipes during this lockdown.

Geeta Shridhar was born and brought up in Chennai. She moved to Mumbai after her marriage and spent the early years of her  marriage caring for her father who was bed-ridden owing to cancer. His cancer was growing fast, something changed upon his death and she devoted herself to charitable activities. Some of these also included providing food to the cancer patients at the Tata Memorial Hospital. Her love for cooking was noticed by all the people around, and this encouraged her to participate in the famed cooking show, Masterchef (India) where she finished up being a finalist on 4th season. She did pretty well on the show and later her children encouraged her to write blogs comprising of the numerous recipes that she had used on the show.

Her initiative will encourage our youth to cook. She also gives insights on newer cuisines enlightening people about the food. She takes part in charitable actives, which should also encourage the youth to do so and feels that in turn it will help better our society. Also during the covid-19 lockdown her team distributed masks and food without any help of any govt organisation/funds.

Geetama says “Mushroom is one of my favorite ingredient and I prepare a variety of dishes with it. Mushrooms do contain 80-90 percentage of water and are very lowest in calories. They are good source of minerals and are high in anti-oxidants. Research studies show that consuming white button mushrooms reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. It also helps to boost our immune system. As mushrooms are super loaded with important nutrients, we should include them on a regular basis. It’s crucial to distinguish between mushrooms are that are safe and those that aren’t.  Avoid eating mushrooms that are from the wild. They can possibly be toxic and can lead to serious illness and death in some cases. Be safe and buy your mushrooms from the easiest place like the grocery store. Mushrooms are defiinately rich source of calcium and they also help strengthen our immune system and one should include them in our diet whenever possible.”

1.MUSHROOM LOCKDOWN PARATHA

MUSHOOMPARATHA
For the dough
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 teaspoons Sunflower Oil
Salt , to taste
Ghee , to cook parathas
For the filling
250 grams Button mushrooms , chopped
1 Onion , finely chopped
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
1 teaspoon Garam masala powder
2 Green Chillies , finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
Ghee , or oil for cooking
How to make Mushroom Paratha Recipe-
To begin making the Mushroom Paratha Recipe, take all the ingredients meant for dough into a large mixing bowl. Add a little water at a time to make a soft and smooth dough. Cover the dough 30 minutes until we get the filling ready. 
 Next we will proceed to make the mushroom stuffing for the paratha recipe.
 
Heat oil in a wok or a kadai on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and allow it to crackle.  Once the cumin seeds crackle, add onion and saute until the onions turns pinkish in colour.
 
Add the chopped green chilies, chopped chopped mushrooms and salt to taste. Stir fry on high heat until most of the moisture from the mushrooms is evaporated. 
 
Once the mushrooms have shrunk in size and the moisture has evaporated, add the garam masala and turmeric powder and give it a stir for a few minutes and turn off the heat.
 
Allow the mushroom paratha stuffing mixture to cool completely.
 
Divide the dough into 5 equal portions. We will now proceed to make the stuffed mushroom paratha. To begin making the paratha, keep a plate of dry flour for dusting.
 We dust the dough in flour, flatten it with your finger and place it on a flat surface. Roll them out thin to approximately 3 inches in diameter circle.
 
Take a portion of the mushroom filling and place it in the center. Next Gather the sides of the dough and bring them together. Remove the little excess dough which popped out when you brought them together. Press the filled dough down.
 Dust the filled dough in some flour and roll it gently applying just a pressure. Roll it to desired thickness and proceed the similar way with the remaining portions of dough and filling.
 Preheat a Skillet/Tava on medium heat and place the filled Mushroom Paratha. Allow it to cook on medium heat for about 30 to 45 seconds and flip over.
 
Add this stage add a teaspoon of ghee or oil and spread it around. Flip again, so the oiled side can cook on the skillet. Spread a little more ghee and keep pressing the parathas while on the skillet to cook the paratha evenly from inside out.
 Do the flipping over process a couple of times until both sides get cooked, browned and crisp evenly. Make sure you cook on medium heat as it allows the parathas to get a crisp on the outside and yet soft texture.
 
Once the paratha is cooked transfer to a plate. Continue to the same process with the remaining Mushroom Parathas the same way.
 Serve the Mushroom Parathas along with a spicy mango pickle for breakfast or lockdown breakfast.
 
  2. MUSHROOM VEG OMLETTE
mushroomomlette
Ingredients needed
 
Besanflour I cup 
Eno salt one tap 
 Water -2 tsp
 Pepper powder as needed
 Salt – a pinch
 
   Button Mushrooms – 6-8 or (100 grams)
   Oil – 3 tsp
   Onion – 1/3 cup finely chopped
   Garlic cloves – 3 minced
   Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
   Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
   Salt as needed
   Dill leaves – 1 tsp dry (optional)
 
Preparations-
 
Clean mushroom and chop it into thin slices (I did not do that but recommend you to do it as it will be easy when flipping the omelette). 
 
Heat oil in a pan, add finely chopped onions and garlic. Saute until onions turn transparent.
 
Add sliced mushroom, turmeric powder and chilli powder.
Add salt needed and dry dill leaves (If you could not get fresh dill leaves, you can add). You can add any herbs of your choice not necessarily dill.
Mushrooms will ooze out lot of water. Cook on medium heat until all the water evaporates and the mixture becomes dry.
 Mix besan water and eno in dosa consistency
 Once hot, pour the besan mixture and reduce the heat to low.
Slide the omelette on to a plate and serve hot with bread or rice.
 Once the omelette is cooked slightly, spread  the mushroom mixture all over the omelette and slightly press it. Cook for a few seconds.
 
If you want, you can flip it over to the other side or you can just fold it and cook for another few seconds.
You can saute finely chopped spinach along with mushrooms to make spinach mushroom omelette, Or veg omlette or tomato omlette 
 
Serve this omelette immediately.

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