Jharkhand is blessed when it comes to forests, waterfalls and its beautiful hilly terrain. The state is known for peacefully co-existing with nature and its indigenous people, and the Rugda mushrooms are one of those gems that this state has successfully hidden from the world. Rugda mushrooms (or putu as they are called in the local language) is a kind of mushroom found in the eastern state of Jharkhand. The reason that it is called Jharkhand's gem is that it is majorly found only in the Jharkhand area and the rest of the country is unknown to its benefits and deliciousness. There are quite a lot of interesting things to be known about these mushrooms; first being that it is never commercially cultivated. In and around the time of monsoon, these mushrooms are naturally found in humid forests of Jharkhand, especially near Sal trees. The fact that humankind chooses not to grow this and yet nature finds its way to present it to us truly makes it nature's gift for the Jharkhandis (people from Jharkhand).
The taste of rugda mushroom is often compared to chicken or mutton and is a truly vegan option for anyone who wants to try these. These mushrooms look like tiny white balls and are usually black or an off white colour inside. Once cooked the outer layer is crunchy while the insides have a consistency like chicken liver. Interestingly in the monsoon, a lot of people practice vegetarianism during the month of July and August or the month of Shravan as a lot of us would know. Hence this dish that tastes just like the meat is a welcome ingredient in most Jharkhandi households.
Since the mushroom is found under the soil, it is necessary to wash it properly before you start cooking it. In fact, in local markets of Jharkhand, the cleaned rugda might cost 20-30 rupees more than the unclean one. When buying these indigenous mushrooms, always make sure to check a couple of them from the inside to ensure they are fresh and healthy. The best part is that anyone can cook these mushrooms easily and with minimum ingredients.
How To Make Rugda Mushroom Curry | Rugda Mushroom Curry Recipe
To make a rugda curry, all you need to do is find some rugda, cut it in halves to check the insides, slightly sautee and keep it aside. In another pan, heat oil then add cumin, onions, tomatoes, haldi, dhaniya powder and let all that cook. Once the masala is nicely cooked all you need to do is add the sautted rugda, salt and some garam masala in the end. And that's it, that is how easy it is and anyone can make this delicious curry. To see the step-by-step instructions, click here.
Let us know what other indigenous items is the world unknown to and what are your versions of cooking these items in the comments below.