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Quilon mushrooms

Quilon, better known to the Indian subcontinent as Kollam, is one of the oldest port towns on the southern coast of India. This small town, famous for its cashews and mushrooms, is situated on the lake in Ashtamudi, another great tourist attraction in that part of the country.

Even in the days of the Romans and the Phoenicians, Quilon was known for its bountiful produces of nuts and spices. Little known to the world, even in those times, there was a flourishing Chinese population there. Later, in the year 1502, the Portuguese established a trade route, putting Quilon on the world map.

Though Quilon is most noted for its cashew plantations, there are many different industries in the area too. In the rest of the world, Quilon is better known because of its namesake restaurant. The restaurant Quilon, owned by the Taj Group, is located in London and is better known for the wondrous aromas of the typical Indian kitchen.

The head chef, a native of the Southern part of India, has recently opened the Quilon restaurant and can be found concocting an interesting and innovative menu featuring some of the best ingredients from South India.

The Malabar coast, where Quilon is actually situated in India, is rich in many different types of shell fish and coconuts, which make for the chief ingredients of the food. The mushrooms are one of the most special dishes cooked up in the kitchens of Quilon. It is said that the stuffed mushrooms, served as the entrée, is a dish that is unparalleled and is comparable only to the lobster balchao, a favorite in the quaint town of Quilon.

Quilon mushroom ingredients

The chef uses the regular ingredients like onions, tomatoes, chillies, garlic and ginger along with the more exotic local ingredients like the Goan palm vinegar and lobster flesh caught freshly from the swamps that make for an interesting combination. The mushrooms used in such preparations are usually freshly harvested, but could also be reconstituted from their dried forms.

With the regular and exotic ingredients, a typical Indian kitchen also uses the spices that India is so famous for. Do not be surprised if while eating the stuffed mushrooms and lobsters, you also get a taste of cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, aniseed, and freshly sautéed spinach. The finishing for almost all South Indian dishes is made with freshly grated coconut and coconut water. Not only are these Quilon mushrooms a great part of your meal, but also are a great treat for all the senses.

Submitted on January 16, 2014