Khumbyun Dhaag Mein |Mushroom Curry

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My hubby’s grandmother often used to talk about some lost Sindhi recipes and the way vegetables and other ingredients lack the original flavors. She would rant about the ‘not so fragrant’ fenugreek leaves, insipid spinach and flavorless ghee and would compare it with the quality of ingredients that were available in the past. She would frown at the sight of lack luster parathas and would ask for a dollop of ghee or white butter to bring parathas to life. Her ‘old food’ stories would often be about the succulent meat curries, exotic ‘sand-pit-cooked’ fishes, Doli ji roti (a fried poori made from fermented spiced up broth and stuffed with Bengal gram) and dhingri (dried mushrooms/morrels) curries.

When the readers of my blog would ask me about some lesser known recipes from Sindhi cuisine she would pitch in and with a twinkle in her eyes and nostalgic memories in her heart she would describe the way these exotic dishes were cooked, back in Sindh, in undivided India. She would tell how the dhingri or morrels were considered as a delicacy back then (they still are precious and rare to find) and how in the absence of fresh ones, dried regular mushrooms could be used to make Sindhi style mushroom curry. Her mushroom curry would have oil/ghee floating and it would have strong meaty flavors.

She would also talk about Khumbyun and I never knew that those were actually different from the button mushrooms available around, until recently when Hitesh Rajai enlightened me about it. Khumbyun or Podaxis Pistillaris is a mushroom variety available for a really short time during season, in some selected parts of India. I am yet to conclude whether Khumb/ khumbi refers to any type of mushrooms or it is the Podaxis Pistillaris. Anyways I was  really curious to recreate the flavors of exotic mushroom curry using the Khumbhyun irrelevant of what it is actually known as . And generous as he is (Remember the guy who sent me Mango ginger and Bhavnagri mirchis?) Hitesh immediately couriered me a parcel with more than a Kilo of these divine khumbyun. The wait was stressful but thankfully the mushrooms survived the heat, humidity, and manhandling in its long aerial and road journey from Bhavnagar to Mumbai.

khumbi copy

When he described the taste of the khumbyun ji  bhaji that his sister makes, I couldn’t resist the urge to call her up. His elder sis, Bharti di, was more than happy to share her recipe which I followed to a T. Trust me when I say, it was one hell of flavor- packed curry, the taste of which will haunt you for a long long time..or at least till you get lucky to lay your hands on these exotic mushrooms again.

Thank you Hitesh, for taking all the troubles to make sure that the Khumbyun land at my home without any damage and thank you Bharti Didi for sharing your recipe and loads of tips to store and cook these mushrooms in various ways.

You can cook this dish using any kind of fresh or dried mushrooms. The term Dhaag mein refers to the gravy cooked with browned onions and tomatoes and it is a very basic kind of Sindhi gravy.

Kindly note that these mushrooms are different from the button mushrooms available in the markets. Unlike button mushrooms, these wont oxidize (turn black) when rinsed with water or left in open after cutting. You have to scrap Khumbyun to get rid of outer brownish skin and rinse well with water to get rid of mud or grit. Pat dry with kitchen towel and slice as you wish. To store, just pack the sliced mushrooms in an airtight container and place it inside the freezer.

khumbi mushroom curry

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Khumbyun Dhaag Mein |Mushroom Curry
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Podaxis Pistillaris , a kind of mushroom, cooked in Sindhi style gravy
  • Mushrooms 12-14
  • Onions 3 large
  • Tomato 1
  • Green chilies 2-3
  • Ginger 1”
  • Tej patta 1
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder 1 tsp or less
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil 2 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves for garnish
  1. Rinse well with water and scrap the skin of Khumbyun. (If using button mushrooms, clean with kitchen cloth to get rid of dirt and grit.)
  2. Cut mushrooms horizontally into 2 or 4 pieces or slice as desired.
  3. Finely chop onions, tomato, ginger and chilies.
  4. In a pressure cooker, heat 2 tbsp of oil (or more if you want smooth gravy) and add chopped onions.
  5. Sauté on medium flame till onions are brown (caramelized). Add chopped tomato, chilies, ginger and cook on high heat for a minute or so.
  6. Add a cup of hot water and close the lid of cooker. After the first whistle, lower the flame and let the contents cook under pressure for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Put off the flame and let the cooker cool down. Once the pressure is released, whisk the gravy using wooden whisk (Mandhiyaro), till homogenous.
  8. Add mushrooms, salt, tejpatta followed by turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala powder and mix well. Add 2 cups of hot water and again close the lid of cooker. Cook for 3-4 whistles or lower the flame after first whistle, and cook under pressure for 10 minutes.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve Khumbyun ji Bhaji with roti or as a side with Dal and rice.


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13 thoughts on “Khumbyun Dhaag Mein |Mushroom Curry

  1. I made this recipe at home. It tastes great. I normally don’t like mushrooms. But this one was awesome.

  2. I m from tharparker sindh n so excited to see it recipe as we get khumbi every sawan but nvr thought of making this curry type as we usually get it with ginger powder only but now I m gonna try it style tonight
    Very excited !!!

  3. Hema Gangwani says:

    The picture of the recipe looks like Arvi not mushroom from anyway .. Mushroom never has this texture after being cooked !!

  4. Mushrooms lose a lot of flavor when washed, it is advisable to clear the dirt with a cloth or a paper towel lightly. As they grow without any pests on damped rugged cloths containing a layer of soil(if industrialized farming), no one actually adds pesticides to them, so you can just clear the dirt and eat them.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

  5. I Love Mashroom, Awesome recipe. We have made this at home. Very good taste. Thanks for sharing.

  6. “Doli ji roti”, Aha, I remember my mother used to talk about it. Though we are Punjabis, my nani hails from Multan and they had settled down in Chembur camp. WOW! I miss that authentic sindhi food sometimes. Please do post the picture when you make it, coz don’t remember when tasted last.

  7. Neha. Chandnani says:

    It is called dhingri. My mother said. U get in india.

  8. minoo ambwani says:

    really even i have tasted khumbiyun ji bhaji made by my dadi(amma)very tasty and just like meat but never found those khumbis again they had some powder like thing inside .

  9. Yogita Chablani says:

    This is one of my all time favorite mushroom recipes! I make it so many times but I use portobello mushrooms because that is what my mother used! We grew up in Taiwan so I figure portobello was the closest she could find to the mushrooms you actually described here. I am now super interested in finding this species of mushrooms that you have used and want to make the authentic curry! Thanks for this information! I love your blog!

    • Yogitta,

      I am originally from Tharparkar Sindh, currently living in NYC. I have tried so many different mushrooms but none has the same or even close in taste what “Khumbi” has. We used to pick those up after very rarely rains in the desert. Often they used to come in the market too (in Umerkot, Sindh). I have googled “Podaxis Pistillaris” to see if I can find them any where here in NY but so far havn’t been so lucky. I hope you find them and enjoy them, as we did in our childhood days. Let me know if you find them know any other name to find them.



  10. kamal punwani says:

    Thank you for your mushroom recipe,Sindhi style,and all other recipes. God bless you .

  11. I loved reading your story about your grandma – i do agree with her about old world charm when it comes to food, nothing like pure seasonal ingredients. It’s sad the next generation of kids will never know seasonal or the taste of true unadulterated food. Loved your site and your passion to preserve recipes.

    I really want to dig in and taste it. Looks gorgeous.

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