Family: Lyophyllaceae

Synonyms: Agaricus microcarpus, Entoloma microcarpum, Gymnopus microcarpus, Podabrella microcarpa, Termitomyces microcarpus, Termitomyces microcarpus.

Local Name:Bhatolian (भतोलियाँ)

Many types of mushrooms appear in Himachal Pradesh during spring and rainy seasons, especially in forest lands rich in organic matter. Though there are some poisonous types too, many of them are edible and these are collected and eaten by local people.

1.Bhatolian growing wild over termite mound

Bhatolian are terrestrial mushrooms having very small sized fruiting body These are very common in deciduous forests of the lower Shiwalik Hills range of Western Himalaya. Bhatolian mushrooms arise mostly on termite mounds. These are gregarious to scattered near termite mounds, occurring in troops of fruit bodies that sometimes number in the hundreds.

Bhatolian can be easily recognized due to their small sized fruit body, habit of growing near to termite mound and their occurrence in large groups. These are excellent, mild tasting, whitish mushrooms with typical mushroom flavor and soft texture.

Being miniature sized morphologically, bhatolian are gathered in bulk from the termite mounds during the rainy season and are uaually mixed with rice to prepare rice pulao. Besides, being available in sufficient quantity, these can be cooked as vegetable, mixed vegetable and even as mushroom soup.

Bhatolian Plant:

 Fruiting body very small, up to 4 cm long and 1-1.2 cm in diameter, convex applanate to depressed at maturity; surface silky white to yellowish white, with occasional acute papillate orange white umbo in the center; scaly, scales appressed fibrillose; finely striate; taste and odour mild.

2.Close-up of Bhatolian

Lamellae free to adnexed to crowded, 0.2 – 0.3 cm broad, white.

Stipe central, up to 3 cm long, 0.1 – 0.2 cm broad, whitish without pseudorrhiza, cylindrical, smooth, glabrous, hollow.

Bhatolian are collected during rainy season of the year.

Bhatolian Edible Uses:

Bhatolian can be cooked as vegetable with potato, pulao with rice, mixed vegetable with other vegetable and soup with some green or vegetable.

Vegetable:

 Bhatolian  mostly cooked as vegetable in combination with potatoes and can be eaten along with rice or chapattis. Sometime these are cooked with other vegetable as mix vegetable.     

3.Bhatolian collection.

Ingredients required:

Freshly harvested and washed  bhatolian , 1/2 kg; medium sized potato; 2-4, mustard oil, 3-4 table spoons; coriander powder, 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder, 1 tea­­­­­­­­ spoon; cumin seed, 1 table spoon turmeric powder, 1 table spoon; red chillies, 2-4; medium sized ground onion, 2-3;  ground garlic cloves, 4-5; tomato puree 2 cup, cream, 3-5 table spoon, green coriander leaves(chopped), 1/2 cup amount; branded garam masala,1/2 table spoon amount; salt, according to taste.

Method:

Bhatolian and chopped potato (chopped vegetable for preparing mix veg) are sauted in hot oil along with spices listed above like coriander, cumin seeds, chillies, turmeric, onion and garlic paste, tomato puree and cream in sequence. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes till become soft. Garnish recipe with chopped green coriander leaves and garam masala before serving.

Pulao:

 Palao is a spicy rice dish prepared by cooking rice with, bhatolian, green vegetables and spices.

Ingredients:

Rice,2 cup amount;bhatolian,1/2 cup amount, peas, ¼ cup amount; finely chopped beans, ¼ cup amount; mustard oil, 3-4 table spoons; coriander powder, 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder, 1 tea­­­­­­­­ spoon; cumin seed, 1 table spoon turmeric powder, 1 table spoon; red chillies, chopped medium sized onion, 1-2;chopped tomato,2; cinnamon powder, ¼ tea spoon; cloves, 4;turmeric powder, ½ table spoon;  2-4; green coriander leaves(chopped), 1/2 cup amount; branded garam masala,1/2 table spoon amount; salt, according to taste.

Method:

Take oil in a pressure cooker and saute spices listed above with rice, green vegetable and bhatolian in hot oil. Add 6 cup amount water to it stir well.  Add garam masala. Close the lid and cook for 2 whistles. Reduce the flame to low after 1st whistles and cook until another whistle. Turn off the flame and let it cool down. Open the lid carefully and fluff the rice with a fork. Transfer palao to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve with desi ghee or curd.

Soup:

Ingredients:

Bhatolian and Locally available vegetable(chopped) of rainy season ,1/2 kg; mint leaves,10-15(chopped); corn flour, 1 spoon; black pepper powder,1/4 tea spoon, salt acc.to taste.

Method:

Boil bhatolian and vegetable in one litre water till they are soft, mesh these manually and sieve the extract in a container. Add to it mint leaves, corn flour, black pepper and salt, then boil for 5-10 minutes. Now soup is ready to serve.

Nutrient Value:

100 g of dry weight ofBhatolian contains, Protein, 25.48±0.25g; Lipid, 2.32±0.16g; Fiber, 11.21±0.32 g; Carbohydrate, 48.37±5.06 g; Fe, 61.60± 3.68 mg; K, 1465±14.00mg;Ca, 221.72±9.50 mg;Cu,1.99±0.22 mg; P,156.53± 11.15; Na,906.47±0.57 mg 1.

Medicinal Uses:

Dietary intake of bhatolian was associated with lower serum levels of total and LDL-cholesterol, which are predisposing factors for reducing coronary heart diseases 1. Antioxidant activity due to good extractability of therapeutically important antioxidants i.e., phenolics and carotenoids contents in methanol and acetone respectively helpful to boost immunity 2.

References:

1 Nabubuya, A., Muyonga, J. H., & Kabasa, J. D. (2010). Nutritional and hypocholesterolemic properties of termitomyces microcarpus mushrooms. African journal of food, agriculture, nutrition and development10(3).

2. Rajoriya, A., & Gupta, N. (2015) Proximate and Antioxidant Activity of Mycelia of Termitomyces microcarpus and Amanita loosii.

3.Dr. Babita Thakur.(Pics 1,2,3) Research Associate.Directorate of Mushroom ResearchChambaghat, Solan HP 173212babita.thkr@gmail.com

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