February 19, 2010

Fagga or Desert Truffles

Terfeziaceae (Fagga or Desert Truffles)

I think this is the right time to post this article. Because Desert Truffle or Fagga is now a days available in the market. It grows in virgin deserts at the end of winter season. It knowns to be come out from ground after Heavy rain with thunder and lightening. Kuwaitees are collecting fagga during their winter camp in the desert. It can be cooked with rice, meat or as separate.

For the following informations courtesy to www.Wikipedia.com


The Terfeziaceae, or desert truffles, is a family of truffles (Arabic: كمأ Kamā') endemic to arid and semi-arid areas of the Mediterranean Region, North Africa, and the Middle East, where they live in ectomycorrhizal association with Helianthemum species and other ectomycorrhizal plants (including Cistus, oaks, and pines). This group consists of three genera: Terfezia, Tirmania, and Mattirolomyces. They are a few centimetres across and weigh from 30 to 300 grams (1-10 oz). Desert truffles are often used as a culinary ingredient.

Family description

Fruit-bodies (ascomata) are large, more or less spherical to turbinate (like a top), thick-walled, solid; the asci are formed in marbled veins interspersed with sterile tissue. The asci are cylindrical to spherical, indehiscent (not splitting open at maturity), and sometimes stain blue in iodine. Ascospores are hyaline to pale brown, spherical, uninucleate

Habitat and ecology

Desert truffles, as the name suggests, predominantly grow in the desert. They have been found in arid and semi-arid zones of the Kalahari desert, the Mediterranean basin, Iraq and Kuwait, the Sahara and Saudi Arabia, Hungary and Yugoslavia, and China.It is commonly said that they are formed where lightning strikes the desert sands, since they are not the most common of fungi (thus justifying their cost).

Culinary use and commercial importance

Desert truffles do not have the same flavour as European truffles, but tend to be more common and thus more affordable. Whereas forest truffles typically cost $100 per kilogram, and Italian truffles may sell for up to $2200 per kilogram, desert truffles have been sold in Riyadh for $26.75 per kilogram. (Prices in 2002 US Dollars)

Vernacular names

Desert truffles go by several different names. In Turkey they are called "Keme", In Morocco they are called terfez, in Egypt the Bedouin of the Western Desert call them terfas. The Kuwaitis call them fagga, the Saudis
faq'h, and in Syria they are known by their classical Arabic name, kamaa. Iraqis call them kamaa, (or kima or chima depending on local dialects) and in Oman they are either faqah or zubaydi. The Hebrew word is kmehin. In southern Spain, they are known as turmas, though the more common Spanish term is "trufa."In Botswana they are called "mahupu".

In Saudi Arabia, there are two varieties; khalasi are oval with a black skin and a pinkish-ivory interior, and zubaidi have a cream colour but are generally more expensive.

Species list
  •  Terfezia arenaria
  • Terfezia boudieri
  • Terfezia claveryi
  • Terfezia leptoderma
  • Terfezia terfezioides - phylogenetic analyses based on nuclear rDNA sequences strongly suggest that this species be reassigned to the original monotypic genus Mattirolomyces.
  • Tirmania nivea
  • Tirmania pinoyi
Rice with Mixed vegetable and Fagga or Desert Truffle

Vegetable ingredients:-

White Cabbage cut in to big cubes        :    2 Cups

Fagga or Truffles cut in to cubes            :    1 ½ kilo

Coloured Capsicum(green,yellow& red)        :    1 each

Soy Sauce                    :    1 Tbsp

Black pepper,Cummin,Coriander&Bahaar(sweet spices) : ¼ Tsp each

Paprika, Termeric                :    1 Tsp each

Cardamon                    :    ½ Tsp

Dill (Sphinch in Arabic)                :    2 Tbsp

Onion Chopped                    :    3 Big pcs

Tomato peeled & minced            :    1 big pc

Cloves                        :    3 pcs

Garlic, Ginger                    :    1 Tsp each

Saffron Powder                    :    ½ Tsp

Butter                        :    50 grms

Vegetable oil                    :    6 Tbsp

Carrot cut in to cubes                :    2 pcs

Spring Onion(cut in to 2 ½ cm long)        :    2 pcs

Salt                        :    1 Tsp or as required

Rice Ingredients:-

Basmathi Rice                    :    2 ½ Cup

Enough water for boiling the rice + 1Tbsp Butter

Salt 1Tbsp or as required

Butter and Oil for frying onion            :    2 Tbsp each

Extra Onion (cut in to alongative)        :    1 big

Cardamon                    :    ½ Tsp

Saffron Powder                    :    ¼ Tsp

  • Wash rice and soaked water and salt for half an hour.
  • Bol Rice with sufficient water by adding salt and table spoon butter till tender.
  • Drain the water from rice and left until making the vegetable mixture.
  • Boil the Fagga (Truffle) with water and salt, drain and keep beside.
Preparation of Vegetables:-

  • Heat the oil and butter then fry onion till golden brown then put garlic, ginger and spices till tender. Then put Capsicum, cabbage, carrot and stir until welted slightly then add boiled Fagga and stir for 2 minutes then add tomato, keep on medium fire for 5 minutes.Put spring onion, dill and stir with a wooden spoon and remove from fire.
  • Take a cooking bowl (large enough for whole ingredients) heat oil and butter and fry extra onion, add saffron powder,cardamom then put 1/3 portion of rice then put half portion of vegetable miture over the rice. Then put 2nd portion of rice spread with a spoon and remaining vegetable over it, then the 3rd portion rice on top. Cover with the lid and left the bowl on medium heat until steam appears. Then reduce heat and put a metal disk under the bowl untill distrusting steam.
  • Before serve mix the rice and vegetable carefully without breaking rice then serve hot.
Note:- In a Serving dish serve fagga rice garnished with fried onion, roasted cashewnut and fried Dry Grapes.

February 02, 2010

Slide show