Krai, Mushroom, and Piscot Soup


As part of our Locavore meetup in Shillong with the non profit North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society in March 2023, we brought together five local chefs and 15 millet growers from across Meghalaya to answer one question: how to make millets—krai in Khasi—more delicious so more people consume them more frequently so that these native grains can be reintroduced into the diets of the locals. Over a span of 48 hours, we collectively conceived of 12 dishes using ragi, or finger millet, in unique but relatable ways. This ragi, mushroom and chayote soup was one of them, using finger millet flour as a thickener in place of rice flour or cornstarch.

Refined oil 3 tablespoons
Bayleaf 3 to 4 pieces
Peppercorns 1 teaspoon
Button mushrooms, thickly sliced 2 cups
Oyster mushrooms, thickly sliced 2 cups
Onions, finely chopped ½ cup
Ginger, finely chopped 2 tablespoons
Green chillies, finely chopped ½ tablespoon
Chayote (piscot), small diced ½ cup
Carrot, small diced ½ cup
Water 6 cups
Salt To taste
Ragi flour 3 tablespoons
Wild coriander leaves ¼ cup

A pot large enough to make soup for five, and other appliances that kitchens are typically stocked with.


Heat the oil in a large enough pot on high flame.


Add the bay leaf, peppercorns and both kinds of mushroom.


Season with salt and sauté the mushrooms on high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, till the slices are properly browned.


Add the onions, ginger, green chillies, chayote, and carrots, and continue to sauté for a few minutes.



Add the water and adjust with more salt.


Make a slurry by whisking together the ragi flour with 1 cup of warm water, till it’s smooth and free of lumps. Add this to the pot and mix well.


Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, till the soup starts to thicken and the vegetables are cooked but still retain a crunch.


Taste and adjust consistency and seasoning with more water or salt.


Once the vegetables are cooked, add chopped wild coriander, mix, and turn off the heat. Serve the soup hot.


The chayote or piscot could be replaced by any other squash or similar vegetable like bottlegourd, ridgegourd, snakegourd, etc.

Thomas Zacharias is the Founder of The Locavore, and a chef with nearly 15 years of professional cooking experience.


This recipe is part of the Millet Revival Project 2023, The Locavore’s modest attempt to demystify cooking with millets, and learn the impact that it has on our ecology. This initiative, in association with Rainmatter Foundation, aims to facilitate the gradual incorporation of millets into our diets, as well as create a space for meaningful conversation and engagement so that we can tap into the resilience of millets while also rediscovering its taste.

Rainmatter Foundation is a non-profit organisation that supports organisations and projects for climate action, a healthier environment, and livelihoods associated with them. The foundation and The Locavore have co-created this Millet Revival Project for a millet-climate outreach campaign for urban consumers. To learn more about the foundation and the other organisations they support, click here.

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