Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Currying Favour With Mushrooms, Simply



A few months ago, when I was at home with my parents, I took some lessons from my cook. One of them was for pappucharu, and I am glad to report that I now make a good version of it. So much so that I have given sambar the go-by, and am I relieved! I tolerated it for various reasons, like many wives/husbands grow to tolerate their spouses or resign themselves to them. The other dish I observed our cook make was a mushroom curry.

 Taking notes helped. Even though our cook cannot speak in tablespoons and teaspoons, I got a fair measure of his proportions once I parked myself in the kitchen next to him with pen and a piece of paper. This mushroom curry fulfilled my criteria of a successful dish: it tasted like it had been made by my grandmother, it looked like a thick, brown gravy from a hotel, and most wonderfully, it achieved that consistency and that look without any grinding. I attribute it to the long soaking the onion gets in the mushroom juices.

Button mushrooms: 400 gm, quartered
Onion, chopped/minced: 1 cup
Coriander powder: 1.5 tsp
Cumin powder: 0.75 tsp
Chilli powder: 1/2-1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsp
Salt, to taste
Oil: 1 tsp
Coriander leaves, chopped: To garnish

Heat the oil and saute the onion.

Then, add the ginger-garlic paste and mix it well with the onion, let it cook on low flame for a while till the aroma mellows.

Now add the mushrooms and saute till the onion and paste coat them well. The mushrooms will start yielding water. A lot.

Add the spices and keep stirring on medium flame till the water evaporates, leaving a thin, clingy gravy. Yes, yes, I know I said it looked like a thick gravy earlier but it looks like that - it is actually thin and flavourful and rice is a great vehicle for it. I've made this quite a few times now.

Note: You can add some green peas too, when the mushrooms start boiling.

12 comments:

  1. A small list of ingredients yet looks like a dish that can be favoured to pair with rotis for a light dinner.

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    1. Yes, Lata, chopping the mushrooms and onion accounts for the bulk of the labour in this dish!

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  2. I am bookmarking this mushroom curry to make at home, not now, as I have put Hans in a diet as only carb he gets is the bread in the morning for the rest of the day no carb for him and then one day in a week he can have carb twice a day so knowing him he will ask for belgium carb or pasta on that day. My mom could also never give the measurement in spoons etc, she would be like one hand full, one pinch etc.. and your parents have a cook wow. If it was me i would watch the cook every time when i go back home to learn new things from her :-)

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    1. Finla, you put so much of yourself into your comments, it's so nice of you. Don't change, will you?

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  3. oooh...this is my kinda soul food...yummm, making thihs tonight. But i get bella instead of buttons...would that matter a lot????

    Btw..i am going to selfish and request you to join my free give away contest. Give it a read if you can.

    http://writesfood.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/family-food-rituals-and-a-free-giveaway/

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    1. Well, to me button and bella look the same :), except that in some pix bella look browner.

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  4. Sra, with this one you're bringing me back to the only Indian place that delivered when I lived north of Boston -- they had a mushroom-spinach bhaji that was overloaded with cream and probably ghee, but it was the mushrooms that made it so tantalizing. I will be trying this much better mushrooms-only curry soon, thank you very much :)

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    1. Thanks, Linda. Your description of that curry makes me full just reading it! :)

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  5. Hi Sra,

    I made this tonight -- since I had it on hand I added the last bit of last year's homemade tomato chutney and a pinch of kasoori methi. Thanks for the delicious inspiration! :)

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  6. That's great to know, Linda!

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  7. Nice recipe. Though I am not a big fan of mushrooms, but because of its nutritional value, I use it my kitchen

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