A few years ago i used to take up a pen and paper only when i was unhappy, writing was almost therapeutic. But these days, i don't touch the blog when i am not in a good mood. I don't do philosophical musings anymore because i am not sure how people will react. We go online to spread happiness and good cheer, to share in the joy and not to hear other people's troubles. And so when i lack inspiration to write cheerfully, i have been giving up trying to write entirely. Today i decided it was high time you see something else on my homepage than week old wishes for a festival that has long been celebrated and even the festive cooking leftovers have long disappeared from the fridge. So i come back to you with something i have cooked last year, i mean last month, i mean it was just a couple of weeks ago. I chose this dish to share today because i loved the photography while cooking this as much as i loved the end result in food.
We buy mushrooms with every trip to the farmer's market these days, or sometimes even at the super markets at a higher price. Other than turning the mushrooms into this manchurian dish, we love them as a snack simply sauteed with a sprinkle of salt and pepper or in pizzas as an almost compulsory topping or most recently in pastas. But somehow last month, i forgot that we bought two packs until i discovered them, close to expiry, when browsing through my refrigerator for lunch ingredients. It was too late to make a pizza dough and these didn't have a lot of shelf time left on them. Now both the husband and i weren't that fond of the mushroom gravy curry i had made a couple of times previously. So this time i decided on a dry curry with a hint of spice. And may i say it was a hit. We now don't mind buying an extra pack to turn into curry form.
Serves: 2-3 as a side dish with rice
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: Under15 minutes
400 grams White button mushrooms, sliced
4 small Tomatoes (or 2 large), diced
3 medium onions (or 2 large) , finely chopped
4 sprigs curry leaves
3 green chilies, sliced (adjust according to taste)
10-12 small garlic cloves, peeled
1 inch piece ginger, grated
8-10 whole cashews, finely chopped or roughly ground
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 tablespoons oil
salt to taste
1 bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped for garnish
Heat oil in a medium sized pan, wok or kadai on medium heat. Add the cumin, cloves and cinnamon to the hot oil. When the cumin splutters, add the garlic, ginger, cashews and chilies. Saute for a minute, add the onion and curry leaves. When the onion becomes soft, about 4-5 minutes, add the tomato and cook for two minutes until the tomato becomes soft and mushy. Now add the sliced mushrooms and allow to cook with closed lid for about 4-5 minutes. The mushroom gives out a lot of liquid at this stage, stir occasionally until the liquid evaporates. Season with salt and remove from heat. You can add a dash of garammasala powder if you like. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with plain rice.
La's note: I used my electric chopper to roughly grind the cashews and then to finely chop the onions. You could do this by hand or use a regular mixer/grinder too.
You can add a pinch of turmeric along with the tomato for a brighter colour. I happen to use turmeric in every curry because i believe that it will kill any germs that have attached themselves to the vegetables even after washing them.