After a rather prolonged absence from my kitchen due to illness, I found myself craving earthy mushrooms. Because my stomach is still rather sensitive, I wanted something spicy but not with too much heat, so I opted for this recipe that makes good use of aromatic spices which tend to be gentler on the tummy.
Now, I don’t mind takeout once in a while and my husband is a fairly good cook, but after not cooking for a while, I realized how much this fussy girl really enjoys her own cooking. I have complete control over the quality and quantities of the ingredients that go into each creation that is dished out with loving care.
This particular mushroom dish has a fairly long list of ingredients, but I assure you it’s really straightforward to make and not very time consuming. The succulence of meaty shrooms really comes through here in each bite, highlighted by a fragrant nutty cashew gravy. You want the peas to retain that pop in your mouth appeal, so no need to thaw frozen peas, otherwise they will be too mushy. The alternative is to thaw them and add them near the end of the cooking time.
If you want a mushroom curry without the tomato, simply adjust the water accordingly. I personally liked the extra bit of zing from the tomato, but the choice is entirely up to the cook.
Mushroom Green Pea Curry in a Creamy Cashew Sauce with Onion and Parsley
small handful of fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
Begin by making the paste. In a large skillet, heat 3 teaspoons of oil over medium heat. When hot, add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds, and stir for a minute or two until the seeds begin to darken a shade or two. Stir in the curry leaves and then add the onion. Stir until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Now add the chilies and sugar, stir for another 30 seconds, and then stir in the cashews. Stir for another few minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a bit. Then add to a blender and grind until smooth, adding water or almond milk as necessary to get a thick but smooth paste. Set aside.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a heavy-bottomed large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the tempering cumin seeds, fennel seeds and asafetida, and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir for another minute. Add the cashew paste, and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato if using, and cook for another few minutes.
Stir in the water and salt and bring to a gentle boil, stirring often. Add the mushrooms and peas, cover, and simmer, stirring often, for about 8 minutes. If the gravy is too thick, add a bit more water. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, amchoor powder if using, and methi. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving to let the flavors blend.
Serve hot garnished with fresh chopped parsley and with flat breads or a bed of hot fresh cooked white rice.
Makes 6 servings
This is my contribution to Jacqueline’s weekly event Meat Free Mondays. Each week readers are treated to meal suggestions for each day of the week, along with bonus recipes.