The days are so short nowadays. By the time I bring back the kids from school, it’s time to turn on the lights and get ready for the long night ahead. In fact, today has been extra bleak and the lights came on much earlier. To be honest, I don’t mind the dip in temperatures as much as the loss of daylight. Whether hot or cold, somehow daylight, and especially a sunny one makes it everything so much better. Ah well!
Instead of moaning about the weather, let’s get down to some cooking. I stopped at the local shop today, after dropping off the kids in the morning. The eyes fell upon some gorgeous closed cup mushrooms and some were instantly packed into a bag and brought home. The various options were weighed and I decided to make a spicy curry. A few nuts, some yogurt, ground and whole spices were roped in, and I was all set. The curry was made, the aromas wafted through the air, and the heart sang the song of satisfaction on a dish well done.
A photo shoot later, here I am, sitting down to share the recipe with you, so that you too can enjoy this lovely curry, which is actually, pretty easy to make. Many associate a curry with heat, but for me, it is the amalgamation of delightful spices that adds the oomph. The level of heat in a curry is a personal preference, I think. This curry, for instance, is not hot, but is pleasant, enrichened by the addition of nuts and Greek yogurt. Make it when you want to entertain, and by that, I do not mean just guests, but yoursellf and your dear ones too. After all, we all need a little indulgence sometimes.
13-14 large closed cup mushrooms, quartered lengthwise
1 medium sized onion, chopped + 4 cloves of garlic, ground to a paste
1/3 C of cashew nuts + 250gms of Greek yogurt + 3/4 C water, ground to a slightly coarse paste
4 tblsp sunflower/vegetable oil
2 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp ground cumin
1/3 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste
1/3 C of finely chopped coriander
For the tempering-
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 inch stick of cinnamon
2 whole red chillies, halved
2 bay leaves
- Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan and add the ingredients for tempering.
- When the seeds begin to sizzle, add the onion, garlic paste, along with the tomato puree, ground cumin and turmeric. Stir constantly over medium heat till most of the moisture has evaporated and the mixture is lumpy.
- Add the mushrooms and season with salt. Stir well. *Don’t worry if the mushrooms appear to be quite dry at this point; they will release enough moisture while cooking.
- Cover and cook over low heat till the mushrooms are very nearly cooked and most of the moisture has evaporated. Stir frequently in between. *This took me about 25-30 minutes; depending upon your mushrooms, it may take a little more or less time, so do keep an eye on them.
- Stir in the nut-yogurt mixture, garam masala and 3/4 of the chopped coriander and mix well.
- Cover and cook till the mushrooms have cooked completely. Stir frequently, and add a little hot water if the mixture gets too dry before the mushrooms have cooked completely. * Once you have added the nutty mixture, remember to keep an eye on it as it may burn if not stirred frequently.
- Remove from heat, garnish with the remaining coriander and serve hot with some plain rice or with any Indian flatbread.
This is a creamy delight. The meaty texture of the mushrooms and the nutty gravy complemented each other. A squeeze of lemon heightens the pleasure.