The last few months have been super busy working through our house purchase, but after a short break from the blog I'm happy to be back in the kitchen working on some fun new ideas, starting with this tasty Mushroom Masala which came out top on a recent poll I put out on instagram. I've often used mushroom larb alongside meat to make a dish stretch a little further but I've never made a curry using mushroom as the key ingredient. They work incredibly well with the creamy sauce, providing a rich earthiness and texture that even the biggest carnivores will not be able to resist.
This recipe is a quick, easy to make, gluten free, and simple to make vegan, just use an alternative vegetable oil instead of ghee. What's not to like!
Mushroom Masala: Serves 4
2 packs of mushrooms roughly sliced (approx 450 grams), use your favourites. I mix closed cup and chestnut.
2 tablespoon ghee or any alternative vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 cardamon pods
1/3 cup cashews
2 teaspoons ginger paste
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1 carton of passata
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon kashmiri chilli powder (this gives it a kick so reduce slightly if you want less heat)
1 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch of black pepper
This is the first time that I've used cashews to make a creamy base for a curry but it works very well. Just make sure you soak them first. If you'd prefer to stick with coconut milk, then you can subsitute 1/2 can of coconut milk instead but I'd recommend giving the cashews a try.
Heat the ghee in a pan on a medium heat then add the cardamon pods and cumin seeds and stir. After a minute or two, you'll get a lovely smell starting to come through.
Finely chop the onion and add to the pan and leave to fry in the ghee for 4-5 minutes until soft.
Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute then add the sliced mushrooms, and a generous pinch of black pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are coated.
Add the dried spices to the mushrooms (turmeric, kashmiri chilli powder and garam masala) and cook out for 2 minutes before adding the salt and the passata to the pan.
Leave to cook on a low-medium heat for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, make the cashew cream. Soak the cashews in 1/2 cup of of warm water for ten minutes. Drain the water and replace with 1/4 cup of fresh water. Add a pinch of salt and pepper then blend into a smooth paste. This will take a little time so keep persisting until you get a smooth texture. It will come! You can always add a splash more water if needed.
After 15 minutes are up, add the cashew cream to the pan and bring to a simmer. Season to taste then add in a handful of freshly chopped coriander to serve on a bed of rice.
It's as simple as that! If you'd like to add a little more colour to the dish, why not add some peas and make it a Mushroom Mutter Masala or some spinach for a palak masala. Don't forget to snap a picture and tag me on instagram or twitter. Happy Cooking!