Personally, I am a big fan of mushrooms and creating this recipe gave me the perfect opportunity to use them in an Indian dish. The earthy and nutty flavors of the mushrooms blends perfectly well with the spices. I like cremini mushrooms (brown baby portabella mushrooms) for this particular dish. They have a wonderful taste and texture. But if you are unable to find any cremini mushrooms, then white button mushrooms will work just as well. This is such an easy meal to make and once the basic prep work is done, it comes together in no time.
Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes or any variety of baby tomatoes are perfect for this dish when in season, if not - just use Roma or plum tomatoes. Also, dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) have a subtle bitter flavor and pungent aroma that works well in this dish. Kasuri methi is easily available in any large Indian grocery store but if you prefer not to use it, the dish is equally delicious without it.
The best way to clean mushrooms is to gently brush or wipe the mushrooms with a damp towel. Mushrooms tend to absorb water like a sponge so it’s best not to wash or soak them in water.
1 lb of brown Cremini mushrooms (cleaned & trimmed), cut into halves
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
¼ lb of baby tomatoes, halved OR 1 large plum tomato, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
3-4 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
6-8 fresh curry leaves
½ cup of green peas (frozen is fine, but thaw and drain well)
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
1 tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp ground coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi), optional
1 cup cream (or you can use sour cream, yogurt or coconut milk)
salt & pepper, to taste
2-3 tbsp oil, vegetable or canola
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a large deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onions and stir fry for a few minutes. When the onions become translucent, add the garlic along with the ginger, green chilies and curry leaves. Now add the spices (turmeric, ground cumin powder, ground coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder, dried fenugreek leaves & black pepper) and let them cook in the oil for a minute or two. Do NOT add the salt just yet! Next add the tomatoes and the green peas, gently stir to combine all of the ingredients. After another minute of so, add the mushrooms and toss together. Let cook for just 3-4 minutes, do not overcook the mushrooms. Remove the dish from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before adding the salt and cream (or yogurt or coconut milk). If you are using yogurt, let it cool a little long and stir vigorously when adding so it will not curdle. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve with warm chapatis and fragrant Basmati rice.
Virtually any vegetable will work well in this dish so feel free to add your favorite vegetable or combination of vegetables such as finely chopped baby spinach, sliced carrots, finely shredded cabbage, baby corn, bell peppers, assorted wild mushrooms,leeks, swiss chard, bok choy, diced pumpkin or butternut squash, baby potatoes, edamame, green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas…. please remember to adjust your cooking times accordingly. You could even add some pieces or lightly fried paneer or tofu to the dish as well.