Monday, November 12, 2012

IHCC: Comforting Curries

Comforting curries, indeed! At least one of Madhur Jaffrey's curries is on the Comfort Food list around here. But for tonight's dinner, I opted for a curry that's had a stickie on it for a long time but has remained unmade—Mushroom Curry (Quick & Easy Indian Cooking, p79*). Since I've made a lot of use of this book over the years, It's hard to know why this particular recipe has never gotten made, but this certainly won't be the last time it's served. Like most of the recipes from this book, it's a way of getting a tasty meal on the table in pretty short time. Once everything is prepped it takes less than ten minutes to finish off the dish.

You begin by buzzing up a paste of ginger, onion, garlic, and water in your blender. Chunk up the 'shrooms, gather the other ingredients (yogurt, tomato paste, ground coriander, salt, and cayenne), and you're ready to go. 

Like many of Jaffrey recipes, this one calls for what I think was too much way too much oil. Cutting it by half worked fine. You need just enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. 

First you sauté the mushrooms for a couple of minutes until they no longer look raw, then put them aside. (I put them back on the plate where I'd piled the cut mushroom.) Wipe out the skillet, add a bit more oil, then fry up the ginger-onion-garlic paste. When that starts to look a bit brownish, stir in a third of the yogurt, fry for 30 seconds; repeat twice to use up the yogurt. Then stir in the tomato paste and fry briefly. Add the coriander, stir, and add water, the reserved mushrooms, salt, and cayenne. (I found the recommended amount of water to be slightly too much. Next time I'd start with about a third less and add enough to make it nicely goopy. 

For a simple meal, I served this over rice, with Gujerati Carrot Salad (Indian Cooking, p170) on the side.

To liven things up, we broke into my second pickle attempt one day early. That's Shoba Ramji's Alimucha Oorga, Lime Pickle (Flavours of India, p211) on the side. It sits on the shelf for a week before using, then into the fridge after two weeks. I made a half recipe of this. It's a vast improvement over my previous pickle attempt. It's maybe not as good as a commercial pickle, but I'll certainly make this again if we run out. The only problem I had was the somewhat unclear instruction to cut the limes into 2-cm pieces. I made 2-cm thick slices, but I think what is really needed is for the limes to be very coarsely chopped. In the end, I did a little remedial chopping up after it had cooked. Good stuff, this one.

This post is shared with this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs.

*This recipe can also be found in 100 Essential Curries, p136. This little book seems to be a collection of recipes from other Jaffrey books, but no reference is given to the sources. I recognize many of them from my other books.


  1. This mushroom curry was one of the curries that I've bookmarked to try one of these days! Looks good served over rice! And your pickle is ready! Cool! Some pickles can be really addictive! Would love to try one of MJ pickles!
    Have a great week!

  2. This sounds wonderful Kaye, and with some nice mushrooms on special at the supermarket this week I think I may just have to try this.

    So pleased your lime pickles turned out well.

  3. I made the mushroom curry too this week and totally agree about the water--I found the same thing. ;-) I really liked the flavor. Your pickles look great too.

  4. I served the curry I made this week with the stir fried carrots and also thought there was too much oil. The carrots were really good though! I like the idea of a mushroom curry over rice.

  5. I have to agree with you about Jaffrey's recipe containing to much oil. I'm going to have to remember that when I'm cooking her recipes.

    The mushroom curry looks delicious.

  6. Yum, looks great! And kudos to you for making your own pickle. I made a sun pickle last year that I wish I had chopped. Makes eating limes much easier!

  7. The whole meal looks deliclious. Made your own pickles and with a carrot salad. Great job.