I tend to do most of my shopping on Sunday, so by the end of the week I'm usually staring at a fridge that's seen better days. Usually all I can find is empty containers of olives, gnarly sprigs of parsley, and cut-up onions wrapped in plastic. But this week I had a whole bag of unused cremini mushrooms. I figured it would have to be some kind of omelet (I always tend to have eggs around), but was stopped when I found this recipe from the Indian cooking site Pachakam. It's essentially a mushroom curry, and I miraculously had all of the necessary ingredients.
What I find so interesting about some Indian-inspired recipes is that they can turn a leftover meal into something unique and delicious. Though the ingredient list often looks long, once you've got the basic spices, the rest of the ingredients are really simple. The only odd one here is cashews, which I pilfered them from a "party mix" can of nuts. Good thing, too. They bring a rich and creamy quality to the otherwise spicy sauce. I make no case for the authenticity of the dish, or what exactly to call it, but it is warm and comforting, and way more flavorful than the leftover meal it began as.
- 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 jalapenos, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 15 cashews
- 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala
- Salt and pepper
Pour half of the oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender. Set aside.
Meanwhile, pour the other half of the oil into another skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add the ginger, onion, jalapenos, and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
Add the tomato along with the turmeric powder, chili powder, and coriander powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the tomato has softened. If the mixture is too dry add a 1/4 cup of water.
Pour half of the mixture into a blender with the cashews. Process until smooth. Pour back into the skillet, add the mushrooms, and bring a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garam masala at the last second. Serve with white rice.