Sunday, December 26, 2010
An Imperfect Mushroom Curry
This is not “A Very Good” mushroom curry. In fact, this isn’t supposed to be a mushroom curry at all. It’s adapted from ‘Potato Brown Curry’ out of my staple cookbook ‘Ceylon Cookery’ by Chandra Dissanayake, inspired by a lovely mushroom dish made by my sister, Amali.
Amali’s mushroom curry was ‘delish’ but what she used is anyone’s guess, including hers. So I took a shot at replacing the potatoes in this recipe with mushrooms, but I feel there’s still room for improvement.
What to get:
* 1 ½ kg white button mushrooms
* 2 teaspoons cumin powder
* 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
* Pinch of turmeric
* 2 teaspoons chilli powder
* 3 teaspoons coriander powder
* 1 teaspoon sweet cumin powder (aka powdered fennel seed)
* 2 teaspoons mustard (optional- it says in the book. I put powdered mustard)
* 2 sprigs curry leaves
* 2 cloves garlic
* ¼ cup grated/desiccated coconut
* 1 medium onion
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1-2 tablespoons oil
* 400ml coconut cream
What to do:
Clean mushrooms (you can wipe them with a damp cloth but I just dunked them in pot of water, swished the soil off, then gave a final rinse). Quarter cleaned mushrooms. Chop onions and garlic. Roast desiccated coconut until dark brown. (After that, I think Ms Dissanayake wants us to grind the coconut, onions and garlic to a paste but I didn’t read that bit properly so left out the ‘grind to a paste’ bit).
Heat oil. Add spices, browned coconut, chopped onions and garlic. Fry for a few minutes. Add mustard and fry for a few more seconds, then add the mushroom and stir-fry for a few minutes.
Here is where there’s room for movement, I added the coconut milk and an equal amount (can’s worth) of water. But as the mushrooms reduce in size and add its ‘stock’ to the gravy, I probably should have omitted the water for a thicker consistency, or used just enough water to rinse the last of the coconut cream out of the can. And that’s it. It really doesn’t take long.