20 August 2007
Instant Mushroom Methi Curry with Onion Rice
Last week we had a pre-Independence day party at home. The night before the party, since I was already busy with all preparations, I was in no mood for any elaborate cooking. We generally do not have rice on a week night, because we both prefer to have rotis or pasta / noodles. Rice comes to rescue when I want to get out of the kitchen in 15 minutes and my tiny Hawkins pressure cooker helps me to do just that. Mushrooms, apart from the few extra minutes it takes to clean them, are a breeze to cut and cook. Chunky and full of taste, they are one of my favourite vegetables (not calling them Fungi, because I really don't care for any other fungi than the edible ones).
This meal is one such perfect hurried meal, where when you sit down to eat, you forget that it was made in a hurry. The rich flavours of the curry balanced by the delicately flavoured rice makes it a perfect weekday curry-in-a-hurry meal!!
Instant Mushroom Methi Curry
1 pack button mushrooms 12-15 pieces
1 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cooking oil
For curry paste:
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1/2" piece of ginger, sliced
4-5 shallots, sliced or 1 small onion sliced
1 medium tomato sliced
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 dried red chillies
1 heaped tbsp besan (gram flour)
1/2 cup buttermilk or 2 tbsp yogurt whisked with water to make 1/2 cup
1/2 tsp salt
1. Scrub the mushrooms clean and chop them into bite sized pieces. In a wok, heat 1 tsp oil, splutter mustard seeds, add the chopped mushrooms and dried methi leaves. Saute till the mushrooms are nearly cooked - this takes about 3-4 minutes. Remove from wok and keep aside.
2. In the same wok, heat 1 tsp oil. Put in all ingredients for curry paste except tomatoes and saute till shallots are soft. Towards the end put in the tomato slices and stir till they are almost soft. Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Grind to a fine paste.
3. Whisk the besan (gram flour) in buttermilk and keep aside.
4. Place the sauteed mushrooms in the same wok you started with. Put in the curry paste along with the buttermilk mix. Let this simmer for 3-5 minutes till thick. Add the salt at this stage, simmer for a minute more and remove from flame. Garnish with fresh coriander (optional).
This goes perfectly well with chapatis or rice. You can make this curry with boiled and chopped soya nuggets to make it a high-protein curry.
For the quick meal, I served this with some Quick onion rice pressure cooked with whole spices.
Quick onion rice
1 cup Basmati or any other fragrant rice
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 small piece cinnamon
1 star anise
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1. Wash the rice in plenty of water, drain and keep aside.
2. In a pressure cooker, heat 1 tsp ghee. Add all the whole spices. Stir for 30 seconds. Add the sliced onions, stir for a minute till somewhat soft. I do not brown the onions, but you can do so if you like the taste.
3. Add the washed rice with 1 1/2 -2 cups of water, depending on the instructions that come along with the brand of rice you use. Since pressure cooking is very fast, adding more water will make the rice soggy. Salt the water and pressure cook on medium flame till you get one whistle. Switch off the cooker and let it cool for the next 15 minutes or so and the excess water will be absorbed by the rice making it fluffy. Open the cooker after it has cooled and remove the pilaf into a bowl. Fluff with a fork if necessary and serve with any curry or dal.
Note: The green chilli pickle is made using Anita's recipe, the only change I've made is to add mustard oil instead of peanut oil.