Mushroom Masala

I've always preferred North Indian food to South, which is where my parents are from. I grew up in Bombay and the Middle East before moving to Canada and the US, with a brief 3 month stint in South India. I've eaten all sorts of Indian food as you can imagine, and despite my love for idli and dosa, mutter paneer (originally from Punjab, I think?) always stole my heart. So much so that at every single family gathering, I request that mutter paneer either be cooked or catered. Luckily, I have an awesome family and they always have it around when they know I'm coming.

Back when we lived in Dubai, there was a North Indian restaurant I loved going to, mainly for it's spicy, savory, smoky mushrooms. I could eat this with or without rice, and though there was a 90% chance I would have stomach problems later that night, it was well worth it.

I made these mushrooms not because I was nostalgic for those stomach problems, but because I was craving something Indian for dinner. My favorite dishes are those which you can throw together at the last minute without prior planning, those which are quick to make, and those which, as you're eating them, can trick you into thinking that you are a cooking god. Imma go ahead and call these the best mushrooms I've had in ages. Try it!!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 8oz can diced tomatoes (I tomatoes in basil, oregano and garlic simply bc this is what I had, but any can of tomatoes will do. The canned tomatoes give a richer, rounder, and sweeter flavor to the mushrooms that fresh tomatoes can't)
  • 2 10oz packages white/button mushrooms, quartered
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Prep:

Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add all the spices. When the spices are fragrant, cook the onion and jalapeno in the spices until they soften, then add the garlic and ginger. At this point, your kitchen, apartment, and entire building floor will smell like India. After 1-2 minutes, pour in the canned tomatoes and let everything simmer for 4-5 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Cook on low heat until the sauce thickens and the mushrooms are cooked, but still have a bite. You don't want mushy mushrooms for this. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cilantro. Serve over rice or in tortillas with a little fresh squeezed lemon. Go to sleep happy and take some with you to work the next day.

 Mushroom masala

Mushroom masala