|I prefer buying whole mushrooms and slicing them myself instead of getting the sliced ones - fresher!|
I spent three years of single-hood in Utah. Being in a small place had its perks - I made great friends and spent most weekends with them eating good food. My close friend (also my neighbor) and I often started the weekend celebration with a dinner date on Friday night. It was our way of pampering ourselves by either going to a nice restaurant or cooking some great restaurant style food at home. The calorie count was out the door when we needed something comforting after a long tiring week. Needless to say, there was lots of gossiping(the good kind) during dinner, occasionally followed by long walks to feel 'less guilty' about the gluttony :D.
I don't get so much of 'cooking together and chatting' any more, but I decided to pamper myself last Friday just like the old days. I cooked a rich yet easy dinner while my husband sat in the kitchen listening to my blabber and loud singing! On the menu: Mushroom Masala with brown basmati rice. I tried to mimic a dish from one of my favorite Indian restaurants. Every person may have a different preference on the amount of spices/garlic used. Change it up your way.
2 Cups sliced brown mushrooms
1/2 Medium onion finely chopped
1-2 Garlic cloves finely chopped
2 TablespoonsTomato paste
1/4 Teaspoon turmeric powder
Pinch of asafoetida
1 Bay leaf
1/2 Inch cinnamon stick
2-3 Cardamom pods
1 Teaspoons cumin-coriander powder
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
Red chili powder - per taste
1/2 Cup heavy cream
Cilantro for garnishing
2 Tablespoons oil
- Heat oil and add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and let the flavors infuse. Make sure the stove is on low-medium flame so the whole spices don't burn.
- Add onion, garlic, turmeric powder and asafoetida and saute until the onions tun golden and you can smell the wonderful garlic.
- Add tomato paste, cumin-coriander powder, garam masala and the redi chili paste and saute the mixture on low-medium heat for 5-6 minutes until you see oil separating and the masala pulling away from the pot. The majority of cooking time will be in sauteing the paste.
- Once you have the paste masala ready, add the mushrooms and a little bit of water to mix everything well.
- Let the mushrooms cook for 3-4 minutes until the water starts boiling and then add heavy cream.
- Bring this to a boil and turn the heat off.
- Garnish with some cilantro, lemon juice if you like it and serve with roti or rice.
A toast to the good ol' days!