It’s pretty difficult to take a nice photo of a mushroom curry.
While I’m not a vegetarian I don’t eat a lot of meat, and when we do cook with it we try to buy from a local butcher if possible rather than a supermarket. Meat shouldn’t be an everyday thing and I don’t think we should expect to buy it so cheaply and be surprised about the quality of life the animal has had, or even just the quality of the meat itself. That’s not to say I always resist the offers in supermarkets but I try to, with the best of intentions to try to reduce our carbon footprint in a small way. We’ve also unintentionally reduced it by the lack of holidays we’ve taken since having a kid, but I’m not quite so happy about that!
For weeknight meals I tend to want something easy, quick, and something that doesn’t require a rush back out to the shops for an ingredient I’m missing. It’s also a bonus if you can make more than needed and have some leftover for lunch the next day, especially if you’ve made your way through the sad sandwich selections in the shops near work (several times over).
Nigel Slater can do no wrong in my book and “The 30-Minute Cook” is an oldie but a goodie, especially for weeknights. I like the fact you don’t feel like you need to stick to his recipes religiously (and obviously I don’t as I can’t help but meddle), and he encourages you to mix things up based on what you have. He also just makes good, simple meals and is very accessible for anyone who wants to increase their cooking repertoire. This curry is a great starting point for increasing the number of meat-free meals you eat. Mushrooms are a good base for a meal if you’re reluctant to ditch the meat; they provide plenty of big flavours, sustenance and texture to a dish.
Serves 4 with rice
- 4 tbsp groundnut oil (or other cooking oil of your choice)
- 2 medium onions, sliced thinly
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
- 2.5cm knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 400g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 15g mixed dried mushrooms
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 225ml vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp full-fat greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Put the dried mushrooms in a mug or bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 20 minutes to re-hydrate.
Heat the groundnut oil in a large pan and fry the onions until golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the ground coriander and curry powder and cook for a minute more. Add the mushrooms and mix until coated with the oil and spices. You may find at this stage you need to add a little more oil as the mushrooms will drink it up. Do not add too much though or your final curry will be a little greasy.
Once the fresh mushrooms have cooked for 5 minutes add the re-hydrated mushrooms (reserving their liquid), and stir in the tomato puree. Cook this off for a minute or two then add the vegetable stock and the reserved mushroom liquid.
Bring to a boil then cook, covered, for 10 minutes. If the curry has not reduced down in this time remove the lid and continue to cook on a high heat, making sure to stir, until it has reached your desired consistency. Remove from the heat, stir through the yogurt and the fresh coriander, and serve with rice.
This recipe is adapted from Nigel Slater’s “The 30-Minute Cook”.