This is a coconut milk-based Goan mushroom curry; flavourful and not too spicy. The earthiness of the mushrooms with tamarind and coconut are a real winner for me.
- 250 g chestnut mushrooms
- 1 onion
- fresh coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp Onion Paste (see recipe here)
- 4 tbsp Tamarind Liquid (see Note)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tbsp frozen grated coconut, plus extra to garnish
- 125 ml coconut milk
- 50 ml water
- sea salt
For the spice powder
- 1 or 2 large dried red chillies, to taste
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1½ tsp cumin seeds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Assemble all the ingredients and equipment before you begin. You will need a spice grinder, a non-stick pan for toasting the spices and a large sauté or frying pan.
First, make the spice powder. Heat the dry non-stick pan over a high heat. Add the dried chillies and coriander and cumin seeds and stir until the spices are aromatic. Watch closely so the chillies don’t burn before the spices toast. Transfer the chillies and seeds to the spice grinder and grind until a fine powder forms. Set aside.
Wipe, trim and quarter the mushrooms, including the caps and stalks. Halve, peel and thinly slice the onion. Rinse and chop enough coriander leaves to make about 2 tablespoons.
Heat the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat in the sauté pan. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and stir until it is softened, but not coloured. Add the mushrooms and continue stirring for 4–5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are lightly coloured.
Add the onion paste and stir it into the onions and mushrooms for 30 seconds. Add the spice powder, tamarind liquid and turmeric, and continue stirring for 30 seconds to cook the spices. Stir in the frozen coconut, coconut milk and water, and set aside a little extra grated coconut to thaw. Season with salt and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 2–3 minutes to blend the flavours. Stir in the chopped coriander just before serving and garnish with a little extra grated coconut.
• Tamarind Liquid is a tangy souring agent used in Indian cookery. To make, soak tamarind pulp in hot water for about 20 minutes to soften, using your fingers to mix the pods with the water. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, pressing to extract as much flavour as possible. The proportion of liquid to tamarind pulp varies according to the intensity of flavour required. Allow 400 ml water per 200 g block of tamarind. The extracted juice can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 weeks, or frozen and diluted as required.