All of us have a tried and tested recipe that we fall back on during those days when we don't have time to think when we cook. This curry is one such which I usually make with either paneer or mushrooms, sometimes eggs, sometimes mixed vegetables. Today as I was deciding between paneer and mushrooms, I wondered how a dish with both of these would taste. My son loves paneer, my husband loves mushrooms and I love both. So there you go. Best of both worlds. Why not?
Before I move on to the recipe, I just thought I'd share a small tip with you. You may have seen a variety of masala powders in the market. And if you are a vegetarian, you may not have given even a second look to some of them. I mean, why would you want to buy meat masala powder when you don't eat meat at all, right? Well, maybe not. These powders are made of a variety of fragrant spices which can add a great deal of flavour to your vegetarian dishes. Yes, to your vegetarian dishes!
I got this tip from my mum-in-law who once added some mutton masala powder to some veg curry she was making. For once I was taken aback when I saw 'mutton' written on the packet (she is a staunch vegetarian) but hey, there's no mutton in there. She also introduced me to Kitchen King masala which I make a point to have in the pantry always.
The taste and spice levels of all these masala powders, ofcourse, vary. So be careful if you are adding any extra chilli powder. You can probably add salt as you roast the masala powders, check the spice level and adjust accordingly.
If you don't have any of these fancy masala powders, just add some chilli powder, coriander powder and jeera powder to taste.
12 to 14 mushrooms
2 large onions
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 medium tomato
1 or 2 bay leaves
¼ tsp haldi
1 tbsp meat curry masala /mutton masala powder/ tandoori masala / pork vindaloo masala/ kitchen king masala etc. or a combination of these.
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
1/4 cup milk
Approx 1 cup water
1 tsp ghee (optional)
Dice onions and tomatoes. Chop mushrooms into thin slices. Chop paneer into smaller cubes.
Transfer to a blender and grind into a smooth paste (without water).
In the same pan, heat 1 tsp oil. Add cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. With the heat on low, add the ground paste and mix. Turn the heat to medium, add the powders and roast for a few minutes. Check the spice level and adjust accordingly.
Pour milk and water, mix well and bring to a boil. Add the chopped mushrooms and salt and cook covered for 4 to 5 minutes. Add ghee for some extra flavour [I did not add]. Add paneer pieces and cook for another couple of minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve with naan, chapatis or rice. Drool. Enjoy the bite of the mushrooms and the softness of the paneer.