Recipe for Mushroom Tikka Masala simmered in a zesty tomato and cashew sauce


Mushroom tikka:
4 tablespoons thick yoghurt or coconut milk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chickpea flour (besan)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon chat masala
1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
1/2-inch piece ginger, minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or rock salt, or to taste
1 lb (450 g) small button mushrooms, cleaned
3 tablespoons oil

Masala (spice blend):
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
1-inch piece ginger, minced or grated
1 to 2 red or green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 to 60 minutes and drained
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut or brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

How to
Prepare the tikka by whisking together the yoghurt or coconut milk, lemon juice and chickpea flour in a large bowl. Add the spices, garlic, ginger and salt, and whisk until blended. Stir in the mushrooms until well coated.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the mushroom mixture to the pan and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms begin to brown and release their juices. Transfer the mixture back to the bowl, stir to coat the mushrooms again, and let cool to room temperature. Cover and let marinate for another 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.

To make the spice blend, dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and black peppercorns in small unoiled saucepan or frying pan over medium-low heat, tossing or stirring frequently, until they darken a few shades. Transfer to a small blender or spice grinder and grind into a powder. Stir in the turmeric, chili powder, paprika, garam masala and nutmeg. Set aside.

To make the gravy, heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion to the pan and sauté, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chilies, and cook for another few minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Transfer to a blender and add the cashews, tomatoes and spice blend. Process until smooth.

Return the mixture to the pan, adding a few teaspoons of oil if the pan is too dry. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture has thickened, stirring often — about 10 minutes. Stir in the red pepper, sugar and fenugreek leaves. Cook for another few minutes and then stir in the marinated mushrooms and salt. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve hot garnished with fresh chopped cilantro if desired alongside savoury Indian flat breads or fresh cooked rice.

Lisa’s Vegetarian Kitchen (Lisa’s Vegetarian Kitchen) / CC BY 2.5

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