When it comes to vegetarian and vegan cuisine, no other country has it as covered like India. With a population of around 440 million vegetarians or vegans its little wonder that they have a diet that accommodates everyone in a nutritious and endlessly creative ways. I'll often cook an Indian spread that is entirely vegetarian - there are so many amazing dishes to serve and I hate to sound like a cliché, but as a meat eater you really won't miss the meat.
Mushroom Masala - a creamy, hearty curry
Mushrooms are a great option for currying. they have a great texture that holds its own in any sauce. Almost meaty they mushroom creates the bite in this dish accompanied by a rich and creamy sauce flavoured by one of the tastiest Indian ingredients – Fenugreek (Methi).
Methi (Fenugreek) the secret flavour that will blow your mind!
Fenugreek is an amazing ingredient! And not a lot of people know it! It's a commonly used plant for cuisine in the Indian sub continent. It looks a little like watercress, with long stems and small bulbous leaves. The fresh leaves have a slight bitterness but when cooked a mild, unique aroma which is quite intoxicating! The leaves can be used fresh or dried and the seeds are also cultivated and used throughout Indian cuisine. If you smell a fenugreek seed you'll smell the essence of mass-produced curry powder. It's a major ingredient in their production.
In this curry, I've used all three types of methi – fresh, seeds and dried. The overall aroma and taste is hard to describe. The fenugreek is herbal, sweet and a little bitter but not in a bad way. It's flavour is unique and utterly delicious. It's one of my most favourite ingredients to use in Indian cuisine.
Serving suggestions and other vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian Indian dishes.
I like to create multiple Indian vegan or vegetarian curries to offer up lots of flavour and textural choices. Normally I'll create three. Something 'meaty' in texture, one featuring vegetables and one with lentils or beans. That way, you'll get a combination of dishes that will fill you and give a balance of nutrients and textures.
Take a look at some of my other meatless indian dishes and make your choices! I'll always serve rice as a side and often a selection of Indian breads too. There are also a few pescatarian options if you do eat fish.
- Parippu (Kerala Style Dal Curry)
- Aloo Baingan – Indian Potato & Eggplant
- Indian Cauliflower with Mustard Seeds & Black Pepper
- Rajma – Kidney Bean Curry
Pescatarians - you'll love these curries too!
How to make my Methi Mushroom Masala
- 3 tbsp oil
- 10 curry leaves (fresh)
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp black peppercorns
- 1 onion (medium, finely chopped)
- 1 bunch fresh fenugreek (leaves only - around 90g/3oz)
- 21 oz button mushrooms (about 600g) (thickly sliced)
- 1 tomato (finely chopped)
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1½ tsp salt
- ¾ cups coconut milk
- 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- Add the oil to a large pan over a moderate/high heat. When hot, add in quick succession the curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, black peppercorns and finally the onion. Turn heat down to medium and stir well. Fry gently for 4-5 minutes until the onion is soft.
- Add the fenugreek leaves and fry again for 1-2 minutes before adding the mushrooms.
- Stir well Stir fry the mushrooms for about 3 minutes until they've softened slightly. Add the tomatoes, chilli powder, paprika, turmeric, garam masala, cumin, coriander and salt. Stir well for 1-2 minutes then add 1½ cups water followed by ¾ cup of coconut milk.Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium/low. Place lid on pan and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid from the pan and simmer uncovered to reduce the sauce for 5-10 minutes. It should be creamy! Sprinkle over the dried fenugreek leaves and drizzle over the ¼ cup of coconut milk. Stir one last time then remove from the heat and serve!
Nutrition (per serving)
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