Kadhai Mushrooms a popular North Indian, semi-dry spicy dish of mushrooms and bell peppers cooked in onion-tomato masala flavoured with a special spice blend–Kadhai Masala. If you love mushrooms then it should be a must try dish in your to have a list. The meaty,buttery mushrooms paired with colored bell peppers makes the dish so vibrant and appealing to eyes and taste buds. It goes well with Chapatis, Naan bread or rice (steamed or jeera). The dish can be had for lunch, dinner and can be served to your mushroom loving friends at your party. I am a mushroom lover and love to have mushrooms in my chinese style stir-frys, soups and fried rice or pastas. My hubby and kids are not very fond of mushrooms and prefer to have these finely chopped in soups, pastas or fried rice dishes. Kadhai Mushroom is one of my favourite dish and I make it specially when I want to have something special and easy also . We love it having with fresh hot Chapatis. The consistency of the gravy for this dish varies as per one’s preference, some like it dry, some like it semi-dry and many like to make it in thick gravy.I usually make the semi-dry form. I make the drier version of the dish to make Kadhai Mushroom Wraps. Kids enjoy this version of kadhai mushroom than the semi dry curry form.
Why the name Kadhai Mushroom?? Kadhai is a special utensil used in Indian cooking for deep-frying or cooking dry veggies. The dish got its name probably it is cooked in kadhai and gets its flavour from special Kadhai Masala , a spice blend that is used in preparing various Kadhai dishes like Kadhai Paneer, Kadhai mixed vegetables, Kadhai Chicken etc. The spice blend is a mix of coriander seeds and dry red chillies. The no. of chillies added to the blend depends on the how much heat level you want in the dish. This spice mix can be used in a no. of dishes like Kadhai Paneer,Kadhai Chicken or stir-fry veggies etc. It is always best to make a fresh small batch of this masala while making the dish as it gives the maximum flavour to dish when fresh. The blend can be stored in an air-tight container and used when required.
Mushroom dishes make a lovely vegetarian meal and can be enjoyed in varied no. of dishes!! Mushrooms contain around 90% water, are a the rich sources of Vit.D, and fibres and the best thing is that these contain no fat!! These are also the valuable source of selenium that boasts the immune system, important for the functioning of the thyroid gland, and reduces the risk of heart disease. Many people I know, avoid mushroom in their diets , but I think it is a versatile veggie with so many varieties that it can be added to gravies,stir-fried, grilled or baked, added to soups and stews. The best way to cook these is to sauté in a pan before adding to the gravies to extract the full flavour. Also it is always best to have cooked mushroom then having it raw to avoid any allergic reactions. Those who are already allergic to mushrooms can replace ,this with Tofu, Paneer or mix veggies. Adding bell peppers to the dish gives a unique flavour and the crunchiness to the dish. Do not fry the bell peppers and onions for a long time, just few seconds so that these remain crunchy. Mushrooms should be saute till light brown and on high heat so that the water evaporates quickly. You can sauté bell peppers and onions separately or along with mushrooms after the water from mushrooms has dried up.
Kadhai Mushroom is one of the most ordered dishes in Indian restaurants by Mushroom lovers!! Let’s see how I made this so aromatic and flavourful Kadhai Mushroom!!
- 2 Cup Mushrooms(Button) Sliced
- 1 Cup Bell Peppers(Mixed or any color) Cubed
- 2 Onions(Medium Sized)
- 3 Tomatoes(Medium Sized)
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
- 1/4 tsp Sugar
- 1-2 tbsp Fresh Cream
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tbsp Oil
- 1" Ginger piece
- 4-5 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Bay Leaf optional
- 4-5 Peppercorns
- 4-5 Cloves
- 1 Cinnamon Stick(small) optional
- 1/4 tsp Dry Fenugreek Leaves/Kasuri Methi
- 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2-3 Dry Red Chillies
- Make Kadhai Masala, dry roast coriander seeds and dry red chillies in a pan till it starts giving the aroma. Transfer in a bowl and keep aside to cool.
- Grind to fine powder or you can crush finely in mortar pestle.
- Finely chop one onion, tomatoes. Cube the other onion and bell peppers.
- Slice mushroom, and saute lightly on high heat in a pan, once done, take out from the pan and keep aside to cool. In the same pan some add tsp of oil, add cubed onions, saute for a few seconds then add cubed bell peppers.Saute for few minutes. The veggies should remain crunchy.
- Crush ginger and garlic coarsely in a mortar pestle or you can use ginger garlic paste.
- In a pan heat oil, when the oil is hot enough add cumin seeds and other whole spices. Add ginger garlic paste, saute till the smell of raw garlic goes away.
- Add chopped onions and saute till light pink and add chopped tomatoes, fry till soft, take off the flame, cool a bit and then blend to a fine paste. Remember to take out the cinnamon stick and bay leaf before grinding the masala.
- In the same pan transfer the onion tomato paste, add 2-3 tsp of kadhai masala, sugar and mix well.
- Cook till the masala is thick and well done. Add cream and mix well.
- Dry roast some dry fenugreek leaves on a tawa or girdle, crush and add to the gravy.
- Add 1/2 cup of water to adjust the consistency of the curry, if you want semi dry curry. Cook for a minute then add sauteed mushroom, onions and bell peppers . Add salt to taste and mix gently into the onion tomato masala.
- Serve hot with chapatis or steamed or jeera rice.
- For Vegan option, replace cream with 1 tbsp of almond meal or 1/4 cup of Almond Milk or cashew paste.
- For cashew paste, soak 3-4 cashew nuts in warm water 10 minutes before making the gravy, blend with onion and tomato paste, while making the masala for gravy.
- Dry Fenugreek leaves/Kasuri Methi is optional, for me it enhances the flavour of the curry when added.
- I use Mustard Oil for making the masala of Indian gravies , use any flavourless oil of your choice.
- For short method of making Kadhai Mushroom, use Bhuna Masala instead of making the masala from scratch to shorten the time of cooking.
So next time when you get mushrooms do try it my way and enjoy with the bread or rice preparation of your choice. It is a gluten-free dish and can be made suitable for vegans by substituting the dairy used in the recipe with non-dairy substitutes. Pls see the recipe notes.
Linking my Kadhai Mushrooms to #96Blogging Marathon for Week 3, Day 1, where theme is Easy Dinner Ideas.
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