Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mushroom-Coconut Curry

We almost always have mushrooms here, and lately I have been cooking up recipes for which mushrooms are the primary focus. I'm not quite sure where I originally found this one - it was at least 10 or 12 years ago 'and in another country' etc. - possibly it originated with Charmaine Solomon. Because I try, as much as possible, to cook without added fat/oil and without a lot of high-calorie ingredients, I've adapted this recipe so that it won't quite be as Mrs Solomon (or whoever it was) would wish. For example, the soymilk plus cornstarch plus coconut extract replaces the same quantity of coconut milk. In making it for only two persons, the proportions have also changed a bit - and of course seasoning adjusted to my taste. Method is my own. Nevertheless . . . .


* for TWO persons *

1/2 lb (250 g) mushrooms, quartered
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
1 tsp grated ginger (I used some from a jar - not as nice, but it was quick)
6 curry leaves (I used dried. If you don't have these, don't worry. It's a subtle flavour.)
1 tsp (or to taste) of curry powder (your own mix, preferably, or a good commercial blend)
1/4 tsp salt, if you use it, or of course to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala (again, your own mix or a good commercial blend)
1/2 cup low-fat soymilk
1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
few drops coconut extract
2 tsp lemon juice

'Saute' the mushrooms, green onions, garlic, ginger and curry leaves in a little water until softened. Add the curry powder, salt (if used) and mushrooms and continue to cook over low heat, adding a little water as needed, until the mushrooms are softened and the flavours are nicely blended.

Meanwhile, mix together the soymilk, cornstarch and coconut extract.

Sprinkle with the softened mushroom mix with garam masala. Add the soymilk 'coconut' mix and stir until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Garnish, if you wish, with a few sprigs of something green or another green onion chopped and another dash of garam masala.

Serve with brown rice.


Alexandra said...

This sounds soo delicious. I love mushrooms but I've fallen into the habit of making the same 3-4 recipes with them. I'm bookmarking and will definitely try this.

Lane said...

Wow that looks good.
I've asked Jane to make it soon. We had something similar at our local Indian restaurant (I'm sure it wasn't low fat) and fell in love.
What do you think about substituting some other vegetable for the mushrooms? I'm wondering if the spices would work for say, eggplant (which was how the dish we had at Akbar was prepared). They seem like they'd be interchangeable.
You've got a number of really great looking recipes here. Thanks for sharing.
Lane of Vegan Bits

Natalie said...

I'd love to see what you ate over the holidays, if you took any pictures :)

River said...

Hi Lane,

Nice to see you here. Of course, other veggies would work well too :) But they won't taste like the dishes at your Indian restaurant since there's no coconut milk or any kind of ghee or oil in this recipe. Also, much depends on the spices used - and each cook has his or her own preferred mix for each dish - or at least a base mix of spices to which is then added a little more of this or that, depending on what's being made. Right? Sadly, however, more and more restaurants are using the kinds of spice mixes or spice pastes that come out of jars and bottles so that all tastes much the same :(

I'll look up a good eggplant recipe for you (one I've made and know is good) and post it. Do you remember what the dish was called? Was it in coconut milk? A heavily sauced curry or a dryer kind of dish? We love eggplant here - and so good for you, as of course are mushrooms, but if it's eggplant you're drooling for . . . .

Love and hugs.

River said...

Well Hi there, Natalie :)

I may have taken some photos in the last week, but I'm not sure of what LOL We don't do traditional meals here at this time of year - except for New Year, when we sometimes venture a vegan haggis (which is boring to look at). Sorry about that - You'll have to look elsewhere for the tofurkey, 'mince' pies, etc., I'm afraid. Of course, if we had children around we might do something special for them, but we don't have any littlees in this part of the world.

Love and hugs.

River said...

Hi again, Lane!

It has just occurred to me (well, duh!) that since you like Indian food you might be interested in joining a group I own on Yahoo called Vegetarian Spice. It deals with lots of spicy (meaning HOT and spicy) tried and true recipes from around the world - and some, because people will send them in of course, not-so-spicy. I know there are some eggplant recipes in the Indian and Sri Lankan folder there as well as lots of other dishes. You have to join to access the Files, as usual, but that's no biggie. Have a look anyway :)

If you're interested, no compulsion of course, you can find us at:

I'll watch out for your membership thingie to put it through quickly - in case you decide that way.

Love and hugs to you and yours and a Happy New Year!