Who knew that cooking lots and lots of chopped onions, adding spices, tamarind and yogurt could produce such an amazing tasting dish!
Adding seared portabellos was my inspiration, and it worked well. To keep it veggie, add seared seitan or some other faux meat if you like, or the traditional beef if you like. But the mushrooms are what I will be sticking with in the future!
Kerala Beefy Mushrooms (from Mark Bittman for the New York Times)
1 very large (or 2 medium) portobellas
2 whole cloves garlic
2 inch piece ginger, peeled
2 teaspoons kashmiri chile powder (or 1 teaspoon cayenne)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
olive oil for searing
3 fresh or 5 dry curry leaves
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 large red onions, diced fine
2 serrano chiles, deseeded and minced
3 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon coriander
couple twists black pepper
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (mix with 2 tablespoons hot or boiling water)
3 tablespoons thick yogurt
cilantro for garnish
Scrape gills of mushroom and trip crumbling edges. Slice in half and cut 1/2 inch strips from each half. Toss with olive oil and chile powder; grate ginger and garlic over mushrooms, add salt and toss well to coat. Allow to marinate at least 20 minutes.
In a heavy bottom pan or kadai, heat coconut oil and when melted, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and cook over medium heat until mustard starts to pop. Add onion and serrano and stir well, cooking for at least 10-15 minutes until onion begins to break down and turn saucy. Add garam masala, turmeric, coriander and pepper and stir well to combine. Cook another 2-3 minutes until spices blend in well. Add tamarind and yogurt and stir well and turn down to simmer. Keep on low while you sear mushrooms.
Heat a large skillet over high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add mushroom pieces, searing each side (the white sides) until softened and beginning to crisp. Remove from heat and add to gravy and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes to absorb flavors. Garnish with cilantro and serve with dosas or any Indian flatbread of your choice!