Mixed Mushroom Curry

PHOTOS BY MICHAEL PIAZZA/SYTLED BY CATRINE KELTY
SERVES 6

This recipe, as far as I know, is not authentic to anywhere in any way, it is just a simple and tasty recipe incorporating multiple kinds of mushrooms into one appealing dish. It is delicious topped with a yogurt-garlic-mint sauce or even just a dab of plain Greek yogurt. 

4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 cups jasmine or basmati rice
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
5–10 whole green cardamom pods (optional)
Salt to taste
2 small yellow onions, roughly chopped
1 pound oyster mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and roughly chopped
¾ pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, pressed

2 serrano chilies, cut in half lengthwise
2 tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2  teaspoons mustard seeds

½ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cumin

4 tablespoons coconut milk (mostly the solids)
1 capful white vinegar  
Pinch brown sugar
2 teaspoons butter

Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

In a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium-high. Add the rice, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom (if using) and a generous amount of salt, and toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add water and cook according to package instructions. (I added 3 cups of water, brought to a boil, simmered for 15 minutes, took off heat and let stand, covered, for 10-15 minutes longer—but different brands may cook differently.)

In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high. Add the onion and sweat 5–7 minutes, until soft. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add salt, garlic, ginger, serranos, tomato, spices, coconut milk, vinegar and brown sugar and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, then add butter.

If not serving immediately, simmer until ready to serve. Serve the mushroom curry over the rice, garnished with a little cilantro. The longer the curry simmers, up to an additional 30 minutes, the better it will taste. It is especially good prepared a day in advance, kept in the fridge and reheated the following day.

LUKE PYENSON is a food and travel writer, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer based in New York City. You can see examples of his work at www.lukepyenson.com.