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I enjoy making a curry but, to be honest, I usually stick to the safe option of adding ready made curry paste to some vegetables. I really wanted to try my hand at making something from scratch, so Madhur Jaffrey’s 100 Essential Curries looked like the right place to start. It took me ages to choose, as everything looks delicious. I finally settled on the mushroom curry as my husband Neil is a big fan of the mushroom!
My first task was to peel and chop a piece of fresh ginger. I was tempted to have a nibble as it smelt so good, but I refrained. Fresh ginger is certainly an acquired taste!! Next, I retrieved the garlic from the cupboard and set about peeling and chopping a few cloves. It is good that we like garlic as I required quite a lot.
This recipe is very particular on how much onion to use; I needed to get my scales out to weigh it. My onion had started to grow into a plant as it had been waiting to be used for too long! It didn’t matter that I only needed half, as a lot of it couldn’t be used anyway! I dusted off my blender and threw in the ginger, garlic and onion, plus a little water. I whizzed it all together until smooth, which took only moments. When I took the lid off the blender, I was hit with a wonderful pungent smell; the curry was looking promising!
I had a lot of mushrooms to chop; there was no avoiding it. Madhur says in the recipe header to cut the mushrooms into large chunky pieces. This did make things easier and quicker. Once I had completed my marathon chopping feat, I added some oil to my frying pan and heated it until hot. I carefully transferred my mountain of mushrooms to the frying pan. I only dropped a few pieces on the floor! I cooked the mushrooms for a few minutes and then put them into a bowl. This freed up the frying pan, so I could cook the paste from the blender. After a few minutes I could stir in some natural yoghurt; this made the mixture lovely and creamy.
My only stressful moment occurred when I couldn’t find the ground coriander. I had a desperate hunt and even accused Neil of putting it in the wrong place, only to find it was where it should have been all along, whoops! Once I had added a good amount of the ground coriander to the frying pan, I could pour in some water. It seemed a lot of water to me, but I imagined the sauce would thicken up. I tipped the mushrooms back into the frying pan along with a tiny amount of chilli powder, gave it a good stir then left it to simmer for five or so minutes. I had also cooked some rice so I drained that off and added it to our plates. I collected the frying pan from the hob and was surprised to see how watery the sauce still was. I poured the mushroom curry onto the plates to join the rice and sprinkled some fresh coriander on top.
When I presented this mushroom curry to Neil he thought it looked very nice. He had been looking forward to this meal; he does love a curry! We found the flavour was very subtle. I could taste a hint of ginger but the overwhelming flavour was coriander. I am glad I followed the advice and didn’t slice the mushrooms too thinly as I imagine they would have indeed become lost in the sauce. We both enjoyed the meal. It was just a little on the mild side for us. If I make this again, I will probably add some more spices to give it a little more of a kick!
Above: Madhur’s Mushroom Curry prepared and photographed by our professionals
Below: Anneliese’s Mushroom Curry
From My Kitchen Table guest blogger, Anneliese. Anneliese is baking her way through Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, and blogging about it on her blog, Rising to the Berry.