Mushroom Kurma is one of the most scrumptious recipes I have ever made. This recipe is so full of beautiful complex flavors perfectly complementing each other. Make yourself a bowl full of rice, add plenty of this Kurma, and a side of papodums. Your heart will be happy.
My mushroom kurma is a little different than how it is traditionally made. It is an easy blend and cook curry that you are going to fall in love with. The freshly ground masala curry paste to make this korma is out of this world delicious.
What is Korma/ Kurma?
Kurma or Korma is a South Asian Curry that is either braised with meat or vegetables. Thickening agents like yogurt, cream, coconut milk, and nuts are used to make this curry, making it deliciously rich in its taste. A vegetarian kurma can be made with vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, peas, broccoli, french beans, and carrots. You can make a vegetarian protein-rich kurma using any beans. I particularly love to use Black chickpeas, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and kidney beans.
What is Mushroom Kurma?
This recipe hails from Tamilian Cuisine, India. Mushroom Kurma is a delicious rich curry made with a special curry base prepared with onions, tomatoes, fresh/frozen coconut, poppy seeds, almond flour, Kashmiri red chili powder, and coriander seeds. This freshly made masala is further braised with other spices and aromatics, with mushrooms and served piping hot with a side of rotis, idlis, dosas, or plain rice.
What Type of Mushrooms to Use?
You can either use white button mushrooms or baby Bella (crimini) mushrooms for this recipe. These mushrooms are from the same family. Baby Bella Mushrooms are brown in color and are slightly more flavorful, as they are harvested a little later, hence the developed color and flavor. I also feel the brown color of baby Bella mushrooms blend perfectly with the Kurma and they absolutely render not just a delicious curry, but also a gorgeous curry. These two varieties of mushrooms are available plentiful in all the grocery stores, but if you cannot find these, Portabello Mushrooms works too.
Ingredients & Substitutions To Make Mushroom Kurma
- Mushrooms - I am using mushrooms as the base vegetable of this curry because of their delicious umami and earthy flavors. If you don't have mushrooms, you can use the same recipe to make this Kurma with Cauliflower or Potatoes, or Beans like Chickpeas or Red Kidney Beans.
- Onions And Tomatoes - The curry is made with a base of onions and tomatoes. They are blended together for the complex spicy, caramelized and tart flavors they have to offer.
- Aromatics - The holy trinity, that is our garlic, ginger, and green chilies are used in this curry, along with beautiful floral and citrusy undertones.
- Spices - The basic ground spices from the Indian spice box are put to use. Kashmiri Red Chili Powder, Turmeric, and Coriander Powder.
- Coconut - You can either use fresh or frozen shredded coconut to make this recipe. If these are not available, you can use desiccated coconut. Please don't replace shredded/ desiccated coconut with coconut milk. Coconut milk will completely change the flavor of this curry.
- White Poppy Seeds - Poppy seeds have a mild nutty flavor and are used as a thickening agent in the curry. If you don't have white poppy seeds, you can skip adding them and substitute them with a teaspoon of almond flour.
- Coriander Seeds - The coriander seeds are ground with the curry base for their beautiful earthy, citrusy, and sweet flavors. You can substitute this with a teaspoon of coriander powder if you don't have whole coriander seeds.
- Almond Flour - It is faster to make this curry with ingredients ready on hand, hence I like to use almond flour instead of waiting for my cashews/ almonds to soak and soften.
- Cumin Seeds - I feel mustard seeds and cumin seeds are the heart of tempering curries in India. We use cumin seeds twice in this recipe, once to make the curry base and the second time for the tempering.
- Cilantro - We will be using fresh luscious finely chopped cilantro for garnishing.
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This Mushroom Korma is
- Gluten- Free
- High Powered Blender
- Heavy Bottom Pan / Pot
For the Curry Base
- 1 Medium Onion About 1/2 Cup Roughly Chopped Onion
- 1 Roma Tomato
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Frozen/ Fresh Shredded or Dessicated
- 2 Tbsp Almond Flour
- 2 Tsp White Poppy Seeds Khus Khus
- 2 Tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 Tbsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
- 1/4 Cup Water
For Cooking The Korma
- 3 Tbsp Peanut Oil or Any Other Neutral Flavored Oil
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 4-5 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 Inch Ginger
- 1-2 Thai Green Chilies
- 6-7 Curry Leaves
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Cumin- Coriander Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 lb Baby Bella Mushrooms 4 cups Thick Sliced/ Chopped Mushrooms
- 2 Cups Hot Water or as Required
- 1 Tsp Sugar optional
- 1 Tbsp Cilantro For Garnishing
To make the Curry Base
- In a high powered blender jar, add roughly chopped onions, tomatoes, kashmiri red chili powder, shredded fresh/ frozen coconut, almond flour, white poppy seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Add 1/4 Cup of water and blend into a smooth paste. If you think you need more water to blend the curry paste, add 2 Tbsp's water and blend again.
To Cook The Mushroom Kurma
- Use a pastel and mortar to pound fresh garlic, ginger and green chilies, as small as possible. Trust me, this renders the best taste.
- Slice or roughly chop the mushrooms. You want a nice bite of mushroom, so I suggest to chop 1 inch thick slices of mushrooms or cut them into 4 halves.
- Place a heavy bottom pan or pot on a medium high flame.
- Add oil, and let it heat up. Once the oil is hot add cumin seeds.
- Once the cumin seeds start to splutter add the freshly pounded garlic, ginger and green chilies. Sauté for 15 seconds and add the prepared curry base.
- Now Add 2 tbsp's water in the blender jar and cover it. Shake it well to make sure you get all the leftover curry base and pour it in the pan. Add curry leaves now. And mix well.
- Next add salt, turmeric and cumin coriander powder. Mix well.
- Now on a medium low flame, let this cook. Stir every two minutes, to make sure your curry doesn't stick to the bottom.
- Use little splashes of water to deglaze the pan if needed.
- You want to cook this curry base slowly for 10-15 minutes, until the oil starts to separate.
- Once the oil starts to separate, add in your sliced or cut Baby Bella (Crimini) Mushrooms. Mix them well with the masala.
- Add 2 Cups of Hot Water. Stir in. Add sugar. I add sugar to balance all the flavors. You won't even taste the sugar in the curry. Mix it once again.
- Now on a medium flame, let the curry simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Turn off the stove. Garnish with cilantro and serve it with parathas, puris, rotis, naans or simple rice.
- You can substitute other vegetables like cauliflower, Potatoes and Peas.
- If you want to add protein, you can use beans like kidney beans, or chickpeas.
- You can substitute almond flour with cashews or almonds. Soak cashews or almonds in hot water for 30 mins. It will soften them up and will blend easily. If you decide to use whole almonds, make sure to remove the skin before blending them. It is very easy to remove the skin of soaked almonds.
- I insist you to use a heavy bottom pan/ pot as this pan will distribute heat evenly and cook the curry properly.
- When you add water to the curry, make sure it is hot. If you add cold water, it will definitely change the taste of this curry.
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