Vegetarians and those on fast, if you are feeling a little left out seeing all the non vegetarian delicacies making rounds in magazines, blogs and cookery shows this Christmas season, then this Kadai Mushroom recipe is just for you.
Kadai Mushroom is essentially mushrooms cooked in a spiced onion and tomato gravy in a kadai or wok. A spice mixture of cumin seeds, dried red chilies, cinnamon and dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) in addition to coriander, chili and turmeric powders give kadai dishes their distinctive flavor.
Update (on 20-Dec-2012): Sia Krishna from Monsoon Spice tells me that kadai does not refer to the wok in which the dish is prepared but refers to the whole spices that are used in the preparation. Thus the "Kadai" comes from Khada or Khara which translates to whole. You can get more information here. Thank you Sia for the information.
Every restaurant featuring Indian dishes has to have numerous kadai dishes on it's menu. Kadai paneer, kadai mushroom, kadai murgh and so on and so forth. Best eaten with naan or roti, kadai dishes are a hot favorite. But you will be surprised by how easily these restaurant flavors can be reproduced at home and it does not require any more effort than what a normal curry.
Recipe (adapted from Vanitha):
500 grams button mushrooms
1/2 cup sunflower oil
2 cups finely chopped onion + 1 cup onions, cubed
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
2 teaspoons red chili powder + 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder + 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup finely chopped tomato
1" piece cinnamon + 3 cardamom pods + 5 dried red chilies + 1 teaspoon cumin seeds + 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) - Dry roast these spices and grind into a fine powder
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup capsicum, cubed
Handful of coriander leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin powder or chaat masala
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 teaspoon butter
To taste, salt
Quarter the mushrooms. Heat two tablespoons oil in a kadai or wok and fry the mushrooms till half cooked. Remove the mushrooms and keep aside.
Add remaining oil to the wok and fry chopped onions till lightly browned. Add ginger garlic paste and continue frying till aromatic and onions are a darker shade of brown. Reduce heat to a minimum and add chili powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and saute for a couple of minutes. Toss in chopped tomatoes and continue sauteing till oil separates. (You can let this mixture cool and process in a blender for a smooth sauce, if desired).
Next the ground kadai spices - cinnamon, cardamom, dried red chilies, cumin seeds and kasuri methi need to go into the onion and tomato mixture, followed by fried mushrooms, cubed onions and salt. Pour in warm water and let cook for a few minutes. Finally add capsicum, tomato sauce, butter and adjust seasoning.
Sprinkle over chaat masala/cumin powder and coriander leaves. Serve hot with naan or roti.
Hope you enjoy your restaurant style kadai mushroom!!!