Friday, May 18, 2012

Seafood Curry

When I saw Vaishali's recipe for a seafood curry, I was so excited to use these canned abalone mushrooms from the pan-Asian market near me.  Ultimately, however, although the sauce was delicious, I just couldn't get down with the texture of these mushrooms.  They were very meaty and very tough.  If there was a way to make them more tender--and I did marinate them for hours!--I might be convinced to try them again; otherwise, I think this recipe would be delicious with some other kind of vegan protein, or even jackfruit.  The sauce was both rich (coconut milk!) and zingy (chilies, mustard/fenugreek seeds, and a ton of lemon) at the same time.

Abalone Mushroom Curry
(adapted from holy cow)
1 can of "abalone" mushrooms or similar
1 tsp grated garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
For the sauce:
2 dried arbol chilies
2 fresh serrano chilies
1/4 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
1 TB coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 large onion or 2 small ones, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB cashews
1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 c coconut milk
1 TB tamarind paste
salt to taste
1/4 c cilantro leaves, chopped

1. Mix marinade ingredients and pour over mushrooms.  Allow to sit at least 30 minutes.
2. Roast mushrooms in the oven?  Brown in a skillet?  Cut into smaller pieces?
3. Meanwhile, soak the dried chilies in water for about 30 minutes.
4. Toast the fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns in a dry skillet set over medium heat, about 2 minutes or until the spices start to get fragrant and the coriander seeds turn a couple of shades darker.  Remove the spices from the skillet and set aside to cool.
5. Finely grind cashew nuts (I do this in my spice grinder because it's such a small amount for the food processor).   Add the chilies, toasted spices, onion, garlic, and cashew powder to food processor and process, adding enough water to make a thick, smooth paste.
6. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the mustard seeds until they start to sputter, then add the blended chili and onion paste. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns a few shades darker and the water has evaporated. Add the tamarind along with 1 cup water. If the curry is too thick, add more water. Add salt, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the sauce simmers. Let it cook for 15 minutes without covering it.
7. Add the mushrooms and let the sauce simmer for another five minutes.  Add the coconut milk. Mix well and warm through. Turn off the heat and garnish with cilantro leaves.  Serves about 3-4.


monster said...

I wonder if texturally speaking it might work better with fresh oyster mushrooms? They're so tender and buttery anyway...

Julia said...

Oh, yes! I bet you are totally right. Fresh mushrooms > canned ones.