Green peas and jalapeño liven up this quick, healthy one-pot dish
Pantries and freezers: They’re the new go-tos during this involuntary staycation. Fortunately, your menu doesn’t need to suffer.
Most ingredients in this dish are things we usually have on hand. The fresh components (such as mushrooms and jalapeños) are ones that keep for a few days, so you don’t need to run to the grocery store too often.
We made this dish for a weeknight dinner. But we would happily serve it to friends for a weekend feast. When we can see friends again.
Recipe: Mushroom and Chickpea Curry
This dish has very little sauce, making it a “dry” curry (as opposed to a saucy “wet” one). Traditionally, dry curries are eaten with an Indian flatbread such as naan or roti, while wet ones are eaten with rice. We like to eat this curry neat, but you could add flatbread to the meal if you like. Or rice. Or even polenta.
This dish takes about half an hour to prepare. The recipe yields 3 to 4 hearty main-course servings.
Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container. They’re also terrific for breakfast or lunch.
- 1 medium onion
- 1-inch piece of ginger
- 3 garlic cloves (or to taste; we generally use more)
- 2 jalapeño peppers (or to taste)
- ~1 pound mushrooms (portabellas are great in this dish, although ordinary white ones work too)
- ~2 tablespoons cooking oil (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste; see Notes)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- ~1½ cups frozen green peas (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- Peel the onion and cut it into dice of about ½ inch. Set aside.
- Peel the ginger, chop it roughly, then add it to the bowl of a mini food processor.
- Peel the garlic, chop it roughly, then add it to the bowl of the mini food processor.
- Wash and dry the jalapeño peppers. Cut off the stems, then cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds and white membrane (the oil in these carries much of the jalapeño heat). Chop the peppers roughly (reserving a few rounds for garnish, if you wish), then add the chopped peppers to the mini food processor. Wash your hands with soap and water to remove the spicy jalapeño oil from your skin. Then whirl the mini food processor for 15 to 20 seconds, until the contents form a paste. Set aside.
- Clean any dirt off the mushrooms with a damp cloth or paper towel. Cut the mushrooms in half or quarters, depending on their size and your preference. Set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium stovetop heat. When the pan is hot, add the cooking oil. When the oil is heated (about 15 seconds – it’ll shimmer), add the chopped onion. Season to taste with salt, then cook until the onion is soft and just becoming translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the paste of ginger, garlic, and jalapeño, then cook for an additional two minutes.
- Add the spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne), then sizzle for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to brown – about 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas into a strainer, then rinse off the gunk they’re stored in. After the mushrooms have cooked, add the drained chickpeas to the pan, along with the diced tomatoes. Cook for another 10 minutes. About two minutes before serving, stir in the frozen green peas.
- Right before serving, stir in the garam masala. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Plate the curry, adding a slice of jalapeño to each serving for garnish (if desired). Serve and enjoy.
- We sometimes finish this dish with a squirt of fresh lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon) – acid helps sharpen the flavor. We stir it in when adding the garam masala in Step 9.
- You might want to add chopped cilantro to the dish to give it extra color and flavor (add it with the garam masala in Step 9).
- We love jalapeño peppers. But if you want a less spicy dish, you could skip them.
- Same with the cayenne pepper. That being said, we don’t find this dish particularly spicy. But you may disagree.
- You can use almost any variety of mushrooms – or a mix of varieties – in this dish.
- We like to use chickpeas in Indian dishes. But kidney beans work well too. Or you could use lentils.
- In fact, you can alter ingredients and quantities in this dish to suit your taste, or to fit what you happen to have on hand. You could use potatoes instead of mushrooms, for example (we suggest day-old cooked potatoes cut into cubes). Add bell peppers if you have them around. Or maybe some eggplant (or use eggplant instead of mushrooms). You could also skip the garam masala and instead add ground cloves and whole cardamom pods in Step 7. Loads of possibilities here.
- Speaking of garam masala: It’s a spice mixture that varies quite a bit from region to region in India (and depending on what brand you buy). It usually includes black pepper, cloves, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and fennel. The best way to use it is to stir it into a dish at the end of cooking, so you can get the full benefit of its fragrant aroma.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
“Yum stuff,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Pantry pals to the rescue!”
“As we used to put it back in the days when we wore bell bottoms,” I said. “This is good shitake.”
“We still say that, my flower child,” said Mrs K R. “And without being able to get haircuts during social distancing, we’ll soon resemble our 60s selves. Déjà vu all over again.”
“I’ll need a tie-dyed ribbon for my ponytail,” I said. “And I might have to start shopping for paisley shirts.”
“Yup, plus granny dresses for me,” said Mrs K R.
Don’t forget the silly sideburns. Now, why does that make me think of mushrooms again?
You may also enjoy reading about:
Aromatic Yellow Rice
Easy No-Stir Oven Polenta
Cauliflower, Potato, and Pea Curry
Lamb Rogan Josh
Spicy Pork Vindaloo
Spicy Potatoes with Ginger and Garlic
Easy Tandoori Chicken
Indian Carrot Salad with Mustard Seeds
Summer Squash in Tomato Curry Sauce
Or check out the index for more