If you are are looking for a friday night dish that tastes like it was cooked on a slow, relaxed sunday with loads of attention and affection, I think that you will agree my Masala Mushroom Bhuna, or flash cooked spicy mushrooms might do the trick. The term Bhuna is a reference of slow sauteeing of the spice base or masala, until it reaches a well balanced carmelized perfection. All of these conjure images of long well attended cooking, these mushrooms evoke and bring to your table all of these, except that they are cooked in a relatively short period of time.
Technically, today marks the begining of my short summer vacation. I have to confess, it has been a well earned one. I have worked extremely hard the past couple of months at work, on the book and at home (since the husband fell sick). I have not even had time to think through the visit to Yellowstone, but the kids are happy and excited.
I wrapped up most things at work with the exception of getting my out of office mail organized and came home. Made a last ditch trip to pick up a few essentials and then had to fix dinner. Friday night dinners for me are rather tricky. I am usually rather tired and ready to wrap up the week and recharge for the weekend. I have usually done away with going out on Friday’s, but then the husband usually expects something weekend like (I know, the man is spoilt and does not know it).
Ever so often however you get lucky with your kitchen exploits. What makes this dish special are the full flavored summer tomatoes, that have been cheering me with their beautiful, brightly colored beauty and filling the table with with their vivids hues. On the other hand, yes, the tomatoes help, but what really seals this dish is the fact that it is a dish that is a friday kind of dish in terms of cooking time and efforts but almost convinces you that it is a Sunday afternoon kind of flavor.
The dish is quick cooked with constant stirring (I know, constant does not sound easy, but only for aboout 15 minutes) and tastes like it has been cooked to slow perfection for hours. The general technique here is what we in Bengali call kasha and in Bangladesh or North India bhuna, or cooking without water, and it essentially yields a slow cooked rich tasting gravy. The catch here is that, since I am doing this with mushrooms, I do not actually have to wait till the dish cooks down or until the meat is down to a super tender consistency, but it still offers a nice and satisfying taste. Just the kind that you would expect from a Sunday kind of dish.
As I run through the rest of the refridgerator cleaning ritual that is typical, I am sure I shall cook up more fun. I shall brace myself before I can get ready for another season of rehersals, dance and soccer practice routines and a full and bright flavored welcome to my favorite season – Fall.
On to the recipe,
- 1 large red onion, peeled
- 3 pods garlic
- 1 inch piece of peeled ginger
- 2 fresh green chilies
- 4 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin-coriander powder
- 3 cups of cremeni (baby bella) mushrooms, halved
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 11/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Quarter the onion, place in a food processor with the garlic, ginger and green chilies.
- Process until finely chopped.
- Heat the oil on medium heat for 1 minute.
- Add in the cumin seeds and wait until they begin to sizzle, this will take a few seconds.
- Add in the onion mixture and began cooking on high heat, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. At this point, the onion should turn dry and begin to turn translucent.
- Add in the tomatoes and cook on high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken.
- Add in the cumin coriander powder and cook for another one or two minutes.
- Add in the mushrooms, salt and the sugar and continue cooking the mixture, stirring frequently until the mixture forms a thick fairly dry sauce that coats the mushrooms. This should take another five minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro and serve.