Mushroom Matar Masala / Mushroom and Green Peas Curry

Indian food is synonymous with “curry” in the western world. Rightly so, we love our curries and we can never be overwhelmed with the abundance of spices in any Indian kitchen. Mushroom Matar Masala is a semi-dry curry, where some lovely mushrooms and green peas are lathered in the right amount of spices.

My previous mushroom recipe, Goan Mushroom Xacuti recipe, had a bunch of spices completely different from the ones I have used in this recipe. The green peas, albeit frozen, give a dash of freshness to the curry. And I have added some fresh fenugreek leaves, another ingredient I have grown too fond of lately.

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Mushroom Matar Masala
Mushroom Matar Masala

Mushrooms are high in protein and unbelievably low in calories. Fenugreek has a stream of health benefits as well. This curry does not require any dairy additives. All in all, this is a low-calorie, vegan recipe packed with ample nutritive value, and highly suitable for diabetics and weight-watchers.

The mushroom matar masala, along with some hot chapati (Indian flatbread), was our Sunday lunch, which got gobbled down in a jiffy, in contrast to the usual lazy Sunday lunches. And food was ready before time, so I would not credit the hunger pangs. The award goes to…… Oh Modesty where are thou!! 😉

Mushroom Matar Masala
Mushroom Matar Masala

What to prepare before you get cooking

  • I used button mushrooms, and these were really tiny. So I just quartered them. Clean and cut the mushrooms to get bite-size pieces as per the size of mushrooms available.
  • For the spices, one of them is crushed coriander. If you have powder, go ahead and use it. But freshly crushed coriander seeds weave a certain flavour magic.
  • Fenugreek leaves are optional. Either use dried ones aka kasuri methi or replace with coriander leaves. But try to add it, as it bumps up the taste as well as the nutrition.
Wipe mushrooms with a wet towel instead of running under water to prevent them from going soggy. Click To Tweet

MUSHROOM MATAR MASALA / MUSHROOM AND GREEN PEAS CURRY

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup of green peas
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • 1 large or 2 medium sized tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp oil for cooking
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 slit green chili
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh fenugreek leaves OR 1 tbsp kasuri methi
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
Mushroom Matar Masala
Mushroom Matar Masala

Method

  • Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds.
  • Once the cumin crackles, add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
  • Add in the onion, ginger and green chilli. Add a bit of salt and mix well. Cover and let the onion cook till soft.
  • Add the tomatoes and mash them with the spatula. Add tiny bit salt, to hasten the cooking.
  • Cook covered, whilst checking intermittently, till the oil starts releasing from the sides.
  • Then add the spices; turmeric, crushed coriander, red chili powder and the garam masala. Mix well.
  • Add in the green peas and splash of water. Cover and cook. If using fresh peas, give it 10 minutes. For frozen peas, 5 minutes is adequate.
  • Add the mushrooms next and coat well in the masala. You might need to add a little more water.
  • Stir in the fenugreek leaves at this point and saute for a while.
  • Cover and cook until everything comes together. It will take about 5-7 minutes, as mushrooms and peas cook quite quickly.
  • Lastly, stir in the lemon juice. Adjust salt to your preference.
  • Since I used fresh fenugreek, I left out the coriander for garnish. It is a personal choice to use coriander leaves in this recipe and you may go ahead if you fancy.
  • Serve hot with chapati or any Indian flatbread.

 

Variations

  • Replace mushrooms with parboiled potato.
  • Replace green peas with boiled or canned chickpeas.

Want to try more simple Indian vegan preparations? Check out Bhindi ki Sabzi / Okra Stir-Fry

Instagram users

If you try this recipe tag #smitasfoodcharm on Instagram and to follow me click here @smitasfoodcharm

 

 

Vegan Soba Noodle Soup with Tofu

Till about 3 years ago, my knowledge of noodles was only restricted to Maggi Masala and Hakka noodles. It was only in this culturally diverse city of Melbourne, that I call home now, did I open my eyes and ears to an array of noodles. Melbourne houses lots of South-east Asian communities and each has its similarities and diversities. And this applies even to their cuisines.

Vegan noodle soup
Vegan Soba Noodle Soup with Tofu

When you wish to eat noodles in an Asian food joint, you will be spoilt for choice; Udon noodles or soba,  egg or rice noodles, thin vermicelli type or flat noodles (the one used in Pad Thai) or even the gluten-free variety. Like me, if you always research your menu before ordering then a Google search is your best saviour.

On one such food adventure, Mr and I came across soba noodles in a Japanese food outlet.  As most recipes contained fish, we did not finally eat there. (Mr does not tolerate fish, please remember this if you are ever calling us over for dinner!! 🙂 ) But the soba noodle stuck in my head and I wanted to try it out. These are made of a grain called Buckwheat. It isn’t related to wheat though! And hence gluten-free.

Vegan Soba Noodle Soup with Tofu
Vegan Soba Noodle Soup with Tofu

In the Asian stores, you will find a shelf-full of soba noodles; some are 100% buckwheat, whereas some are blended with wheat flour (Only pure buckwheat is gluten free. User discretion advised)

I have tried both the varieties and there is one thing in common. They do not hold up to being stir-fried. For me, it has always been a messy disaster; if you have a secret to throw light on this, please write in the comments below.

The next best thing that I could come up was SOUP! It was a vegan soba noodle soup with lots of veggies. For the protein, I have used tofu.

Vegan Soba Noodle Soup with Tofu
Vegan Soba Noodle Soup with Tofu

VEGAN SOBA NOODLE SOUP WITH TOFU

Serves : 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 bundles of soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • 200 grams firm tofu
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • A handful of baby spinach, torn
  • 1/4 cup edamame beans (I used the frozen type)
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 tsp soy sauce (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce of preference
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • Water for boiling noodles – as per package instructions
  • Oil – 1 tbsp for sauteing tofu, 1-2 tsp for the soup, and 1/2 spoon per bowl of noodles
  • Chilli flakes for garnish (optional)

For marinating the tofu:

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp Sriracha chilli sauce or any other hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt (this is optional as we are already using soy sauce)
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Method:

  • Preparing the tofu: When you buy tofu, it comes drowned in water. Most importantly, we need to get rid of the moisture. Only then, it will absorb the marination and get sauteed well. Be sure that you are buying the firm or extra firm tofu. Once you remove from the packaging, press it between 2 kitchen towels, place in a colander, and keep some weight over it. This will drain out the water and you will get a nice, porous tofu ready to absorb all the lovely flavours you dunk it into.
soba noodle soup with tofu
Preparing the tofu
  • Let the tofu marinate for 15-20 minutes. Then you may cube or slice it and let it cook in some oil. Let each side colour up for 5-7 minutes. Even if the outside gets crisp, the interior stays soft.

 

  • In the meanwhile, cook the noodles as per packet instructions. These noodles generally come packaged as per serving size. Take 1/2 cup from the stock and add to water to make up the quantity of liquid required. Once cooked to the given cooking time, drain and wash under cold water to arrest the cooking process.

 

  • Divide the noodles in 2 bowls and mix 1/2 tsp oil in each bowl. Coating the noodles with oil with help to keep the strands from clumping together.

 

  • In a saucepan, add the oil and saute the onion, garlic and ginger. Next add the remaining stock.
vegan soba noodle soup with tofu
simmering away
  • Season with soy sauce, hot sauce, and vinegar.

 

  • Once you see small bubbles forming at the sides, add the shredded cabbage and the spinach. I do not like cooking the veggies much as I prefer to retain their crunch and colour.

 

  • Lastly, add the edamame beans.

 

  • Check for seasonings and adjust as per taste.

 

For serving,

  • Ladle the soup over the noodles in each bowl.
  • Add a generous helping of the vegetables. Then load up the pan fried tofu.
  • In the end, garnish with some red chilli flakes and ENJOY!!

    Vegan Soba Noodle Soup with Tofu
    Vegan Soba Noodle Soup with Tofu

Variations:

  1. Substitute the above veggies or add celery, scallions, Asian greens like pak choy, or bok choy.
  2. Substitute tofu with meat of choice.
  3. Substitute vegetable stock with stock of choice or if using plain water, plop a stock cube into it.
  4. For garnish, you can add scallion, bean shoots, or coriander.

This soup is ideal on cold evenings when your soul just needs that pampering. But hey, who sticks to ideals? So go ahead and make this soup whichever day or night of the year you want to. And whenever you do, remember to drop by and leave a comment as I would love to know how this turned out for you.

Thank you!