When I was six years old we were studying the propagation of plants from seeds in science class at school. I would save up plastic ice cream containers, fill them with dirt and scatter some seeds my mum gave me. I would pack the top loosely with more dirt and water it once in the morning and once in the evening. Between watering the seeds, I would sit and watch the plastic container for hours, wondering when the magic would happen and something green would pop out.
But it never did while I watched. Only when I slept. Because every time I woke up in the morning, I would see tiny leaves pushing their way up through the dirt. It was the most exciting thing I ever experienced as a six-year-old. The power of growing something with my bare hands. The seeds my mum gave me were mustard and fenugreek. Because they only took a day to sprout into tiny baby leaves. Just right for a patient yet impatient little girl.
So when my boys first forayed into the garden with chubby little dirt-crusted hands holding miniature metal spades, I gave them mustard and fenugreek seeds to sow. And just like when I was a child, these seeds worked their magic overnight for my little boys.
(source - Wikipedia. Image via Public Domain)
I have always loved fenugreek. It is called methi in India which is the world's largest producer of this brilliant herb. Fenugreek is the world's oldest medicinal plant and has a pleasant slightly bitter astringent taste which is reduced by cooking it. The taste and smell are sometimes likened to maple syrup. The seeds are used in curries and stir-fries while the fresh leaves are great in salads, sandwiches and juices.
Fenugreek is known to reduce inflammation, increase milk flow in breastfeeding mums, aid digestion and heart health and reduce blood sugar in people suffering from diabetes. Most of all, it tastes great in curries which is why I use it all the time. I grow fresh fenugreek and dry the leaves in the oven to get a steady supply of seasoning for a few months. The fresh leaves also freeze well. Because it has a strong taste, you only need to use a little bit.
In today's recipe, I have made a simple yet stunning curry with plump button mushrooms and a beautiful mix of herbs and spices. Fenugreek really highlights the earthiness of the mushrooms and the tangy nature of the sauce. The inclusion of turmeric, ginger and fenugreek makes this a very restorative dish with a degree of warmth and comfort. Simply known as Mushroom Masala, it is a homestyle Indian dish that is a great way to try out mushrooms with some spices.
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves, or 1 teaspoon fenugreek powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 small red capsicum, diced
- 500 g button mushroom, wiped clean
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup tomato passata, or canned crushed tomatoes
- coriander leaves, to garnish
- Heat oil or ghee in a large sauté pan on medium. Add cumin seeds, onion, cardamom and bay leaf.
- Sauté for a couple of minutes until onion is tender. Add fenugreek leaves, garlic and ginger pastes, capsicum, peas and mushroom. Toss and cook for a few minutes until mushrooms are coated with the onion and capsicum mixture.
- Add salt and spices along with the tomato passata (or crushed tomatoes). Add half a cup of water. Mix well.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until mushrooms are just done and the dish is piping hot. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- Serve with steamed rice or crusty bread.
Truly appreciate the way you made this mushroom masala. The fenugreek leaves also known as methi leaves here in India is a wonderful healthy leaves that really make a dish more flavorful. Looking forward for recipes like this in future too.
This mushroom masala looks so tasty. I definitely try this tasty recipe soon. Thank you so much for sharing.
this dish looks so yummy....
can't wait to have it
Mine turned too runny. Too saucy ;( it was worth a shot
let's try it! yummy!
Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe, I saved in my favorites
Yummy..Spicy mushroom recipes i always fond of . Thanks for this wonderful recipe Sneh
I'm making this as I type.
1. It doesn't say when to add the peas. I'm assuming from your photos that they go in with the mushrooms and capsicum? Frozen?
2. At the beginning it says to heat the ghee or oil in the pan, then to add the oil. Only one lot of oil is mentioned in the ingredients.
3. It says 1 cup of tomato paste, which seems a lot as it is very concentrated. Should it be paste or passata (non-concentrate tomato puree)?
It smells good, so hopefully it turns out! Thanks.
Thanks for spotting the discrepancies Monique. I have fixed them up in the recipe. I hope your dish turned out great! x
This looks beautiful and I love your story. I always find myself remembering little things my mum did when I'm writing about food.
*droool* OMG! this look sdelicuious - I am going to give this a go. I'm loving curries at the moment as the weather cools down. lovely presentation also
I adore 'shrooms & am always after new ways to serve 'em up. Thanks for sharing this superb-looking dish.
This looks so good! I’m a huge Mushroom fan, sadly hubby doesn’t share the same sentiment and so I hardly make it at home. But now I feel like I should make this mushroom masala soon. Thanks for sharing!
What a delightful dish. I have to admit that I have used fenugreek - once - and then tossed it because I didn't spend enough time to learn more about it. Thanks for this post and I'm going to make this dish WITH fenugreek. 🙂
not familiar with fenugreek in Nowra. I love to eat mushroom and vegies for my meals and this menu seems great too! wondering to sample one of this days...
Love this dish and the fact that the mushrooms are the star here. Did not that about mustard and fenugreek, very interesting!
I don't cook with fenugreek very often so I'm intrigued! I love the look of this curry and how easy it sounds, will have to give it a go.
I love mushroom dishes and these flavors are spot on!
Another gorgeous dish, Sneh. I have to taste this one.
BTW I have a giveaway (the cutest lil bee salt/pepper shakers) at the moment that's open internationally and with TWO winners! Please enter.
It's to honour Mother's Day and help the effort to save the bees globally.
I've never thought I've trying to grow fenugreek myself. This masala looks fabulous.
Stunning meat free meal!
I am in love with the styling here. Simple, but so clean and sharp; you truly are a great photographer as well as a great recipe developer
This looks and sounds gorgeous Sneh. I have everything I need to make this tomorrow's dinner! Thank you for the recipe xx
Looks lovely Sneh! Although mushroom is not a traditional Indian vegetable, I do love it in curries as it absorbs the flavours so well. Will have to try this one!
I love that kind of spicy dish. Delightful! I wish I could find fresh fenugreek here...
i love that pan! gorgeous curry
This looks so good Sneh! As a huge mushroom lover (in fact I'm having mushrooms for dinner tonight!) I'm always looking for new mushroom dishes to add to my repertoire. I'll definitely be trying this.
This looks delicious Sneh, a great meat free option.
I am relatively new to fenugreek, I have only recently started to cook with it. I have also just planted it as a green manure crop in my vegetable garden and just as you said, it germinated quickly and now looks lovely and green.