Mushroom Matar. Staple north indian dish made with mushrooms and green peas in a onion tomato base. Perfect for a quick meal since mushrooms cook in no time. Pairs deliciously with flatbreads.
Mushrooms rarely made an appearance at meal time during my childhood years so I don't even remember how and when I started liking them. Button mushrooms were cooked with shelled, sweet tasting winter peas(matar) in a tomato base during winters. In no time we sat down to scoop the stir fry with fresh-off -the skillet triangle parathas. They were mellow, meaty and pleasantly chewy. The hints of spices were just perfect to balance the natural sweetness & adding the correct depth of flavor to offset their blandness.
What is Mushroom Matar?
Mushroom Matar, a north indian staple is mushrooms and matar (green peas) cooked together in a spiced onion & tomato sauce. Cook it as a dry sabzi (I go for this preparation on most days) or in a creamy nut based sauce. In indian cuisine, winter time is peak season for fresh peas and this dish was cooked a lot during that time growing up. Mom would serve it with parathas and yogurt side. This mushroom & pea stir fry is few of those things that I make just for myself for a quick lunch sometimes.
Choosing Mushrooms- White button mushrooms are the most common variety available in India and that is the variety I choose as well. Most common notion about button mushrooms is that they taste quite bland, but all the flavors and spices going in this recipe make them taste so delicious. If you would like to use a mix, I suggest throwing in a few baby bella mushrooms in the mix. You could buy pre sliced, cleaned mushrooms and make it extra fast.
How to Clean Mushrooms ?
I like using the stems of mushrooms if they aren't too brown. Using a damp paper towel or kitchen towel, gently wipe the mushrooms to remove any dirt. Do not wash the mushrooms. Imagine them as sponges, that once washed tend to absorb water. When you will cook them, the dish will turn out bland and watery. Wiping each mushroom truly is a cumbersome process but its worth preserving the taste of mushrooms.
Mushroom matar is cooked in a variety of ways using nuts and heavy cream for a rich version. I have always liked this dryish stir fry than gravy. I really like how the tomato coats the mushroom keeping them perfectly moist and adding hints of acidity. If you cook the tomatoes properly, they almost taste like a chunky ketchup like (if you know what I mean).
- 8 oz (225g) mushrooms
- ½ cup peas(fresh or frozen)
- 3 tablespoon cooking oil
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 medium tomates, chopped
- 2 thai green bird chili, chopped
- ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon amchoor (dry mango powder)
- ½ teaspoon kasuri methi(crushed)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- chopped cilantro to garnish
- Wipe the mushrooms with paper or damp kitchen towel and using a knife slice them. Don't slice too thin. If using frozen peas, thaw them. Set aside.
- In a pan/wok/kadhai, on high, heat up the oil to smoky point. Reduce the heat to medium & add the chopped onions & garlic.
- When the onions start to soften & lightly brown, add the chopped tomatoes, green chilies, ginger, turmeric, coriander,amchoor and red chili powder and turn heat to medium-low.Let the tomatoes cook down and soften, cook this masala till you see oil separating on sides.
- At this point turn heat to medium high & add the sliced mushrooms. Also add pinch of salt. Cook the mushrooms till they are tender. They will slowly release their water and start to shrink in size. I used white button mushrooms & it took they approximately 8 minutes to cook. The time will depend on the variety of mushrooms you are using.
- Once the mushrooms are sweaty and have shrunk in size, add the peas,adjust the salt, snd also add the kasuri methi . Cover for 5 minutes on medium - low heat and let cook.
- Finish with garam masala and garnish with chopped cilantro. You can also squirt little lemon juice/vinegar if you like. Serve immediately.