Mushroom Spinach Curry

Mushroom Emerald Curry

I recently found these amazing mushrooms at the market and took them home as a challenge. First I made a mushroom biryani, but that will need to be a post for another time — we were too hungry to wait and photograph the food! I then made the vivid Mushroom Spinach Curry you see here.

I have been eating more iron-rich food because I was recently diagnosed with iron deficiency, after getting an awful flu last month. Along with my supplements, my mission is to get as much iron as I can in the freshest form. We’ve been eating a lot more spinach!

Combining spinach and mushrooms is popular in the western world, as on pizza, in omelettes and quiches, etc. In Indian food, you rarely see spinach and mushrooms combined. Indian food often combines spinach with peas, potatoes, or paneer (that’s Indian cottage cheese).

Here’s also a more traditional Palak Paneer recipe (spinach with Indian cottage cheese) but a healthier way of doing it.

What follows is an approximation of what amounts I used for various ingredients — Indian food is best if you taste as you go, and make it to your tastes!

I used:
a handful of king oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
a handful of brown and white shimeji mushrooms, also called beech mushrooms

1 big bunch of spinach, chopped in a food processor

ground cumin

garam masala
curry powder
finely chopped onion, garlic, and ginger
red chili powder

1 large black cardamom pod

a few big green chilies

spoonful of olive oil

half a spoon of sugar

salt to taste

fresh cilantro leaves to garnish

My method:
1. On medium, heat some oil.
2. Cook the onion with garam masala and cumin until slightly browned, not burnt.
3. Add the garlic, ginger, chilies, and cardamom, and let them cook until slightly tender.
4. Add the mushrooms, salt, and chili powder, and cook for a few minutes.
5. Add the spinach, sugar, curry, salt, and a little water, and cook on medium-high heat.

The secrets to preserving the beautiful emerald color are: not covering it while you cook, using the higher heat for a shorter time, and adding that bit of sugar.

Serve hot, with your choice of rice, paratha, roti, or naan!