Guest Post: Quick, Light Mushroom-Cashew Curry by Eat. Live. Travel. Write.

We've got a guest in our kitchen today... we welcome back Mardi of Eat. Live. Travel. Write.

Hi, I'm Mardi and I write the blog eat. live. travel. write. where I chronicle my culinary adventures both near and far.  I am excited to be back with a new recipe for Mushrooms.ca (thanks for having me again!) - this time, adapted from one of my mum's old handwritten recipes which I consult on a regular basis.  Back in my early 20s, mum was just starting to experiment with curries and Indian food. My sister had an Indian friend who came over and talked mum through a few of her basic recipes - beef, chicken and potato curries - and my mum wrote down her versions of the recipes which I still have today!  I remember how much I liked the chicken curry with cashews and had often thought that this would be a great dish to make with vegetables just for something a little lighter. Mushrooms are the perfect vegetable in a curry because they retain their shape and texture and don't end up a mushy mess.

Since we're heading into summer, I wanted to pack the maximum flavour punch with as little stove time as possible, so I took all the spices mum lists in her recipe, added a little bit of tomato paste and oil to create a mild curry paste which you add to the onions instead of adding each individual spice.  This is in part inspired by a wonderful Jamie Oliver tikka masala recipe I have used a number of times (and that featured in my Food Revolution Day event) - I know that if I can coordinate teaching 20 kids how to make a curry paste, I can take the time to make my own at home.

For the curry, I chose to use eggplant and zucchini for some extra colour (mushrooms can be a little brown, sometimes!) but you are free to make this dish using mushrooms only or your own combination of vegetables. But make mushrooms the star. With their meaty texture, mushrooms will impress even your most die-hard carnivore!  This is a super easy recipe that is flavourful and satisfying, but light enough to enjoy on a warm summer's day.

Quick, light mushroom-cashew curry
Serves 6

Ingredients
For the curry paste:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
seeds removed from 6 cardamom pods
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 table spoon turmeric
2 teaspoons chili flakes (for a more intense heat, you can add more of the chili flakes or else use chili powder or cayenne)
2 teaspoons garam masala powder
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste

For the curry:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/3 cup curry paste
3 cups chopped fresh mushrooms (a variety - I used cremini, white, baby bella and king oyster) - make sure they are evenly chopped
1 small eggplant, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander
2 cups canned diced tomatoessalt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup raw cashews
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
chopped cashews and fresh chopped cilantro to garnish


Method

For the curry paste:
Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add the cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds.  Toast the seeds for a few minutes until the smell becomes more intense.Using either a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind down your toasted spices to a fine powder.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the toasted spice powder and the remaining ingredients for the paste and process until you have a smooth paste.  You might need to stop and push the mixture down with a rubber spatula a few times to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated and well combined.

For the curry:
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat and gently sauté the onions until translucent.Add the curry paste and sauté until the onions are well coated with the paste.Add mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, coriander and tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium and cover.

Cook for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant and zucchini are just starting to soften.Season with salt and pepper and add the cashews. Cook for about 5-7 more minutes, then remove pan from heat.Stir in the Greek yogurt and serve on white rice, garnishing with the chopped cilantro and cashews.

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Thanks to Mardi for being our guest again. This Mushroom Curry is absolutely amazing... mushrooms truely are the star of this dish!

Don't forget to follow Mardi on her blog Eat. Live. Travel. Write. and on Twitter.
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