My family suffers from Goldilocks Syndrome. Some members swear a dish is too hot. Others will complain the same dish is too bland. With opposing palates, “Just Right” is harder to come by than a family of talking bears. As a result, it’s rare to find a dish everyone genuinely enjoys and doesn’t just endure for the sake of keeping the peace. When I shared these Curried Mushroom & Paneer Tarts, the family agreed. They weren’t too hot. They weren’t too bland. They were, in fact, “Just Right.”
What convinced them? In the absence of fiery peppers, I opted to ramp up the texture. For this, I used a mix of white button, cremini, shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Chopping them all to a scant 1/2-inch cube left them big enough to maintain each mushroom’s distinct texture, yet small enough to cook quickly.
To further showcase the diversity of the mushrooms, I added paneer, which doesn’t melt when heated. No mushroom would lose out to the distraction of stringy cheese in this dish! A modest amount of tomato paste added intensity without extending the cooking time. The swirl of cream smoothed it all out, and the lime juice brightened what could otherwise have been an “umami tsunami”. Just right, indeed.
Curried Mushroom & Paneer Tarts
Wonton wrappers replace the mess and fuss of mixing, rolling and cutting traditional pastry. Thanks to a light brushing of oil, the wonton will crisp during baking, creating a crunchy shell that contrasts the tender filling. Think of it as an open-faced samosa, only without the deep frying.
Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Makes 12 tarts
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons garam masala
3 cups chopped mushrooms, (a blend of white, cremini and wild work well)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups grated paneer (about half a 400g package)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Fine sea salt to taste
12 wonton wrappers
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion until golden, about 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, stir in the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the ground coriander and garam masala, and cook for 1 more minute.
3. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cream, lime juice, and tomato paste, and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and heated through, about 3 minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Fold in grated paneer and cilantro. Taste. Add salt if needed. Set aside.
5. Brush wonton wrappers with oil and press into the well of a standard muffin tin, oiled side down. Divide mushroom filling evenly between the cups (about 2 tablespoons filling per tart, but don’t over-fill). Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the wonton edges are crisp and golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm.
Alright, who's hungry?! These tarts are the umami-packed treat we've been craving. Another big thank you to Charmian for sharing with us today!!
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