Thursday, October 30, 2014

everyday subzi : achari mushroom alu | mushrooms, baby potatoes and baby onions stir fry in pickling spices

Mushrooms make quick and tasty curries and stir fries, they are easy to clean and chop without any special skills and are available almost throughout the year. These qualities make them a frequent appearance in my kitchen and I feel adding some chopped mushrooms to my omelets, egg scrambles, soupsstir fries and even mushroom sauce to coat a meat dish. The most common use of mushrooms is done in the morning rush hours naturally. Mushrooms with spring onions is another favourite in winter season.

Since I cook a lunch box for Arvind in the morning I often end up cooking a variant of pickled mushroom stir fry that he likes well with his roti or paratha. This achari mushroom with paneer I cook when there is no other protein for the lunch box and the one I am sharing now is cooked when there is some rajma or chhole or chicken mince to go inside the lunch box. He avoids non veg with bones for lunch box for obvious reasons.

This achari mushroom uses slightly different spices and the end result is quite different too. There are actually many versions of achari mushrooms and a few of them use tomatoes and tomato puree in it but I like achari mushrooms a bit dry.

(2-3 servings)
boiled and peeled baby potatoes, halved  6-8
button mushrooms halved or quartered depending on size 200 gm
baby onions peeled, halved or quartered about 12-14

spice powders 
turmeric powder 1 tsp
red chilly powder 1/4 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder 1 tsp
ginger powder 1/2 tsp
fennel powder 1/2 tsp
asafotida (hing) powder 1 pinch

lime juice 1 tsp mixed with 4 tbsp water
nigella (kalonji) seeds 1/2 tsp
fenugreek (methi) seeds 1/4 tsp
mustard oil 1.5 tbsp
salt to taste


Mix the spice powders in lime juice solution along with salt and keep aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and tip in the fenugreek and nigella seeds and let them get aromatic. Take care not to bur them. Now pour the spice mix into it and stir well. Cook till the oil floats on top, it takes about a minute or so.

Now add the quartered mushrooms and stir fry till they start wilting. Add the halved potatoes and keep tossing till they get coated for 2 minutes. Add the baby onion quarters in the last and cook for 2 minutes more.

Take off heat and garnish with fresh chopped green chillies. This achari mushroom alu tastes good either hot or at room temperature. A good test of any achari dish. It keeps well in the fridge for 2 days if it lasts that long.

I make the use of the 2 most ubiquitous ingredients potatoes and onions in this recipe but mushrooms are also almost always there in my fridge. I have to buy mushrooms whenever I see them fresh and I wait for the season when they will be cheap.

Oh and if you have bought too many packs of mushrooms they don't spoil in the fridge. Mushrooms keep well for a week normally but if I buy them in bulk I simply keep a few packs of them cleaned and spread over a bamboo plate inside the fridge. The mushrooms dehydrate this way and last for about a month or more, these fridge dehydrated mushrooms can be re-hydrated quickly and used for any recipe easily.

I am sure you also love mushrooms and if you are looking for recipes other than matar mushroom or kadhai mushroom, I gave you many options in this post. Do try them and let me know if you like. Mushrooms are good for health.

And if you want to be indulgent with mushrooms you can make mushroom manchurian, the indo-chinese fusion we make with button mushrooms occasionally.

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