Mushrooms are unique because they absorb a variety of flavours in different recipes. To tone the meatiness down, you can spike up the heat, and balance off with warm spices and the sweetness of garlic, in most recipes. You can pan-fry, roast, grill, or braise them with just a touch of salt and pepper, and use them as a bed for eggy breakfasts, or wholesome one-pot meals like pastas or quiches, or as a substantial filling in sandwiches and wraps.
What you can also do is douse them in savoury gravies, like most Indian recipes dictate. To take a kink from the monotony of the everyday tomato-rich gravy, we tried a creamy basil one and it worked like a charm. The sharpness of the basil is a perfect match for the blandness of the mushrooms, and you can serve this with just about anything – rotis or rice, millets or Thai-style noodles. The spice level is rather mild, which leaves room for experimenting as well as keeping the essence of the simple, down-home meal intact.
Mushroom In Creamy Basil Sauce
For the Basil Sauce –
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 medium-sized onions, cubed
- 4-5 garlic pods, crushed
- 2 green chilies, sliced
- 1/4 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, cleaned
- 2 tablespoons crumbled cashew
- Heat the oil in a pan, toss in the onion, garlic, green chillies and cinnamon stick
- Fry until lightly browned, and allow it to cool.
- Grind to a paste with the basil leaves and cashew, using a little bit of water.
To prepare the Mushroom –
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon jeera
- 1 pack (200 grams) mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon aamchur
- Salt to taste
- Prepared basil sauce
- Heat oil in a pan, and season with jeera
- Once it crackles, add the sliced mushrooms and saute until the water evaporates and they cook down, acquiring a nice, brown tinge
- Add the masala and aamchur, then the salt
- Pour in the prepared basil sauce, add more salt, and let it come to a simmer for about 5-7 minutes
- Turn off the heat and add the cream
- You can also garnish with freshly chopped basil just before serving
Note: As a variation, you could also add some fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels after the mushrooms cook down.