This curry was heavily adapted from a “Railway mutton curry” recipe I found on Sanjeev Kapoor’s Web site. The curry, Kapoor says on his site, “gets its name from the days of the Raj when it used to be served in the railway pantry cars.” The “raj” being a quaint word used by some to describe Britain’s often bloody colonization of India for three centuries.
Whatever. I do like the part about it being served on railway cars because what can be a better setting for food than changing scenery? Besides, the curry really is delicious.
For those not familiar with Indian television chefs, Kapoor is India’s first– and perhaps its most successful– one. Apparently he’s called India’s Rachel Ray for having spawned a food empire, but I don’t think that does him any justice– I think of him more as India’s Julia Child, if you know what I mean. A trained chef, Kapoor comes up with some pretty great recipes. In fact, I can’t think of a single recipe of his that I’ve tried and not liked.
I used mushrooms to substitute for the mutton in the curry, and they were pretty great. With some rotis to scoop it up, it was a fabulous weeknight meal. The curry would also be great with rice and some tofu raita.
Gotta run now coz it’s a busy day. Enjoy, all!
Railway Mushroom Curry
1 8-oz package of mushrooms, quartered (I used cremini. Feel free to use button or even shiitake)
2 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
A sprig of curry leaves
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
3 dry red chillies
1 large red onion, chopped
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 medium potatoes, diced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
In a dry, hot skillet, roast the coriander and cumin seeds. Place in a blender.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in the skillet. Add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger, chillies and onions and saute until brown spots appear on the onions. Add to the blender and, when cooler, grind along with the turmeric and some water to make a smooth paste.
Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the potatoes and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until they start to turn golden.
Add the mushrooms and and saute until they begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes.
Now add the ground masala and the tomato puree. When the mixture starts to darken and express oil, add 2-3 cups of water and salt.
Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
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