A tasty, spicy dish of mushrooms cooked with nigella and fennel seeds--spices commonly used in Indian pickles. It's a delicious flavor you will not be able to forget anytime soon!
Baingan Achari is a mouthwatering side-dish that caters to the great Indian obsession with pickles. This Mushroom Achari is a spin-off from that popular dish and it's just as delicious.
Indian pickles, called achar in north India, are quite different from the pickles we eat here in the United States. They are made with all sorts of vegetables-- mango and lemon being the more popular choices-- and they are fiery red with bold tones of tart and hot that tease your tastebuds and whet your appetite.
The reason why pickles taste so special are a couple of very special spices that go into them: nigella seeds, or kalonji, and fennel seeds, or saunf. Baingan Achari takes the alchemy of those spices and puts them to work in a subzi, or a side dish, that is much quicker-- and easier -- to make than a jar of pickles, and has about the same effect on the appetite.
In my eggplant-loving home Baingan Achari is always a popular choice for dinner. But the last time I had a craving for this dish I didn't have any eggplant on hand. I did have some mushrooms, though, so I thought, why not?
My Mushroom Achari tasted so great, I couldn't wait to share it. The spongy mushrooms soak up all the goodness and flavor of the spices and you can use just about any kind of mushroom-- button, cremini, shiitake, portabella are all good here. This is also a very versatile dish that you can soak up with a roti or naan or serve up alongside some dal and rice.
Try these recipes next:
- Baingan Bharta
- 20-minute Best Vegetable Curry
- Gobi Achari, Cauliflower with five spices
- Baingan Methi Sabzi
- 1 pound mushrooms (I used cremini, cut into halves or quarters depending on their size. You want the pieces to be chunky and not too small. Keep in mind that mushrooms shrink when cooked.)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
- ½ tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cayenne
- 2 large tomatoes (finely diced)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
- Add the nigella and fennel seeds and toast for about two minutes over medium-low heat until they release their distinct aroma.
- Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry quickly for 10-15 seconds. Add the tomatoes with all of their juices. Stir to mix.
- Add the turmeric, coriander powder and cayenne and mix well. Let the tomatoes cook until they darken and shimmer, about 7-8 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and salt to taste. Stir to mix well and let the mushrooms cook for another 5-7 minutes until they are tender but not soggy.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the coriander leaves.
- Serve piping hot.