Hugely popular winter-time North Indian curry made with fresh button mushrooms, paneer & fresh green peas lightly simmered in a delicate cashew paste gravy & aromatic spices. Best served with your favourite crispy, flaky ajwain pudina parathas.
What a delectable combination & great way to set off the chilly wintry weekend! The addition of paneer /tofu only adds to the richness of this curry, but if you prefer to keep it light & vegan, substitute it with soya chunks or phool makhana (foxnuts) instead and you’re good to go.
What I love about this creamy curry is the beautiful balance of the mildly sweet cashew paste with the acidity provided by some sour yoghurt and the delicate bitterness of fenugreek or methi leaves. Ideal for the entire family and pleasing to all palates from young to old. You can always adjust the sweetness / bitterness according to your family’s preferences.
The reason I strongly recommend & prefer adding freshly ground spices to this restaurant-style gravy is that the flavour & aromas linger for a longer time, without being overly spicy or overpowering. The kind that leaves you wanting for just that little more, only for that tiny lil piece of paratha left, you know!
Another comforting rich winter gravy to lift up your soul, with loads of love from the kitchen of The Culinary Konnoisseur!
Recipe for Shahi Dhingri Matar Malai – Vegan Mushroom Peas Curry
Ingredients (Serves 2 – 4 persons)
- 10-12 white button mushrooms, cleaned & halved
- 8-10 cashew nuts, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
- ½ cup green peas, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- 200 gms cottage cheese /paneer or tofu (for vegans), chopped into tiny cubes (see note)
- 2 green chillies, slit
- 2 tablespoons green capsicum, finely chopped (optional)
- 3 tablespoons sour yoghurt / curd /dahi (optional)
- 3 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder / black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder / jeera powder
- 1 teaspoon dried kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) optional
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnish
To grind together
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 1 inch ginger, roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
For the tempering:
- 3 cloves
- 1” cinnamon stick
- 3-4 green cardamoms
- Make a smooth paste of the soaked cashew nuts, sour yoghurt (water for vegans) and 2 tablespoons of the water in a blender & keep aside.
- In the same blender, grind the onion, ginger, garlic with 1 tbsp water to a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan / kadhai over medium heat.
- Add the cinnamon, cloves & cardamoms & sauté few seconds till they let off an aroma & darken.
- Add the slit green chillies & fry for a few seconds.
- Now on low heat, add the onion ginger garlic paste stirring continuously to avoid it spluttering. Sauté for 5-6 minutes making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and begins to go light brown. (Add a few spoons of water)
- Add the green capsicum & spices: jeera powder, chilli powder & garam masala & stir well.
- Add the mushrooms and green peas and stir to combine for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the cashew nut yoghurt paste & ¼ cup water. Mix & fry this curry base for about 2 minutes on medium heat.
- Season with some crushed kasuri methi, sugar and salt to taste.
- Add the chopped paneer /tofu & simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes with a lid.
- Ensure to keep stirring off & on to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
- If the gravy is still too thick add a splash of water (the mushrooms should let out some water). If you prefer it thicker, mix a tbsp of besan(gram flour) in cold water, add & cook for 2 minutes)
- Add the coriander leaves & remove from the flame. Squeeze some lime juice on top.
- Serve hot with flaky crispy ajwain pudina paratha or pulao & onion rings.
- For weight watchers, foxnuts / lotus seeds (phool makhana) or soya chunks are an excellent substitute for paneer or cottage cheese in this recipe. Simply add soaked lotus seeds /makhana seeds or soya chunks along with the peas and follow the same recipe cooking for about 7-10 minutes for them to cook evenly.
- If you have access to fresh fenugreek leaves or methi, shallow fry a cupful of it at the outset and keep aside. Add at the end.
Making of Shahi Dhingri Matar Malai