Chinese-style Mushroom Curry

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    2

    generously

Appears in

This recipe is a firm favourite, reminiscent of the chicken curry my Dad used to dish up when I was a child; sometimes from scratch, sometimes from a jar in the supermarket, and sometimes from the local takeaway – but always, somehow, tasting exactly the same. I wanted to make a vegan version that would be just as rich, flavourful and comfortingly satisfying, and this is it. Eat atop piles of rice, or hot fat chips, as you please. Meatier mushrooms work best here, and leave them whole; keep your eyes peeled for shiitakes, oysters or baby portobellos, but in the absence of any of these, standard farmhouse mushrooms work just fine.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp curry powder, as mild or as hot as you like
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 400 ml vegetable or chicken-style stock – I like Osem
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 400 g mushrooms
  • 120 g frozen peas
  • A good grind of pepper

Method

  1. Finely dice your onion and toss it into a large, wide, shallow pan, such as a frying or sauté pan. Add the flour and oil and stir well over a low heat to combine. Finely slice or mince the garlic cloves and add those too, then stir in the curry powder and turmeric. Cook all together on a low heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking and burning. The flour and oil should form a thick paste around the onions – it’s important that this doesn’t burn as you’ll never get the lumps out.
  2. Add 100 ml of the stock and stir in well, then add the rest a little at a time to thin the sauce. Add the sugar and soy sauce and stir well.
  3. Gently clean any dirt from the mushrooms – I keep a small, clean toothbrush by the sink for this very purpose – and add them to the pot. Keep them whole if possible, it takes slightly longer to cook but makes for a more satisfying dinner, and looks stunning, too. Cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat until the mushrooms are cooked through, then add the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes more.
  4. Serve immediately, with a good grind of pepper to finish.