I’ve had this phase recently where I went on for almost two weeks without any food experimentation. This sort of put me into a very uncreative mind-set and left me feeling a bit frustrated.
I usually find cooking therapeutic because it diverts the mind from all the chaos in my life. I can zone out and focus on menial tasks like cutting or chopping or basically thinking about which spice matches with what and that helps my mind to de-stress. Of course, for someone who has a least care for cooking, this can on the contrary be a stressful scenario.
So, on a Sunday following the uninspired phase, I decided to go all out and create an elaborate dish and give my mental frame a much needed boost. By now, I guess you must have realised that food and anything remotely related to it relaxes me.
I ditched all the recipe books, shows or anything that I would have learnt on my travels etc. and just decided to move ahead with what came to my mind and create the dish.
Here’s sharing the stuffed mushroom dish in a Tandoori marinade that I came up with.
Cleaned Button Mushrooms caps – 12 nos.
Oil for roasting / Grilling
For the filling:
Cottage Cheese – 200GM finely grated
Chopped Coriander leaves – ½ cup
Salt to taste
Processed cheese: ½ cup grated
Finely Chopped Green Chilli – 1
For the Tandoori Spice Mix:
Black pepper – 6-8 corns
Cloves – 3-4 nos.
Cardamom – 3-4 nos.
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch bark
Dried Red Chillies: 2 nos.
Fennel Seeds – 1/4th Teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – ½ teaspoon
Star Anise – ½ flower
Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon
Coriander leaves – 3 tablespoons
For the Marinade
Onion – 1 finely chopped
Garlic – 4-5 cloves, roughly chopped
Ginger – 2 inch piece – roughly chopped
Green Chillies – 2 chopped in half
Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
Cumin seed powder – 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
Salt to taste
Tomatoes – 1 cupful, chopped
Chopped Coriander – ½ cup
Dry fenugreek leaves [Kasoori Methi] – ½ teaspoon
Gram flour – 2 tablespoons
- Clean and gently wash the mushroom caps. Dry and leave aside.
For the Tandoori Spice Mix:
- Dry roast all the spices except the coriander leaves on a low flame.
- Once you start smelling the aromatics from the mix, add in the coriander leaves and roast for another couple of minutes.
- Ensure that they do not get burnt.
- Grind the spices using a mortar and pestle. Believe me, this brings out their best flavour.
- A simpler short-cut is using an electric grinder if you wish to grind the spices but then again, the flavour and texture does get affected.
For the Mushroom Filling:
- Grate the cottage cheese in a bowl.
- Add in the chopped green chillies, coriander leaves and grated processed cheese.
- Add in salt as per taste.
- Mix well and leave on a side.
- Fill the Mushroom caps with the Cottage Cheese Filling.
For the Marinade:
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add in the garlic, green chillies and ginger and roast well till they start turning golden.
- Add in the chopped onions and sauté till they turn golden.
- Add in the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin seed powder and sauté till the fat gets released.
- Add in 2 teaspoon of the Tandoori Spice Mix and sauté again. If you feel, you can reduce or increase the Tandoori mix as per your taste.
- Add in the tomatoes and sauté again for 3-4 minutes until they are softened and it resembles sort of a dry gravy.
- Season with salt.
- Add in the chopped coriander and dry fenugreek powder and sauté for another minute.
- Take off the mixture of the flame and cool.
- Create a rough puree of this dry gravy using a blender. Add a little water if you need (Mind you, very little).
- Add the gram flour to this and mix well.
- Keep aside.
The Final Assembly:
- Coat the Filled Mushrooms with the Tandoori gravy marinade and leave aside for 4-5 hours. You can also leave it overnight covered in the refrigerator.
- Skewer the Mushroom caps in a wooden skewer after marinating.
- Grill over hot coals for the best kind of smokey flavour you can ever get.
- Conversely, these can be grilled on a pan with a little oil until the flavours start releasing – maybe about 4-5 minutes.
- Serve hot with sliced onion rings and a wedge of lemon.