Mushroom Masala

I didn’t eat mushrooms till I was in my late-teens. They are not really a part of Bengali cuisine—or at least the subsets of Bengali cuisine that are made in the two branches of my extended family—and even though we lived all over India, mushrooms never entered my mother’s kitchen when I was a kid. It wasn’t until we moved to Delhi, when I started college, that they flashed upon our consciousness and that my mother started cooking them. They were a winter delicacy and cheap and I thought they were incredibly exotic (as my only encounter with them had been in Western literature). I know very little even now about their place in Indian foodways writ large: I still tend to think of them as largely a north Indian thing. I’m probably wrong. Anyway, as you might guess, this is not a traditional recipe of any kind. It is, however, quite delicious. 


  • 1.5 lbs baby portobello mushrooms, sliced in half or whole button mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tspn garlic, grated
  • 1 tspn ginger, grated
  • The following ground together: 1 tspn coriander seeds, 1/2 tspn cumin seeds, 1/2 tspn black peppercorns, 1-3 hot dried red chillies, 1/2 tspn turmeric.
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 2-3 sweet and/or hot fresh peppers
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • 1.5 cups water


  • Heat oil over moderate heat and saute the onions till softened and beginning to brown around the edges.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and saute for another minute.
  • Add the salt and ground spices and saute for another 30-45 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook down, stirring often, till the oil separates.
  • Add the mushrooms and fresh peppers and saute for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the water, mix in and simmer till it’s mostly gone again.
  • Add the peas, mix in and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve with dal, rice/chapatis.


2 thoughts on “Mushroom Masala

  1. This sounds amazing, thanks for sharing! Mushrooms generally don’t make it into our Gujarati cuisines as well. I’ll try replicating this recipe over the weekend


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