Mushroom and Cauliflower Curry

I love king oyster mushrooms and buy them every opportunity I get—which is to say, every time I am at a Vietnamese or other East Asian store in the Twin Cities. We cook them up in a number of different ways at home. What I have for you today is a relatively unusual prep for me for these mushrooms but otherwise fairly familiar. By which I mean that this is essentially a take on alu-gobi with the mushrooms taking the place of the potato. A little more gravy than I typically make in alu-gobi and so I’m calling it a curry. There are not very many ingredients and it comes together very easily. I start out by frying the cauliflower and mushrooms till they’re half-done. If you’re short on time you could skip this step. It won’t be quite as good but it will still be very tasty. As with a lot of my recipes, the ingredients list is really a general guideline and not a specific prescription. I used the quantities of cauliflower and mushrooms I had. You could change that ratio and still end up with a very similar dish as long as you stay close to the spice blend.


  • 3 large king oyster mushrooms, cut into 3 inch strips
  • 3/4 lb cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1/2 large red onion, thickly sliced (about 1 cup or so)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, freshly crushed
  • As much ginger as garlic, freshly crushed
  • The following ground together into a fine powder: 1 tspn zeera/cumin seeds, 1 tspn coriander seeds, 1 tspn methi/fenugreek seeds, 2 small pieces cassia bark/cinnamon, 2-3 hot dried red chillies
  • 3/4 tspn haldi/turmeric powder
  • 3/4 cup crushed tomato
  • 3/4 cup frozen or fresh peas
  • 2 cups water, fresh off the boil
  • A pinch of sugar (optional)
  • A pinch of garam masala (optional)
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • 2 tblspns chopped dhania/cilantro for garnish.


  1. Heat 2 tblspns or so of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and when it shimmers, add the cauliflower florets and stir-fry, keeping everything moving, for 5-7 minutes. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add another tblspn or two of oil to the pan and add the mushrooms. Stir-fry, keeping everything moving for 7-10 minutes or till the mushroom pieces have shrunk and softened significantly. Remove to a plate.
  3. Add another tblspn or so of oil to the pan and when hot add the onions. Stir-fry for 7-10 minutes or till the onions have softened and begun to brown.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic, mix in and saute till the raw aroma is gone.
  5. Add the haldi and ground spices, mix in and saute for a minute or so.
  6. Add the tomato and salt, mix in and saute, stirring occasionally, till the oil begins to separate.
  7. Return the mushrooms and cauliflower to the pan and mix in thoroughly.
  8. Add the water and sugar (if using), mix in and bring to a high simmer. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for roughly 15 minutes or till the cauliflower is cooked to your liking.
  9. Uncover the pan and add the peas. Continue to cook uncovered for 3-5 minutes.
  10. Add the garam masala (if using) and simmer for another minute or two.
  11. Garnish with the dhania and serve.


  1. You could throw a few slit hot green chillies in with the water as well.
  2. If you want to skip the extra oil and fuss of frying the cauliflower and mushrooms first you can add them after step 4—before adding the spices. Stir-fry for a good while before adding the spices (you don’t want them to scorch).
  3. This is very good with rice or on the side with rice and dal and a hot achaar. But, in my opinion, it is at its best when mopped up with hot chapatis (or whole wheat tortillas if that’s easier for you).


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