My father lives just on the edge of what we consider to be normal. He prefers confectioners’ sugar in his tea, has the buttons of his back pockets removed (for fear of damaging his car upholstery), and keeps a logbook of when he waters the plants. One time, he accidentally spread mushroom compost over the lawn and we ate mushrooms in every conceivable way for months. If you find yourself in a similar situation, this is a satisfying and delicious way to make use of them.
NOTE: A food processor will make chopping this many mushrooms a more feasible thing to do.
Serves 4 as a main course
2¼ pounds cremini mushrooms
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
2 red onions, finely diced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1½-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1½ Indian green chiles, finely chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
¾ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 generous cup peas (fresh or defrosted)
8 brioche buns
a handful of chopped cilantro leaves
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Dust any soil from your mushrooms using paper towels, and break up any very large ones using your hands, then pulse in batches in the food processor until the mushrooms are chopped to lentil-size.
Put the butter and oil into a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the crushed cumin seeds and three-quarters of the red onions. Cook for around 10 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, and green chiles. Cook for another 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cover with the lid.
Cook for around 10 minutes, until all the water has evaporated and it looks quite thick and paste-like, then add the mushrooms. They might initially take up an alarming amount of space in the pan, but will reduce as they cook. Stir gently and cook for around 5 minutes. Add the garam masala, salt, black pepper, and turmeric, and cook for another 5 minutes, then add the peas. Heat the peas through, check the salt, and take off the heat.
To serve, pop the buns into the oven for 5 minutes, or until crispy. Slice off the top, hollow out the bread rolls, and spoon the kheema in. Sprinkle over with cilantro and the remaining red onion, pop the tops back on, and eat immediately.