Route 79 : Aloo Mutter & Mushrooms

The effects of feeling hungry on the way home


January 25 2004

Aloo Mutter & Mushrooms

Ever wondered what to do with those mushrooms in your fridge that have passed the “use by” date by a couple of days or so? Potatoes in your cupboard sprouting a few shoots perhaps? A couple of handfulls of frozen peas lurking in a bag in the depths of your freezer compartment? Wishing you could do something about those onions you haven’t used yet?

Time for another Route79 cooking lesson:

Get the following items together:

1 bag of mushrooms chopped into quarters
2 large onions chopped finely
1 tin of peeled plum-tomatoes
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
Frozen, pre-pulped garlic, ginger and green-chillie (Read this recipe for for more info on this.)
Spices: Turmeric (Haldi), Garam Masala, Ground Coriander, Salt, Jeera (cumin) seeds
A large-ish pot in which to pour 3 or 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Optional: some fresh (or frozen) chopped coriander leaf to garnish at the end

Don’t worry about precision in the amounts - just use “the force” that comes to you - that’s all part of the fun of Indian cooking. I’m sure Delia Smith wouldn’t approve at such lack of detail - but I’m certain that Jamie Oliver would say “Lovely jalebi!”


Heat the oil in the pot until hot. Add the cumin seeds and watch them pop and fizzle for around 20 seconds. Then add the finely chopped onions and fry until they are brownish.

Fry the cumin seeds until they pop - and then fry the onions until browned

Then add the pre-pulped, frozen garlic, ginger and chillie chunks and stir-fry for a few minutes before adding the spices: 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons haldi (tumeric), 3 teaspoons garam masala, 2 teaspoons ground coriander. Stir it all up until the aroma starts to take over your kitchen.

Adding the spices - and stir-frying until the aroma starts to get the better of you

After a few minutes - add the tinned peeled-plum tomato - and chop them up coarsely with your wooden spoon in the pot:

Adding the tinned tomato - and chopping it inside the pan using wooden spoon

Fry on medium heat for a few minutes - stirring occasionally - until you can see the oil separating from the mixture when you stir it. Then add the chopped potato.

Stir-frying the mixture - then adding the potatoes

Stir it all up thoroughly - and then add around 500ml of boiling water.

Adding the potatoes and some boiling water to the mixture

Then put the lid half-on and let it simmer semi-vigorously for around 10 mins before adding the chopped mushrooms.

Simmering - and then adding the mushrooms

Simmer for around 10 more minutes - stirring occasionally - and then add the bowl-full of frozen peas - and once again, stir thoroughly.

Adding the peas - and simmering for a little bit more

After the pot has reached the consistency that you prefer - switch off the flame and let it sit for around 10 minutes whilst you prepare the fresh basmati rice (or instead: pour into a deep bowl and prepare some warmed pitta bread or toast) with side-salad and/or chillie/mango pickle. Then serve up (and sprinkle with some fresh/frozen coriander leaf/stalks) and enjoy whilst it’s hot!

Aloo mutter & mushrooms - simply delicious!

Any leftovers can be kept in a cling-filmed bowl or plastic container for up to two days in the fridge. But be sure to not keep leftover rice like that though. Throw any leftover rice away - always make it fresh the next day. (According to my Mum - “old” rice is not good for your brain.)

Have you tried this? Even if you haven't - let me know what you think!
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