Creamy Chickpea and Portobello Mushroom Curry

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Creamy Chickpea and Portobello Mushroom Curry

Chana masala has always been one of my favorite Indian chickpea dishes. A classic North Indian dish that is popular throughout the world, even the most basic and faithful version is utter perfection and easy to prepare too. The key is to use good quality spices and blends, and as this dish uses garam masala, special attention is needed there — either purchase a pre-prepared one that is notably fresh or, best yet, make your own. I've learned from past experience that the quality of the spices used can elevate even the simplest dishes to culinary heights resulting in a dish that goes beyond mere sustenance. Food is essential for survival, but the act of eating should be a pleasurable one too.

Of course, chana masala in its purest form is simply chickpeas cooked in a fragrant, aromatic and spiced tomato gravy with onion, garlic and ginger, so there are countless variations and recipes. I've played with the basic components over the years to create new dishes that have become treasured favorites in my kitchen. A bit of heat is essential, as are the aromatic seeds.

Chickpea and Portobello Mushroom Curry

This recipe is inspired by the basic elements of chana masala, but with the addition of earthy and meaty portobello mushrooms, along with some peanut butter that is stirred in near the end of the cooking time resulting in a rich and creamy dish. With only a few extra ingredients and steps to attend to, it's really just as quick and easy to prepare as a classic chana masala. I've made it twice already, the second time was to perfect my spicing and technique so as to confidently present this recipe for your consideration. I know this will not be the last time I make it and I've no doubt this dish will be on my rotating menu plans fairly often.

Creamy Chickpea and Portobello Mushroom CurryCreamy Chickpea and Portobello Mushroom Curry
Recipe by
Cuisine: North Indian
Published on March 5, 2019

Chickpeas simmered in a rich, spicy and fragrant creamy tomato sauce with plump portobello mushrooms

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

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  • 1 cup dried chickpeas (3 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 black cardamon pods, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 to 2 fresh red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango) powder (optional)
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 large portobello mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups), or white mushrooms if preferred
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Rinse the chickpeas and soak in several inches of water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until tender — 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid.

  • Wipe the saucepan dry and return to the stove. Add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and cardamon, and fry until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and chilies, and fry for another minute. Now stir in the bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes, adding about 1/4 cup of the reserved chickpea cooking liquid to the pan.

  • Now add the turmeric, coriander, 1 teaspoon of the garam masala, ground cumin, paprika, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne and amchoor powder if using, and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes to thicken, stirring often.

  • Add another 1/4 cup of the chickpea cooking liquid to the pan and then stir in the mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, for another 5 minutes.

  • Stir in the chickpeas, peanut butter, and another 1/2 cup of the chickpea cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more liquid to the pan if necessary.

  • Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining teaspoon of garam masala, salt and lemon juice. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh chopped parsley if desired

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Creamy Chickpea and Portobello Mushroom Curry

Other Indian-inspired chickpea dishes from Lisa's Kitchen:
Punjabi Chole Masala (Chana Masala)
Spicy Indian Chickpeas (Chana Masala)
Gujarati Black Chickpea Curry
Chickpeas with Mango Powder (Amchoor Chana)
Potato and Chickpea Curry with Tomatoes and Tamarind
Pickle Flavored Chickpeas

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

This is a very delicious curry! One of my new favorites. Thanks for sharing.