Madhur’s Magical Mushrooms

It’s appropriate that Madhur Jaffrey suggests serving these Stir-Fried Spicy Mushrooms on toast because I would eat these for breakfast as well as lunch, dinner and elevenses. They are that good: the citrus makes them taste very fresh and they aren’t tremendously spicy (in spite of the recipe’s name.) To serve as an appetizer I have toasted wholewheat naan bread, cut into two-bite pieces and plopped the mushrooms on the top, and I’ve also served these as a side vegetable with some broiled salmon (I like this easy salmon recipe from Nigella Express.

5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
15 fresh curry leaves or 10 fresh basil leaves, torn up*
1 pound cremini or plain white medium-sized mushrooms, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 clove of garlic, sliced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2-3 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or parsley

* I haven’t been able to find fresh curry leaves (I got dried ones from Savory Spice Shop), so I’ve been using Thai Basil leaves from my herb garden while the plant is still alive—I’ll probably have to resort to the dried curry leaves in the winter.


Put the oil in a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, drop in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop, a matter of seconds, put in the fennel seeds and curry leaves. A few seconds later, add the mushrooms and garlic.

In They Go

Stir and fry until liquid begins to ooze out of the mushrooms, about 2 minutes. Now add about 1/3-1/2 teaspoon salt (taste as you go), the cayenne, and the lime juice. Stir for a minute. Taste for a balance of flavors. Add the cilantro, stir, and turn off the heat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

And they are ready

Serves 4