I love mushrooms, and as someone who eats a plant-based diet, I eat A LOT of them. But much like Yorkshire Gold tea and marmite, it wasn’t until I moved in with a Brit that mushroom toast became a staple of my diet.
Mushroom toast is a classic English tea or light supper. The beauty of the dish is that it’s light, yet warm and filling. At its simplest, it’s just sauteed mushrooms, maybe with some herbs or sliced onion, heaped on toast which absorbs the delicious juices, but there are innumerable ways to customize however you like.
One of my recent favourites has an Indian twist, and is based on a mushroom curry recipe by Madhur Jaffrey, one of England’s most loved Indian chefs. It’s from her most recent cookbook, the amazing Vegetarian India. For this book, Jaffrey traveled around India collecting vegetarian recipes from all different regions. This recipe comes from the Kodava people of Kodagu in a region in southwestern India. During the rainy season, locals forage for wild mushrooms, but any kind of mushroom will do!
Indian food has a reputation for being hard, but this dish couldn’t be simpler.
In this version of mushroom toast, the mushrooms are massaged with turmeric, then cooked with spices, chilies, shallots, lime, and coconut milk. I like it with sourdough bread, but any sturdier bread would do!
- 14oz can coconut milk, left undisturbed for 24 hours to allow the cream to rise to the top,
- 1 lb mushrooms
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 2-3 fresh hot green chilies, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Open the coconut milk and spoon the thick cream into a bowl, leaving the thin milk in the can.
- Cut the mushrooms into halves or quarters (depending on their size), place in a bowl, and sprinkle salt and turmeric over them. Rub the seasoning into the mushrooms thoroughly (you may want to wear gloves, as turmeric will stain your hands) and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and fry until they start to brown. Stir in coriander and chili powder.
- Add the green chilies, stir, then add the mushrooms and any liquid from the bowl. Cook for two minutes, then add 3/4 cup of the thin coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- Add 3/4 cup coconut cream and stir to mix. Bring to a simmer again, then reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently for about a minute, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the heat off, stir in the lime juice, and serve over toast.