Wednesday, August 19, 2009

'Shrooms With A View, Sage & Rosemary Too

Once, not long ago, I ranted about dry herbs here. I'm not about to eat crow (now that's another post) or my words, or even dried herbs, but as some of you pointed out in that post, dried rosemary is an exception, as I discovered today.

My aunt in the US, with whom I stayed in July, has several herbs in her garden - sage, rosemary, French tarragon, two kinds of basil, chives, mint and a few others. I would often pick a few leaves off the plants and pop them into my mouth, enjoying the fresh and spicy feel. When I was leaving, she picked some fresh sage for me, which held up rather spotlessly till today, and gave me her stash of dried sage and rosemary. A creative cook, she uses permutations and combinations of these herbs to flavour all her cooking, even Indian food, and I decided to do the same, though I did not employ any logic except that of the palate.

After years, I bought mushrooms recently and they blackened only a little bit after two days, unlike earlier when they would do so very rapidly. I also had two slabs of paneer/cottage cheese that needed to be used up fast so I decided to throw it all into a big stir-fry and flavour it with these herbs.

Here's what you need:

Onion: 1 big, thickly sliced
Button mushrooms: 2-3 cups, halved
Paneer/cottage cheese: 2-3 cups, cubed
Red chilli flakes: 1-2 tsp
Garlic: 10 cloves
Sage: 6-7 leaves
Olive oil: 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
Salt: To taste
Rosemary: A sprig or two

Grind the garlic, red chilli and half of the sage roughly with 1 tsp of olive oil - I did this with a stone pestle and mortar.

In a large wok, heat the olive oil and add the above ground mixture. Saute for a few seconds.

Now add the onions, saute for a minute on high flame, then the mushrooms and the cottage cheese.

Saute again for a minute, and add salt.

Lower flame.

The mushrooms give out some water, let this dry up but keep turning constantly so as not to burn the dish.

You can choose to let some oily juice remain - good to mop up with bread - or dry it completely.

Now crumble some dried rosemary over the top and mix it lightly. Serve.

This goes off to Weekend Herb Blogging, Kalyn's event, managed by Haalo and hosted this week by Prof Kitty at The Cabinet of Prof. Kitty.


  1. Sra, DD2 has been after me to cook mushrooms and I just did today. I ahve been unadventurous when coming to use new herbs with Indian cooking.

  2. I am not too fond of Paneer, but I love mushrooms & Rosemary.. our friend sends me a steady supply of fresh rosemary who own a shrub or two.. I usually use them fresh, but they do fantastic if you freeze them too, unlike cilantro & curry leaves. I will try this without the paneer:-)

  3. my kind of dish... truly. :-)

    I wish I had that stone mortar and pestle... told S we'd buy one while leaving Kasauli... and he laughed it off.

    Mushrooms these days seem to stay for days without blackening...I wonder what they do to them :)

  4. Your previous posts have me thinking of all the search strings that could land people on this post.

  5. Ah...personally I have never tried any of these herbs..meaning to get hold of them...but the dish sure looks delicious..

  6. Wow. Great. I love the idea of grinding herbs in the pestle and mortar.

  7. mushrooms,paneer rosemary what a combination nice recipe very interesting.

  8. Ooooh the mortar and pestle looks great! So, was the curry Indian enough?

  9. wuah! This looks interesting. Have not tested these herbs but this curry is definitely drool worthy. Grinding in mortar definitely maks a huge difference. But I always hesitate to eat mushrooms that stay moe than 24 hrs in the fridge from the stores. I once had a stomach upset and that keeps me away from blackened mushrooms. So take care Sra!

  10. Wow, how tasty is that sra! I love mushrooms and paneer... but I would never have thought to put sage and rosemary with them. Awesome! Also love your mortar - I have something similar. Great for a quick crush of fresh herbs etc, but always afraid it'll fall and break a toe ;)

  11. We still haven't acquired a taste for mushrooms :(, but paneer is a different story.
    Your experiment with "phoren" herbs sounds good. I have planted a lot of that stuff in some pots 2 weeks back. Some have raised their lttle heads but I'm not sure how mant will survive!

  12. Sra, I haven't made paneer in a while, but this sounds so delicious with the fresh herbs. I have to get some fresh herbs from the Farmer's market :)

  13. I love your mortar! Your recipe sounds like a quick weekday meal when there's no thyme. ;-)

  14. Hey, that's a great idea. I am going to try this combo.

  15. Dish looks good. I am sure it would have tasted gr8.

    yeah even I notice that the mushroom doesnt turn black soon (as it used to be). :-)

  16. Folks, thanks for the comments.

  17. There's nothing like fresh-picked herbs from your own garden (wonderful on their own merits), but as flavorful and aromatic as they are, they are no chile peppers. ; } Noticed you couldn't help but sneak a little heat in the mix.

    Looks good, Sra. And that pun's irresistible.


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