This is a deeply savoury, and surprisingly sweet, recipe to make the most of a glut of chanterelles (a.ka. girolles). It's approaching the end of the season for my favourite yellow fungi, which is somewhat sad, but I've had a few decent hauls on my various outings to the woods, and I've got plenty of mushrooms preserved and stored away to keep me going throughout the year.
To properly capitalise on the flavour of the mushrooms, I sauté them in a separate pan in butter and finish with persilllade (finely chopped garlic and parsley) before adding them, along with their delicious cooking liquor, to the curry to simmer for a short while.
- 300 g chanterelles (girolles)
- 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 handful parsley
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 2 small onions, peeled
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1 cm dice
- 1 small leek, cut into 1 cm rounds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 1 large handful fresh coriander
- high quality rapeseed oil, for cooking
- 1 lime
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Firstly, make the persillade; finely chop 2 of the cloves of garlic, finely chop the parsley and mix them together in a small bowl or container. Next, cut the larger of your mushrooms in two to make them all approximately the same size. Now place a large, heavy-based pan or casserole dish over a medium-high heat and wait for it to get hot. Add the butter, and when it starts to foam, add the mushrooms along with a generous two-fingers-and-thumb pinch of sea salt. Do not overcrowd the pan – the mushrooms should be approximately in a single layer. Do them in batches if need be. Stir-and-fry the mushrooms for 30 seconds, then add the persillade (also in correspondingly sized batches if you're cooking the mushrooms in batches). Cook for 30 seconds more, then add a small glassful of water. Place a lid (or a piece of kitchen foil or greaseproof paper) over the pan. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes at medium-high heat, until the mushrooms are tender. Strain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Transfer the liquid back into the pan and bring to the boil. Boil until it's thickened to a nice sauce consistency. Remove from the heat and set aside while you continue with the rest of the curry.
Finely chop one of the onions, then cut the other one into segments (from root to stalk) and separate the layers to create petals. Set both aside. Finely chop the remaining clove of garlic. Place a large, heavy-based pan or casserole over a medium-high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil. When the oil is hot, in about 30 seconds, add the finely chopped onion and chopped garlic along with a generous pinch of salt. Stir-and-fry for 30 seconds, then turn the heat to medium-low and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and sweet.
Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the carrot, leek, the sliced "petals" of onion, ground cumin, chilli flakes, curry powder and turmeric. Add another generous pinch of salt, and 2 glassfuls of water. Place a lid (or a piece of kitchen foil or greaseproof paper) over the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the reserved mushrooms and the coconut milk. Taste to check the seasoning. Add more salt if necessary. Simmer, uncovered, for around 10 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce has a nice sauce consistency. Finish with chopped coriander, and a generous squeeze of lime juice. Serve with white rice.