Mar 3, 2013

Tandoori Baby Bellas (Oil Free Recipe)

I'm always so excited when I find new ingredients to experiment with. And I'm so thankful there are people close to Bombay growing all these lovely vegetables that would only otherwise remain fond memories of holidays I have taken in the past.

Since my last post on the  amazing "foreign" produce I found in Mumbai, I have come across so many new vegetables and leafy greens that are coming in now. One among the new finds is Baby Bellas, also known as "crimini mushroombaby portobellobaby bellamini bellaportabelliniRoman mushroomItalian mushroom, or brown mushroom" says Wikipedia

I love mushrooms and I was super kicked when we started getting Oyster Mushrooms in Bombay. Now of course there are gourmet food stores selling dried and tinned varieties of many kinds. To find fresh, locally grown stuff is rare and I almost pounced on the packet of Baby Bellas when I saw them.

Portobellos have a fond food-memory corner in my brain. I ate a lot of them when I was travelling through the US. The yummiest of which was a grilled Portobello Burger I had a B.A.D. Burger in Brooklyn. I wish I had the sense to click a picture of it. After walking past the Brooklyn Bridge and walking around Brooklyn for almost two hours I was starving and I all I could think of was to eat that burger.

The first time I bought the Baby Bellas, I don't quite remember what I used them for. It was a while before I found them at my usual vegetable vendor again. This time I decided I would make something more worthwhile and document the process.

Tandoori food is something us vegans cannot enjoy at a restaurant. Everything is marinated in spicy yogurt and then grilled over a coal barbecue. I love the smell of the spices used in a Tandoori and may be one day I will gather my lazy bones to make the tandoori spice mix. This time I used a ready mix that I use every so often when I make my version of Tandoori vegetables.

It has no Chicken!

This recipe can be used on almost any vegetable like Potatoes, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Zucchini, Carrots even Tofu. I usually steam the vegetables that take longer to cook for 10 minutes or so before I marinate them. Since Mushrooms cook quickly, there is no need to steam them. This recipe is also oil free because for one, the cashews have enough (good) fat in them to see the mushrooms through to the end and secondly who needs oil in their diet?

You need:

250gms of Baby Bellas (Or whatever vegetable you are using)
1/2 cup of raw, unsalted cashews powdered
3 tsp of Tandoori Chicken Masala (I like it spicy but you can start with 2tsp and add more if you like)
2 cloves of Garlic
1 inch piece of Ginger
1/2 tsp Rock Salt
1/4 tsp of Black Salt
Juice of 1 Lime

Wash and cut off a small portion of the stems of the mushrooms. Halve or quarter the mushrooms.

In a small bowl, mix the cashew powder, tandoori masala, garlic, ginger, salt and lime juice. Add water and make a thick paste. It should be a thick mayonnaise-like consistency. Add this to the mushrooms, mix well and cover the bowl with cling wrap. Let it rest in the fridge overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. I kept mine for almost a whole day.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 25 to 35 mins covered with aluminium foil.

My herb mill being put to good use

Serve hot with some mint chutney

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