I admit that ever since I started blogging, I have started experimenting with my food ingredients even more! There is a Taiwan Food Festival going on in my nearby mall, from where I got some interesting ingredients for this post’s recipe, one of which being the chilli bamboo shoots.
I wanted to create something new with these. I came back home and looked at my stock of food in the refrigerator. I found two Korean ingredients lying there for my experiment: a pack of baby oyster mushrooms and four kinds of bell peppers, as colourful as those could be! There is the orange-coloured bell pepper too (along with the usual green, yellow and red ones), which I had never seen in the superstores or wet markets in India. I thought, what a colourful match it would be: the white, baby oyster mushrooms with little brown heads, the tangy and crunchy bamboo shoots and last but not the least, those colourful bell peppers! So, I decided to make something vivid and piquant out of these. But I decided to add an Indian touch to it as well. Voilà! What I panned out with all these raw materials in my kitchen was a winner at my dining table!
My family loves mushrooms and, therefore, I experiment a lot with different kinds of them available here. So far, I have experimented with the wild mushrooms, Swiss brown mushrooms, Chinese brown mushrooms, Enoki mushrooms (click here to take a look at my Enoki dish), and now is the turn for the lovely oyster mushrooms. Every kind of mushroom has its own flavour, but these “vegetarian oysters” are a hit with my kids too because of their unusual shape!
The red bell pepper is considered more nutritious that the regular, green ones, with higher levels of antioxidants, carotene and vitamin C in them. Several Korean studies have found that consumption of bell pepper lowers the incidence of breast cancer. There is an interesting difference between a green pepper and a green bell pepper. Well, for that you have to compare the diameters of the upper and the lower portions: if you measure identical diameters, it is a bell pepper. A green pepper has the upper diameter greater than the lower! If one compares the taste, bell pepper is much sweeter and juicy than green pepper.
This is my creation of a fusion dish involving Indian, Taiwanese, Chinese and Korean ingredients. Hope you’ll enjoy going through this colourful treat!
Piquant Oyster Mushroom Curry with Bamboo Shoots and Bell Peppers
- Bell peppers (orange, green, red and yellow—cut into long strips): 1 each
- Korean baby oyster mushrooms: 2 cups
- Pickled chilli bamboo shoots, cut into long strips: 8
- Onion, chopped: 1 cup
- Garlic cloves (big ones), chopped: 6
- Cumin seeds: ¾ tsp
- Cumin powder: 1 tsp
- Maggi chilli-garlic sauce: 2 tbsp
- Thick tomato paste: 2 tbsp
- Chinese plum tomatoes, vertically halved: 3
- Salt: 1½ tsp
- Sugar: ½ tsp
- Water: 1 cup
- Oil: 3 tbsp
Method of Preparation:
Heat the skillet and add oil. Let it smoke. Add the cumin seeds and wait for them to change their colour to light brown.
Now add the chopped onions and the garlic. Sauté for 5 min.
Add the bell peppers and continue to sauté for 5 more min.
Now add the plum tomatoes, sprinkle a little water, add the salt and cover the lid, the flame being low.
Open the lid after 10 min, add the thick tomato paste and mix well.
Add the cumin powder now.
Sprinkle some water again and increase the flame to medium. Cook for 5 min and then add the baby oyster mushrooms and the sugar.
Add the chilli bamboo shoots and the chilli-garlic sauce. Mix well.
Add the water and let the contents boil till a saucy consistency is reached, which takes nearly 10 min more. Serve with fried rice or rice vermicelli.
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