This Sri Lankan oyster mushroom curry is a flavor-packed, vegan, and gluten free curry. Very versatile, and can be made with any type of mushroom. Easy and perfect for meal prep as well. EASY - Very easy to make. Don't be intimidated by the spices in the ingredients list. This is a fantastic vegan / vegetarian recipe.
Wash the mushrooms, and pat them dry with paper towels or a clean cloth napkin.
Tear the oyster mushrooms into smaller pieces with your hands. If you’re using cremini mushrooms, slice them instead.
Slice the garlic if the cloves are large. Or you can keep them whole if the cloves are small.
Slice the green chili lengthwise. If you want less heat, carefully remove the seeds and the white pith in the chili.
In a medium pot or medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the onion and saute until they start to soften. Add the green chili, garlic, ginger, red chili, and curry leaves, and saute until the onions are translucent (a couple more minutes, depending on your stove). Do NOT let the onion, garlic, or ginger burn.
Add the curry powder, fennel seeds, cardamom, cayenne pepper, and turmeric, and saute for about 30 seconds, or until you can smell the spices. Add a generous pinch of salt as well.
Add the mushrooms and saute for 10 - 15 minutes. The mushrooms should be coated well with the spices, and get just a little bit of color from caramelization.
When the mushrooms have lightly caramelized, add the coconut milk, and about ¼ cup of the water. Add another pinch of salt (it's important to season as you go).
Mix the curry, and increase the heat to bring the coconut milk and water to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for at least a few more minutes.
If you'd like a creamy curry, then you can serve this after just a few minutes of simmering.
However, I personally prefer to let the curry simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes, which will split the coconut milk and concentrate the flavor further. Add another ¼ cup of water if you'd like more curry sauce/gravy at the end.
Taste, and adjust the salt level to your taste.
Serve while warm.
Note on mushrooms
You can use cremini, button, portobello, shiitake, or king oyster mushrooms as well. But these will need to sliced first to use in this curry. You can use maitake mushrooms as well, and these don't need to be cut. They can also be torn into pieces with your hands like the oyster mushrooms here. I do not recommend using enoki mushrooms for this recipe.
Note on the cook time
The cook time will increase by about 10 minutes if you'd like more concentrated flavor in your curry as mentioned in step 12 above (where the coconut milk splits). However, if you prefer a quicker curry with a creamier sauce, then the cook time is as written in the recipe card.
Note on the spiciness/heat level of the curry
The recipe as written yields a medium spicy curry (mild for me). So you can adjust the spice level to your preference.