“Ewwww”. “I hate mushy peas”. “I can’t imagine mushy peas in a curry”. All common responses when someone brings the subject of “Mushy Pea Curry” up in group (or even on Facebook). In fact – I resisted trying this for a few years because of similar thoughts to those above but once I tried it – I was hooked.
But Mushy Peas Though?
Using mushy peas to make mushy pea curry seems so polarising when it gets mentioned. But ask these people who just get turned off by the idea if they’ve ever eaten any kind of Dahl in an Indian Restaurant and the answer is “yes”. Dahl is basically made from pulses – lentils in particular. Guess what though – peas are also a pulse. So with that in mind – is it so weird to make a Dahl from mushy peas?
So why the “My” in “”My” Mushy Pea Curry Recipe”?
Simply because there seems to be so many variations on the theme out there, all cooked slightly differently. Sometimes people like to blend it to make a curry sauce. Some like it as is. Some like to then add chicken (or a.n.other meat) to it. Me, I’ve settled on this form (though I’ll also list one of the more common variations – the “mushy pea curry in a hurry”). It’s cheap (mushy peas, chopped tomato (or baked beans), onion, mushroom, spices). it’s filling. It’s tasty and I can make as little or as much as I like as it also freezes well. And it’s suitable for SP days too (it’s all “speed” and “protein” foods) as well as being vegetarian (unless you add meat to it of course).
- Mushrooms – as few or as many as you like – I like to put LOTS in. sliced into nice sized pieces
- Onions – again – as few or as many as you like – but I like to put at least 2 or 3 onions (sliced) into mine.
- Spices – find a mix that works for you and your palette. I prefer a Tikka Masala mix but some will want something milder, or even something with a bit more heat behind it.
- Mushy peas – well it wouldn’t be mushy pea curry without mushy peas – 3 tins.
- Chopped tomatoes or baked beans – one tin.
(I’m being deliberately vague on the amount of mushrooms and onions – I use lots because I don’t add chicken in, but I’ll certainly add more mushrooms in if I feel it needs it. This depends on all sorts of things such as just how much the original batch of mushrooms have reduced in size, etc).
As with the veggie mince dish a week or so back – I’d usually use the frozen sliced onions and mushrooms that I can get together for £1 (or 60p a bag) at my local Heron store and top up with fresh mushroom if needed. I’m using only fresh this time around as I need to use some up.
I detour slightly from the recipe as it was originally given to me in that I add and cook off the spices for a bit before adding the remaining ingredients. The original recipe had the spices going in with the mushy peas, etc.
- Soften the sliced onions in a large pan (I like using my wok for this).
- Once the onions are starting to soften add the mushrooms. Carry on cooking till both the onions and mushrooms are nearly cooked down. It’s worth remembering here that the mushrooms will reduce in size as you cook them. I can nearly fill my wok with mushrooms but by the time the mushrooms have shrunk – the wok will be only about a 3rd full of vegetables.
- Add your chosen spice(s) mix and carry on cooking. Keep stirring. You want the juices from the onions and mushrooms to mix with the spices and thoroughly coating the vegetables. Don’t add all the spice at once though – you can always add more, you can’t take it out though.
- Once all the vegetables are cooked add the rest of the ingredients, and stir, stir, stir. If using a wide topped pan such as a wok – remember to scrape down the sides all the way to the bottom. This dish does have a tendency to “catch” on the bottom.
- leave to cook on a low heat till everything is heated through. Taste frequently and add more spice if needed. (at least 30minutes, longer if you can).
Top tip – if using chopped tomatoes – stir a teaspoon of sweetener into the mix – it really helps enhance the tomatoes.
I’ve also been known to add surplus peppers (chopped) to the pan or a tin of chick peas to add a bit more “bulk” to the dish. But these are additions that I’ve done to the recipe as I found it all those years ago somewhere in the darkest corners of the Internet.
Mushy Pea Curry in a Hurry
So I mentioned the “Mushy Pea Curry in a Hurry” variation earlier. I don’t often make this as I prefer low-and-slow when cooking anything like this but it’s mushrooms, onions (but fewer than the earlier variation), one tin mushy peas, one tin tomatoes and spices. Cook off the onions and mushrooms as before, throw everything else into the pan, and cook on a medium/high for 10minutes till everything’s nice and bubbling.
It’s a curry – it can be served with nearly anything you’d usually serve a curry with:
- On top of a jacket spud
- Add chicken to it
- Blend to make a curry sauce
- Steamed or boiled veg (with or without the rice/chips/jacket spud).