Yams, Mushrooms, Green Beans and Asparagus in Cumin and Fenugreek Curry

A wonderful earthy combination.

Vij's Recipes

A recipe excerpted from Vij’s Indian: Our Stories, Spices and Cherished Recipes by Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij. 

Read the story behind the cookbook here.

The combination of dried green fenugreek leaves and cream may sound like a culinary cliché in the Vij’s world, but it leads to an endless number of wonderful pairings. In this curry, this combination brings out the subtle nutty flavour of the chickpea flour with the earthy mushrooms and sweet yams. Although the yams and mushrooms are key components of this recipe, you can use whichever other vegetables you prefer.

We use an assortment of mushrooms when we make this dish, either slicing them thinly if they are “meatier” mushrooms such as portobellos or using them whole if they are lighter mushrooms such as enoki or shiitakes. Mushrooms are a powerhouse of nutrients, especially B vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. However, they fully absorb whatever they are growing in, so it’s important to know where your mushrooms came from or to buy organic. Serve this curry with plain rice, bread, naan or chapatti.

Serves: 6 to 8


1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
2 ½ teaspoons salt
8 to 10 ounces mushrooms, whole or sliced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cup finely chopped onions (1 medium-large)
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (3 to 4 medium cloves)
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper
1 ½ pounds yams, peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
4 cups water
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
10 ounces green beans, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
2 cups whipping cream
½ tablespoon dried green fenugreek leaves
8 ounces asparagus tips OR broccoli florets


In a very small pot, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Stir in the garam masala and immediately turn off the heat. Stir in ½ teaspoon of the salt. Empty all the oil and garam masala into a medium bowl, add the mushrooms and mix well. Set aside.

Heat the 1/3 cup of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle in the cumin and allow the seeds to sizzle for 15 to 20 seconds. Add the onions and sauté until dark brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, and then stir in the ginger. Add the turmeric, cayenne and 2 teaspoons of the salt and sauté for 1 minute. Add the yams and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. (This step will coat the yams in oil and prevent them from becoming too mushy in the curry.)

Pour the water into a medium bowl, add the chickpea flour and whisk well. Add this mixture to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Poke a small sharp knife into a piece of yam to see if it is nearly soft. (You want the yams to be slightly undercooked at this point.) If not, continue to cook, checking regularly, for another
5 to 10 minutes. Add the green beans.

Place the whipping cream in a small bowl. Stir in about ½ cup of the hot curry to temper it, then add this cream to the pot of hot curry. Stir in the fenugreek leaves and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus tips (or broccoli florets) and stir. Turn off the heat. The asparagus (or broccoli) will cook in the heat of the curry.

If you are ready to serve the curry, stir in the mushrooms. Otherwise, stir in the mushrooms after you reheat the curry for serving.

Divide the curry among individual bowls and serve.

Find more recipes from the Vij’s Indian cookbook, here.

Excerpted from Vij’s Indian: Our Stories, Spices and Cherished Recipes by Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij. Recipes Copyright © 2016 Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij. Text copyright © 2016 Meeru Dhalwala. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


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