Red Mushroom Curry, 40p (VG/V/DF/GF)

This hot spicy little number is a favourite in my household for dealing with the dreaded cold and flu, or when feeling a little rundown. The combination of garlic, ginger, chilli, tomatoes and a kick of citrus is a feisty relief for the symptoms of even the most grim winter germs. I make a double batch of the paste and pop it in the freezer for future use. Of course, you can use a jar of shop-bought curry paste too, if you are feeling really rough; I’ve been there and I absolutely sympathise. I blitz mine in a blender to get the paste super smooth, but it’s not essential, you can just throw it all in a pan for a similar effect, just with a little extra texture, which is fine.

Serves 2-4 from 40p each

1 large onion, 9p (90p/1.5kg, Sainsburys Basics)
4 cloves of garlic, 6p (35p/2 bulbs of garlic, Sainsburys Basics)
A small piece of ginger, 3p (30p/100g loose ginger, Sainsburys)
¼ tsp red chilli flakes, 1p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC brand – found at most major supermarkets)
50g tomato passata, 4p (40p/500g, Sainsburys Basics)
200ml coconut milk, 50p (£1/400ml, Sainsburys – currently on special offer until 27th Feb so stock up!)
A generous pinch of salt, 1p (45p/750g, Sainsburys Basics table salt)
1 tsp lemon juice, 1p (60p/250ml, Sainsburys)
400g mushrooms, 85p (85p/400g, Sainsburys Basics)

Peel and finely chop the onion, and peel and finely slice the garlic. Roughly chop the ginger and toss it all into a blender, along with the chilli, tomato puree and 100ml of the coconut milk. Blitz it to a rough paste, and set to one side.

Wash and halve the mushrooms, and toss them into a large pan with a dash of oil and a pinch of salt. Cook on a medium heat to gently brown the outsides for a few minutes, then tip in the curry paste, add the remaining coconut milk, and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until the mushrooms have softened and the curry paste has thickened slightly. I sometimes like to pad mine out with a finely chopped cabbage to make it go further, or a handful of frozen spinach or peas stirred through 5 minutes before the end.

Season with the lemon juice to finish, and serve. It will keep in the fridge for 2 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

(I have developed a sensitivity to onions in recent months, with some rather unpleasant side effects, so you may notice in my photograph I have used spring onions instead of the cheaper white or red onions. I kept the pricing as basics onions because I want this website to be helpful to as many people as possible, and the price difference between red onions and spring onions is eye-watering!)

This blog is free to those who need it, and always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and keep it running. If you use it and benefit, enjoy it, and would like to keep it going, please consider popping something in the tip jar, and thankyou.

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      • Thanks, Jack. We are a bit wimpish with curry, preferring it not too hot, but although I’m a pretty instinctive cook on the whole, tasting, chucking in a bit more of this or that, most of the time, I have no such feel for curry, and have often struggled to improve curries that are either too hot or too bland.

  1. Thanks for inspiration for tea… craving basmati rice so now going to do a veggie curry thingy to go with it thanks to you 🙂

  2. Hi Jack thanks for the free access and the lovely recipe. Times are hard for me right now and I’m recovering from flu so this is perfect for me – I hope to be able to support you when things improve, meanwhile thanks again x

  3. Jack, your blog has always been of interest to me, but it’s recently been such a lifesaver because I’ve developed a sudden and vicious reaction to dairy. Whilst I’m not entirely vegan (still eat eggs and very occasionally meat), your vegan recipes have showed me that it’s entirely possible and easy to eat vegan/dairy-free, and cheaply too. Thanks so much. Put me down for the vegan book..!

  4. I have half a jar of Thai red curry paste in the fridge, and this recipe looks perfect to use it up.
    Regarding the high cost of spring onions, I wonder if you might be able to grow them when the weather warms up?
    Thanks for the recipes. I love mushrooms and am always looking for ways to include them. Need to revisit your Rogan Josh recipe!

    • If you can’t grow them from scratch you can regrow from scraps. Just pop the white portion in some water on the window sill. Gets a few more uses out of them, just make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t go slimy.

  5. I’m curious – the curry paste, with half of the coconut milk, and the rest of the coconut milk are added at the same time, why not just add all the coconut milk to the blender? Is it simply a texture thing?

    Always looking to simplify recipes as my motivation to cook and appetite are quite closely related.

  6. I was gazing at the half finished can of coconut milk and the likewise half finished tub of tomato sauce nestling up to the neglected bit of ginger… and wondering what on earth to do with it all to avoid waste. Thanks for an inspired idea, that’s dinner sorted. 🙂

  7. I made this last night for supper. I must say mine didn’t look as juicy. I used a whole 400g tin of coconut milk and a few more mushrooms. Delicious though and I’m going to have the leftovers for lunch.

  8. I made this for dinner tonight and it was very lovely, thank you. I had it with rice. I used coconut shavings instead of coconut milk because that’s much cheaper where I live and just added some extra water to it. I chopped the mushrooms very small because I prefer them that way, and lacking a blender I just sautéd everything in a pot.

    I used to buy spring onions, the ones that still had the roots on them, and put them in a planter and whenever I wanted one, I just snipped the green off with some scissors and it would keep growing back, just a handful of them lasted me for months with using them at most of my meals. Usually each one would produce multiple green parts so I’d just snip whichever was tallest and that worked for me.

  9. I made this again but I put 100g of lentils instead of the mushrooms (dry weight, soaked for a day and a half because I ended up not having the spoons to make it yesterday, rinsed them well and then boiled separately, then added to the onion/garlic/ginger I was sautéing. and also 1/4 tsp caraway. It was good.

  10. I made this last night using up half jar of Thai red curry paste. I then found I did not have coconut milk, so I used almond milk insteadi
    It was delicious but a bit hot so I added a couple of spoons of Greek yoghurt at the ende I also chucked in 2 handfuls of fresh spinach near the end.
    Had with rice and a dollop of plum chutney. Have enough over for another meal.

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