Mushroom Passanda

Mushrrom Passanda - Copy Traditionally a passanda is made with meat and yoghurt so making a vegan version was something of a challenge.  Mushrooms are often described as “meaty” and they work wonderfully in this recipe.

Cashew nut cream is included instead of yoghurt to give a rich, creamy texture.  You can buy cashew cream in health food shops or you can make it yourself:  Soak raw (not roasted or salted) cashew nuts in cold water overnight. Next morning strain and rinse the nuts and put into a food processor or blender.  Add enough water to just cover the nuts – this will give a thick cream, add more water if you want it thinner.  Blend until smooth.  If your processor/blender doesn’t make a completely smooth cream pass it through a sieve.  You can use this in a variety of sweet or savoury dishes.  I used it in this curry and also used it to make a raita with mint and spring onions.

This is a very mild curry so don’t be afraid of the chilli – add more if you want a bit more heat.


Small Closed Cup or Chestnut Mushrooms

4 tbsp Cashew Cream

1 tsp Ground Cumin

2 tsp Ground Coriander

4 Cardamom Pods (split and seeds crushed)

1 tsp Turmeric

Groundnut Oil (for frying)

1 Onion (chopped)

2cm piece Grated Ginger

1 Green Chilli (sliced)

1 Clove Garlic (finely chopped)

100ml Vegan Stock

2 tbsp Ground Almonds

1 tsp Garam Masala


Gently fry the mushrooms in a little oil until just cooked and slightly browned.  Set aside to cool.

Put the cashew cream, cumin, coriander, cardamom and turmeric in a bowl and mix well.  Add the mushrooms and marinate for half an hour or so.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and gently cook the onions until softened and golden.  Add the ginger, chilli and garlic and cook for another few minutes.

Tip in the mushrooms and the marinade then cook, stirring until the mushrooms are beginning to colour.  Add the stock, cover then simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir 4-5 tbsp of the cooking liquid into the ground almonds then add everything back to the pan.  Add the garam masala and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with a little extra cashew cream and green chilli if you like.

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Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Rogan Josh

Vegan Rogan Josh

Rogan josh is one of my favourite curries but it is more normally made with lamb.  I made this vegetable version during the vegan challenge and it is a really good alternative.  The chickpeas add protein and texture whilst the squash adds a certain sweetness so i promise you won’t miss the meat.

Please don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients – it is still a relatively simple recipe and, with a little care, you will get layers of spiciness unfolding and ending in a build up of chilli heat.  This is a medium hot curry – if you want it milder leave out the seeds from the chillies.

This is one of those recipes that I know I will be making again and again because it is so tasty.  I hope you give it a go.


2 Cloves Garlic

A thumb sized piece of Root Ginger (peeled)

1 tbsp Paprika

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

2 tsp Garam Masala

2 tbsp Groundnut Oil

2 Bay Leaves

3 Cloves

1 Red Chilli (chopped)

2 tbsp Tomato Puree

2 tsp Cumin Seeds

2 tsp Coriander Seeds

8 Cardamom Pods (crushed and seeds removed)

Salt and Black Pepper

A handful of Fresh Coriander

1 Butternut Squash (cut into cubes)

1 Cauliflower (cut into florets)

400g Tin of Chickpeas

1 large Onion (chopped)

2 handfuls of young Spinach Leaves

1 tin Chopped Tomatoes


Grate the ginger on the finest side of the grater to create a paste. Crush the garlic and mix in with the ginger.

Heat the groundnut oil in a deep sautee pan over a medium heat add the cardamom seeds, bay leaves and cloves and stir once then wait until the cloves swell and the bay leaves begin to take on colour. Add the onions and chilli and fry for 5 minutes until golden.

Stir in the garlic and ginger paste and cook for a minute. Grind the coriander and cumin seeds and add to the pan along with the paprika, cayenne, garam masala, salt and a good grinding of black pepper.

Add the squash, cauliflower, chopped tomatoes and chickpeas and stir well. Pour in 200 ml of water or vegetable stock and the tomato puree, bring to the boil, stir, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir through the spinach and add a little more water if necessary. Sprinkle with the coriander before serving.

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