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In search of a good vegetarian Stroganoff - Mushroom Stroganoff

I have been glued and addicted to watching Masterchef Australia on Star World. It is the classiest reality show to be aired on Indian television, in my humble opinion, of course. Trolls, please excuse. What's a vegetarian's interest in watching this predominantly meat based show, you may wonder. It


  • 1/2 cup oyster mushrooms mushrooms dried or any other dried .
  • 1 tbsp olive oil .
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced .
  • 1 onion large , finely chopped .
  • 1/2 tsp thyme thyme fresh leaves or dried . of 1 tsps
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram marjoram fresh or dried (optional). of 1 tsps
  • 10 - 12 button mushrooms sliced (upto 200 grams).
  • 1/3 cup tomato puree .
  • 1 stock vegetarian cube (I used Maggi seasoning cubes).
  • 30 - 45 ml brandy sherry red wine or or .
  • 1 tsp mustard English .
  • 1 tsp paprika (substitute with Kashmiri Chilli powder if you cant find ).
  • 1/2 cup sour cream .
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch .
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste .


  • First, wash the dried mushrooms under running water and then soak in 1-2 cups of hot water, cover the vessel and keep aside for 10 minutes. You can either snip the soaked mushrooms under the water or drain them and chop into even sized pieces. Do NOT throw away the water in which they were soaked as it is full of flavour and we will be using it later to build the sauce of the stroganoff.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, fresh thyme and marjoram. Saute on medium heat, till they are soft.
  • Add the chopped fresh and rehydrated mushrooms, stir well to mix with the aromatics. Let this cook on medium flame till nearly done, say 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree and cook it off for 2-3 minutes on high flame.
  • Add the stock cube, the water in which the mushrooms were soaked. Cover and let this simmer till the mushrooms are soft, for about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the brandy, mustard, paprika. Make a slurry of cornstarch in a little cold water and add it to the simmering stroganoff along with the sour cream. Add some water if you think the sauce is drying out. Add salt and let this simmer for 5 minutes until all the flavours infuse into the mushrooms.
  • The final dish should be a stew of very flavourful mushrooms in a good quantity of thickish sauce that you can eat the rice / spaghetti with.


I was tasting stroganoff for the first time and I quite loved it. I had prepared this in the afternoon and by dinner time, the flavours had intensified. It went perfectly well with the mild spaghetti. The husband relished it thoroughly too. Will I be making this again? You bet, I will.
To serve
3-4 cups ofsteamed rice or Spaghetti cooked according to instructions and tossed in olive oil with some dried or fresh herbs.
Making sour cream at home
Collect the cream from the top of boiled and cooled milk for 3-4 days and storing it in freezer. Once you have half a cup of cream, remove this in a cup and add a tsp of yogurt to it and mix well. The cream will sour in 5-6 hours, depending on the weather. Keep it for longer if the weather is quite chilly. Refrigerate the sour cream in an airtight container for a day or so, until use or in freezer if you are not going to use it soon.
Shopping for ingredients in Hyderabad
Dried oyster mushrooms - available at Spar, Begumpet - for around Rs.20 a pack. Look in the Noodles / Chinese ingredients aisle.
Real paprika - Waitrose shelf in Hypercity, Inorbit Mall or you can buy the Keya's Kashmiri Paprika.
Fresh Thyme, Marjoram - Spar, Begumpet ; Dried herbs in any Fabindia or Keya's brand in most supermarkets.